Northrop Grumman's Europe-based air traffic management systems subsidiary, Northrop Grumman Park Air Systems, has been awarded contracts by NATS Services to provide surface movement radar and air traffic monitor systems for Heathrow airport's virtual contingency facility (VCF) and instrument landing systems (ILS) for regional airports around the U.K.
"Our surveillance technology and control systems will enhance the operations by the VCF helping air traffic controllers to monitor and control flights even when they are unable to see aircraft departing, arriving or moving around the airfield, and our state-of-the-art instrument landing system will ensure safe and precise landings, even under the most difficult visibility conditions," said Eldar Hauge, managing director of Northrop Grumman Park Air Systems in Norway.
The VCF is a safety certified remote airport contingency control room that can keep flights moving through Heathrow airport in the event of a serious problem at the airport's main control tower. Northrop Grumman Park Air Systems is providing the NOVA 9000 advanced-surface movement guidance and control system (A-SMGCS) equipment and NOVA 9000 air traffic monitors. The VCF, housed in a facility away from the airfield, is a remote air traffic control tower located near London Heathrow airport and enables the airport to operate at 70 percent of its capacity in the event of an emergency involving the main control tower, according to Northrop Grumman. The two independent systems monitor and present the traffic situation to the Heathrow controllers within an area of 20 nautical miles and to and from the gates. Both systems have in-built automation and safety logic functions. The company will also supply the NORMARC 7000B ILS CAT III for Newcastle, Luton and Leeds Bradford airports.