Review Policy on Visual Observation, Aerodrome Control Service Concepts and CCTV

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Review Policy on Visual Observation, Aerodrome Control Service Concepts and CCTV

51ST ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Kathmandu, Nepal, 12-16 March 2012

WP No. 86

Review Policy on Visual Observation, Aerodrome Control Service Concepts and CCTV

Presented by TOC

Summary

At the 50th IFATCA Conference in Amman, The Netherlands MA presented a working paper on CCTV. IFATCA Policy on CCTV was reviewed and, following discussion at Conference, amended. Following the discussions at Conference, it was decided that TOC should review IFATCA Policy on Visual Observation, Aerodrome Control Service Concepts and CCTV and there relationship.

This proposes amendments to IFATCA Policy.

Introduction

1.1 In 2007, IFATCA adopted Policy on Visual Observation and advanced Aerodrome Control Service Concepts. This Policy sets requirements for any new aerodrome service concept before it can be endorsed by IFATCA.

1.2 At the 2011 Conference in Amman, The Netherlands Guild of Air Traffic Controllers presented a working paper, which reviewed the Policy on CCTV, which was accepted in 1999. New Policy was proposed in the working paper and amended and accepted at Conference.

1.3 As there the use of CCTV is linked to new Aerodrome Control Concepts, it is important to investigate if these Policies are in line with each other. Therefore, this working paper will review Policy on Visual Observation, New Aerodrome Control Concepts and last years accepted Policy on CCTV.

1.4 It is also recognized that the use of CCTV has many professional and legal issues. Agenda item C.6.10, which is presented by PLC, discusses these issues.

Discussion

2.1 Visual Obervation

2.1.1 In 2007, IFATCA accepted Policy on Visual Observation:

Visual observation in ATM can be defined as: “Observation through direct eyesight of objects situated within the line of sight of the observer possibly enhanced by binoculars.”

 

2.1.2 This Policy was adopted to identify the difference between aerodrome control from a control tower situated at the airfield and newly developed aerodrome control concepts.

2.1.3 Although this Policy is still valid, it is quoted not strict enough through the use of the word ‘can’. It is therefore proposed to amend this Policy making it more restrictive on what the definition of visual observation is.


2.2 New Aerodrome Control Concepts

2.2.1 In 2007, IFATCA accepted Policy on Aerodrome Control Service Concepts.

“An Aerodrome Control Tower is a unit established to provide air traffic control service to aerodrome traffic. The tower cab shall be constructed as to provide aerodrome controllers the capability to maintain a continuous watch on all flight operations on and in the vicinity of the aerodrome as well as vehicles and personnel on the manoeuvring area. Watch shall be maintained by visual observation, augmented by radar or other approved surveillance systems when available.

Before any Aerodrome Control Service Concept can be endorsed by IFATCA, the following requirements shall be met:

  • The controller shall be provided with at least the same level of surveillance as currently provided by visual observation;
  • The introduction of Aerodrome Control Service Concepts shall be subject to a full safety analysis and relevant safety levels shall be met;
  • Contingency procedures shall be in place;
  • Controllers shall be involved in the development of Aerodrome Control Service Concepts.”

 

2.2.3 The first part of the Policy is not specifically related to Aerodrome Control Service Concepts. It defines an aerodrome control tower, which is located at the airfield itself. The last sentence opens the opportunity to use surveillance systems, like CCTV, to supplement visual observation.

2.2.4 The second part of the Policy is related to new Aerodrome Control Service Concepts. Instead of opposing new Aerodrome Control Service Concepts, IFATCA endorse these when certain requirements where are met. This was a new way of approaching these advanced concepts by IFATCA.

2.2.5 This Policy is now stated in the IFATCA Manual in ADME 2.2 ‘Visual Observation and New Aerodrome Tower Concepts’. The title of this chapter is incorrect, as an advanced Aerodrome Control Service Concepts does not necessarily have to be situated in the Control Tower. It is proposed to rename the chapter in ‘Aerodrome Control Concepts’. This chapter would contain:

  • Definition on Visual Observation
  • Definition on Aerodrome Control Tower
  • Policy on Aerodrome Control Service Concepts
  • Policy on CCTV

2.3 Review Policy on CCTV

2.3.1 At the IFATCA Conference in 2010, the Netherlands presented a working paper, which reviewed IFATCA Policy on CCTV.

2.3.2 The original IFATCA Policy on CCTV, accepted in 1997, stated:

“A control tower must afford an aerodrome controller with direct visual observation of the manoeuvring area. The use of CCTV equipment is not acceptable as a substitute for direct visual observation.”

2.3.3 The Netherlands concluded that this Policy was too restrictive as it states that the use of CCTV is not acceptable as a substitute for Visual Observation. The use of CCTV also has benefits and is widely accepted by Tower Controllers to increase their situational awareness.

2.3.4 ICAO Doc 9426 Air Traffic Services Planning Manual states under Section 2, Chapter 2 (Specific Requirements for an Aerodrome Control Tower):

2.1.2 Surveillance by the aerodrome controller is normally done by visual means (eyesight) alone, mechanically through the use of binoculars to improve eyesight or electronically, through the use of radar or closed-circuit television. The controller must be able to discriminate between aircraft and between aircraft and vehicles while they are on the same or different runways and/or taxiways. The most significant factors contributing to adequate visual surveillance are the siting of the tower and the height of the control tower cab. The optimum tower site will normally be as close as possible to the centre of the manoeuvring part of the aerodrome, provided that at the intended height, the tower structure itself does not become an obstruction or hazard to flight.”

