New Zealand plans to phase out Air Traffic Control towers and introduce Digital Air Traffic Control(DATC) centres. The centralised digital control centres use a series of cameras that provide a full panoramic view of the airfield, beamed to a large high-definition screens monitored by controllers.
The cameras can zoom in-out and track fast moving objects even in bad weathers and low light conditions with the aid of infra-red vision technology.
The DTAC collect and analyse many parameters including aircraft speed, separation between planes, and airfield information, that can used by the controllers. The DATC system would have a backup centre in Auckland.
The cost effective and safest system is not going replace the air traffic controllers but will assist them to provide better and safe flight operations. DATC demonstration would not be used to manage live traffic; instead, it would be used to investigate how the technology could be used as a contingency option to back-up physical towers.said the technology provider Frequentis