Air Traffic Control

Mid-air crash over Britain is 'inevitable'

By Joanna Walters, (London) Observer, 6aug00


…. The antiquated computer system ….

…. Some senior controllers fear it is only a matter of time before there is a serious accident ….

The air traffic control (ATC) computer at West Drayton failed with virtually no warning last month after it reached a pre-programmed traffic limit that had been set during efforts to upgrade it.

The system, parts of which date back to the Fifties, was meant to be replaced by a £425 million state-of-the-art centre at Swanwick, Hampshire, in 1996. But computer glitches mean costs have soared to £623m and the centre will now not open until 2001


National Air Traffic Services (NATS) needs to invest around £130m a year over the next decade to bring new radar centres in Hampshire and Prestwick online…. The Treasury will soon be raising £1bn a year from the unpopular airport passenger duty.

Review section, p1

How safe are our skies? …. Too few air traffic controllers. It seems we are a hair's breadth from disaster….


The Kernel Logic Machine

By Ivor Catt, Electronics & Wireless World, march 89, p254

Also Sunday Times, 12mar89, p14

My patents on this machine have now run out. The whole development project was costed at £40m, leading to five operational machines. Its application to air traffic control is discussed on p257. It would decimate the cost of air traffic control, and be much more efficient.

There has never been any approach from anyone over the possibility of its use.

(My previous, similar invention, "Catt Spiral" (Wireless World, july81) was successful, and came to market in 1989, being installed in the computers of Tandem Corp.)

Ivor Catt 6aug00