Rohde & Schwarz ATC voice over IP communications systems selected by NATS for London City Airport Digital Tower

- Munich,Germany

Rohde & Schwarz has been selected by British air traffic service provider NATS to supply and install the R&S VCS-4G voice communications system for the London City Airport digital tower project. The fully IP-based R&S VCS-4G system has been installed at Swanwick control centre as part of the digital tower operations project which is due to go into operation in 2019. 

The R&S VCS-4G voice communications system (VCS) is ready to be integrated into digital tower solutions that allows control of airports for reasons of resource optimization or geographic backup. Due to the full IP system architecture and distributed infrastructure, the R&S VCS-4G supports shared access to remote radio and telephony resources. These features allow towers to be remotely operated from another geographic location. Such VCS installations make it possible to control airports without having a complete air traffic control (ATC) crew present at the actual location. 

Rohde & Schwarz have been working in partnership with NATS to get the VCS systems installed at Swanwick area control centre (ACC) in the new designated London City Airport (LCY) digital control room. The system will interface with existing analogue radio equipment located at LCY with the use of R&S radio gateways which convert VoIP-based communications signals for call control and media information to conventional analogue signals, and vice versa. The system supports both ground-ground and ground-air-ground communications in order to provide all the voice communication tools to the air traffic controllers.

R&S VCS-4G is based on VoIP technology with support of SIP, RTP, R2S protocols according to EUROCAE WG67 ED standard specifications. Due to its unique architecture, the system is highly scalable and can be easily expanded without replacing existing equipment. The R&S VCS-4G system has been designed to meet next generation ATC requirements such as asset sharing, facility consolidation, geographical distribution and remote tower technology, providing air navigation services providers (ANSPs) with an effective solution for present and future safety and efficiency objectives in global aviation. 

NATS also has selected the R&S VCS-4G IP-based voice communications system from Rohde & Schwarz as its second voice system for its ATC communications in UK airspace. 

NATS Digital tower control room

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