London Control is a product of DM Aviation Limited.

DM Aviation Limited is a company registered in England and Wales, company number 3517289.

Postal address: PO Box 5874, Poole, Dorset, BH16 6ZQ, United Kingdom.

PROFESSIONAL & ADDICTIVE 

a real "BUY IT !"

 

It's been a real pleasure to see this software emerging from the field of the ATC professionals and fans. It is the latest , it is a 'topper' , it's very modern and it is serious.  It couldn't have been otherwise for those grey-haired middle-aged ATC fanatics, who have watched the birth of the professional computers and back to the 80s still remember , both as amateurs and/or professionals , the first attempts for an ATC simulator on a personal computer.  One of the main designers - and main contact for technical support - is the very man behind the very first ATC simulator with the ZX Spectrum  for the "Hurn Sector", Dale  McLoughlin. I received some reactions from various fans of the kind who confessed that this software 'converted' them from simple fans to present professionals of ATC. As he told me on an e-mail he did not sell enough of "Hurn" on those days but I definitely  believe that this software may compensate him after almost 25 years ! It has to. I ordered it immediately when a friend told me about it and within just few days I received the installation disk and was running it for hours. 

Another person , invisible to the large public and not directly involved to this work, one who has contributed , however , to the design of the ATC tools used today in many modern units , is Vic Day , our friend and creator of the ATC2K simulator, who recently retired . 25 years ago , he lead an experimental team  to conceive and design these tools for the interest of the future system of the European ATC units. The tools of the Medium Term Conflict Alert and the Sector Conflict Tool appearing in London Control work as proposed then by that team.  I personally had experienced one of the first trials back to 1992 and I can compare.

That way , London Control, gives a unique chance to understand the use of the most modern tools in Air Traffic Control . It is certainly useful even to professionals and I heard that the German DFS has bought it for training demos (?). From what I know, so far, these tools are right now near the delivery phase both in UK and Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre and are considered the best technical investment for the future operations rooms.  

Additionally , for all those who have watched closely the entire spectrum of PC based ATC simulators the last 20 years , London Control, combines the label inputs of ATC2k and the voice and co-ordination element introduced with the American ATCC by Xavius, albeit with by far a better quality. The CARD tool of ATC2k is nothing but an intentionally simplified form of the modern ATC Tools , providing the same type of information. What London Control is adding more is a professional similarity with the airspace in UK issuing AIRAC changes , that is releasing notes to update this software in the same way  the official ATC units are doing worldwide, so that the airspace elements of this software remain exactly the same as with the ones you'll find in the real operations room in UK. The entire UK airspace is simulated with all its sectors , collapsed (combined) or not with ample information on sector activities and structure. There are even links to instructions for those who would like to create simulations in different areas. I have seen already one for the FIRs of Budapest , Scottish and Amsterdam but I have to confess that it is not an easy job and takes time . 

Overall , London Control,, is a PC based ATC simulator that combines all whatever good and precious have appeared in any previous similar attempt ever since PCs became known. For those who would like to test their own exercises and simulate tailored made ATC instances for teaching purposes I'd still propose  ATC2k , as easier to use - not to mention it is free to get . For those who would like, however ,  to live the feeling of the real ATC sector working , I propose without any hesitation London Control. So visit quickly its site :

http://www.londoncontrol.com/

 and order it !!

 

 

 

A very quick presentation 

The Log On Menu accepts various users names and their qualifications are checked at every run with a percentage score. You start as a student and time and scoring can get you to the full qualification level or even demote you in case of loss of separation

You may choose to work in a sector or combinations of collapsed sectors , arrange the traffic rate from 6 (basic) to 25 and favour some directions of traffic than others.  While you run the function key F1 will freeze the exercise and send you to the Help file of the entire programme . The F2 will do the same but directly for the information file of the sector only you work at

The  ALT key will enter you to a menu where you may customise almost all settings and where you can select from a large variety of preferences of character size , strip colour , windows layout etc. All these option can be saved under a specific file which you may recall and activate at the beginning of every run

 

 

When specifying your own settings it is good to activate the Vectors ( for 1 minute ) and the Sector Conflict Tool. While you run you'll see something like the screen below , form the Sector 1 , an upper sector ( at/above FL310 ) between London and Southampton extending to  the frontier with France in the middle of the Channel

The Offered Bay strip list and the Tactical List are the most important ones to work with. You must accept early traffic before they enter your sector by clicking on their entry levels - else you loose points. As soon as you accept this traffic their strips disappear from the Offered Bay and move into the Tactical List . Next to their entry level in black the exit co-ordinated levels appear in blue while your neighbour units has not yet accepted them. When this will be accomplished , almost always after some 1-2 minutes , these accepted/co-ordinated levels appear now in green and you may be sure that the next controller is expecting the traffic at or climbing to this level. Non co-ordinated target blips/symbols appear in orange (see the BRT75E , bellow) , else they appear in yellow. Therefore you may easily spot those needing co-ordination but that can happen later but certainly before you switch over the traffic to the next sector. So watch for any orange targets before you send them over to the neighbour. Traffic going to standard co-ordination levels between sectors in UK appear always in buff colour. The same rule applies within the target label and thus you may check co-ordination both ways. The Accepted Bay list will only show those not yet co-ordinated but the same information does exist in the Tactical List , which shows all your traffic together with their entry and exit co-ordinated ( or not ) levels , so it is better if you work with this one mainly. 