 

2.3.5 ICAO allows for the use of CCTV as surveillance technology by the aerodrome controller. IFATCA should support this position as the use of technology like CCTV has become widespread in aerodrome control nowadays, and often provides the controller with surveillance or with better surveillance. Subsequently, the controllers’ job is made easier and at the same time the level of service has improved. IFATCA Policy on Aerodrome Control Concepts addresses possible concerns, and requirements are listed.

2.3.6 The Netherlands proposed the following recommendation:

“A control tower must afford an aerodrome controller with visual observation of the manoeuvring area. The use of CCTV equipment is only acceptable in case it provides the controller with at least the same level of surveillance, safety is demonstrated and contingency procedures are in place.”

2.3.7 Following discussion in Committee B, it was concluded that with this proposal, CCTV could replace Visual Observation. Committee B felt that the use of CCTV is acceptable, but must be limited to supplement Visual Observation, not to replace Visual Observation.

2.3.8 After discussion the following was accepted as new IFATCA Policy on CCTV:

A control tower shall afford an aerodrome controller with visual observation of the manoeuvring area.

The use of CCTV equipment is only acceptable in cases where it supplements visual observation of limited portions of the manoeuvering area where:

  • It provides the controller with at least the same level of surveillance;
  • Safety is demonstrated;
  • Contingency procedures are in place.

The use of CCTV equipment is not used to mitigate airport expansion that will affect current visual observation of the manoeuvring area.

 

2.3.9 The first part of this Policy duplicates the Policy on new Aerodrome Control Service Concepts which defines an Aerodrome Control Tower. It is therefore proposed to delete this part of the Policy.

2.3.10 The third part of this Policy states that the use of CCTV is not acceptable when it replaces Visual Observation, for example in case of airport expansion. IFATCA Policy on CCTV already states that the use of CCTV is only acceptable where it supplements visual observation. To avoid duplications, it is therefore recommended to delete the third part of the Policy.

2.3.11 IFATCA Policy on CCTV does not cover human factor elements. PLC investigated the need for this but concluded that IFATCA Policy already covered all human factor elements.

2.3.12 As the Policy on CCTV is related to the Policy on new Aerodrome Control Service Conceps, it is proposed to include the Policy in the IFATCA Manual chapter 2.2 ‘Aerodrome Control Concepts’

Conclusion

3.1 IFATCA definition on Visual Observation is still valid, but not restrictive enough.

3.2 IFATCA still endorses new Aerodrome Control Service Concepts, provided that certain requirements are met. IFATCA Policy on Aerodrome Control Service Concepts is still valid.

3.3 The use of CCTV is accepted by IFATCA, as long as it supplements Visual Observation. The use of CCTV is not accepted in case it replaces Visual Observation, for example in case of airport expansion.

3.4 As all Policies and definitions on CCTV, Aerodrome Control Service Concept and Visual Observations are related, they should be included in the same chapter in the IFATCA Manual.

Recommendation

It is recommended that:

4.1 IFATCA Policy:

Visual observation in ATM can be defined as: Observation through direct eyesight of objects situated within the line of sight of the observer possibly enhanced by binoculars.

Is amended by:

Visual observation in ATM is defined as: Observation through direct eyesight of objects situated within the line of sight of the observer possibly enhanced by binoculars.

4.2 IFATCA Policy:

A control tower shall afford an aerodrome controller with visual observation of the manoeuvring area.

The use of CCTV equipment is only acceptable in cases where it supplements visual observation of limited portions of the manoeuvering area where:

  • It provides the controller with at least the same level of surveillance;
  • Safety is demonstrated;
  • Contingency procedures are in place.

The use of CCTV equipment is not used to mitigate airport expansion that will affect current visual observation of the manoeuvring area.

Is amended by:

In Aerodrome Control Towers, the use of CCTV is not accepted to replace Visual Observation. The use of CCTV is only accepted to supplement Visual Observation where:

  • It provides the controller with at least the same level of surveillance;

  • Safety is demonstrated ;

  • Contingency procedures are in place.

Appendix A

Following the recommendations, the new chapter on Aerodrome Control Concepts in the IFATCA Manual would look like this:

IFATCA Manual –  ADME 2.2 Aerodrome Control Concepts

Definition Aerodrome Control Tower:

An Aerodrome Control Tower is a unit established to provide air traffic control service to aerodrome traffic. The tower cab shall be constructed as to provide aerodrome controllers the capability to maintain a continuous watch on all flight operations on and in the vicinity of the aerodrome as well as vehicles and personnel on the manoeuvring area. Watch shall be maintained by visual observation, augmented by radar or other approved surveillance systems when available.

Definition Visual Observation:

Visual observation in ATM is defined as: Observation through direct eyesight of objects situated within the line of sight of the observer possibly enhanced by binoculars.

Policy on CCTV:

In Aerodrome Control Towers, the use of CCTV is not accepted to replace Visual Observation. The use of CCTV is only accepted to supplement Visual Observation where: – It provides the controller with at least the same level of surveillance – Safety is demonstrated – Contingency procedures are in place

Policy on Aerodrome Control Service Concepts:

Before any Aerodrome Control Service Concept can be endorsed by IFATCA, the following requirements shall be met: – The controller shall be provided with at least the same level of surveillance as currently provided by visual observation; – The introduction of Aerodrome Control Service Concepts shall be subject to a full safety analysis and relevant safety levels shall be met; – Contingency procedures shall be in place; – Controllers shall be involved in the development of Aerodrome Control Service Concepts.”

Last Update: September 30, 2020  

December 22, 2019   279   Jean-Francois Lepage    2012    

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