NAV CANADA air traffic controllers at Calgary International Airport (YYC) are handling flights from a new air traffic control tower. At over 300 feet high (270 feet at eye level in the cab), it is the highest free-standing tower of its kind in Canada.
"Construction of the new Calgary tower was necessary to address changes that are taking place as part of the Calgary Airport Authority's $2 billion development program," says Rudy Kellar, NAV CANADA Executive Vice President, Service Delivery. "Its height allows optimal sight lines onto the new 14,000-ft parallel runway that is scheduled to be opened in May 2014.This will ensure that safety and customer service are maintained and will position us for future growth."
Air traffic controllers officially moved into the new facility on May 27. The new cab, at 60 square meters, is roomier and has eight operational positions for air traffic controllers compared to five in the old tower. The new tower's height will give controllers' the ability to view holding bays, taxiways, approach and departure paths and airborne traffic patterns.
"Our sight lines have improved markedly," says Wayne Nyman, Manager of Calgary Tower. "They also represent a 180-degree change in perspective compared to the old tower, so controllers underwent simulation training well in advance to become accustomed to this difference."
"The new control tower is an essential component of the Runway Development Project," says Garth Atkinson, President and CEO, Calgary Airport Authority. "We are delighted to have NAV CANADA in the new facility and working with us to bring the new runway online."
The Control Tower building also houses a Technical Operations maintenance center for onsite technologists to perform maintenance and repairs, when necessary, on NAV CANADA's navigational aids and other equipment at YYC.
As the vacated tower was already equipped with the latest NAVCANatm technology, most of it was duplicated at the new tower, allowing for a safer and easier transition. The advanced electronic flight strips system, called NAVCANstrips, and other integrated air traffic management technology is in operation at more than 70 Canadian sites, and has been adopted internationally by the United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia, the Netherlands Antilles and the United Arab Emirates.
NAV CANADA has also enhanced its Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS) at the airport by integrating multilateration in order to provide controllers with improved situational awareness of aircraft and vehicle movements on the runways and taxiways. This is the second installation of this technology in Canada.
Calgary International Airport is the country's fourth busiest in passenger numbers, with a record 13.6 million passengers in 2012. YYC is also Canada's third busiest airport in terms of air traffic with 240,771 aircraft movements in 2012. NAV CANADA has a staff complement of 35 air traffic controllers working in the tower. More information is available on the fact sheet.
NAV CANADA is the country's private sector civil air navigation services provider. With operations from coast to coast to coast, NAV CANADA provides air traffic control, flight information, weather briefings, aeronautical information services, airport advisory services and electronic aids to navigation.
The Calgary Airport Authority is a not-for-profit, non-share capital corporation incorporated under the Alberta Regional Airports Authorities Act. Since 1992, it has been responsible for the management, maintenance and development of Calgary International Airport and Springbank Airport under long-term lease from the Government of Canada. YYC is an important economic engine for the city, region and province, generating over $6 billion in economic activity.
ATC Tower at CYYC.
Calgary Internation Airport ATC Tower
Controller Workstation 'way up high' in Calgary