You get points for sending traffic up or down to their requested or pre-coordinated levels. Some times this is not possible and you may revise your decision by loosing only few points for it. You may try also some speed and/or vectoring arrangements. The programme allows for some considerable speed change which at times looks to me a bit 'generous' from the side of the pilots!

 

The Sector Conflict Tool works like a horizontal separation tool . The horizontal axis indicates minutes ahead from the present time and the vertical one shows how many miles of separation is expected. The middle dotted line stands for 5 NM , those pairs below indicate a dangerous conflict and are highlighted with a red dot, those above with a green but are to be considered as 'marginal' as the situation may change soon. On the screen above you see that SWR42Y is chased dangerously by MON3124 expecting some 2 NM of separation while it indicates some 6 NM with BRT75E. The  present and cleared levels are taken into account.  The faster MON3124 is at FL310 , while SWR42Y is climbing through FL301 to FL330 at a lesser speed. Until separation is achieved when SWR42Y will be at/above FL320 the faster MON3124 will reach SWR75Y to about 2 NM from behind. BRT75E is behind SWR42Y on the climb as well at a slightly faster speed which will not , at the moment , bring separation below 5 NM . Yet , while traffic change levels its performance is changing too. This is why these separations will not stay there for ever. 

You have to admit that when very busy the Sector Conflict Tool will quickly show you where the problem develops without you having to spot it first through the big melee. The rest depends on your planning and techniques. Planning indicates here that SWR42Y expects final level FL370 , MON3124 FL350 and BRT75E FL330. So all you have to care is to avoid the conflict until they reach their final levels which are different . So, you may turn for some 30 degrees MON3124 to keep him from approaching SWR75Y , then climb him to 350 and SWR42Y to 370 as they are now diverging. Then BRT75E will just be climbed 1000 feet below to whatever level MON3124 vacates until he passes above FL340. Then check where SWR42Y will be at this time , I guess further away or maybe already above FL360 if you want to be optimistic , and then resume the navigation of MON3124 to his exit point - this is XAMAB ,next VEULE, for all three of them. For those who recall the basics : Traffic with speed difference of 60 Kt will gain or loose horizontal, separation by 1 NM per minute . This is how you may estimate in time the evolution of the horizontal separation between traffic on different speeds 

Ah ...Yes ...the aircraft performance is not very spectacular and climbs do take a lot of time but ...have you heard about the petrol crisis ? Well ...what did you expect ? Then again if I recall some older airliners , say like the BAC1-11 and the S210 Caravel that were doing less than 700 feet per minute on the climb, I don't feel like crying when these chaps are doing now some 1200 to 1600 fpm . You may forget however some maximum performance advertised to reach 3000 to 4000 fpm  !! In reality they could do it of course ...provided you pay for the petrol, that is  !

In the screen below , in a different traffic scenario , we advise the Medium Term Conflict Alert on the vertical sense - this is the main Vertical Separation Tool. We want to know the ones that may conflict with the climb of EXS861 from 310 to 370 - see area in circle shown by arrow. Clicking on the planned level 370 in the target's label we see the coloured timelines of other flights around him with red and green parts, while the vertical track of this flight in question is painted in grey.  

We see that this climb from 310 to 370 is crossing only a green timeline that belongs to the flight MYT911 . The other timelines below belong to BMA493 and BMA7571 that are found outside this profile . This is natural as they fly below 310 ; in case , however , we would have given a descend , say to FL290, , for any reason , then the red line would have meant that ESX861 would not have had enough spacing with them. These 2 flights are actually flying into the sector below and appear in deemed white . As for MYT911 , it is flying behind and above the EXS861 and the MTCD tools says that its level will be crossed but 'in the green area' , that is without endangering the separation with EXS861. In short ....You may climb through ! 

The other flight in the neighbourhood AZA619 , although already at FL370 , the same level requested by EXS861, is exiting at a different point and its present track , almost parallel to the one of EXS861 will not affect the situation. This is why , as being irrelevant to this traffic , is not appearing at all in the MTCD window. You may note , however , that this traffic analysis considers the present data . It will be updated by time but will also be affected by any speed and/or track changes due to the flight route or vectors you may impose later. If say you turn EXS861 left , then be sure that AZA619 will do appear in the MTCD window !

 

So ....

Challenge yourselves with high rates of traffic and see your career going up with qualifications at each sector in UK and whatever other area you ''ll have available. For updates do visit the London Control website  :

http://www.londoncontrol.com/