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May 12, 2022

UK RAF Waddington radar operators relocate to new hub in Coningsby

Coningsby’s centre is part of UK MoD’s efforts to upgrade military’s air traffic control services.

Radar operators working at UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Waddington have relocated to the new air traffic management hub in RAF Coningsby.

The new centre is the first step under the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Marshall programme to upgrade air traffic management services for various units across the UK Armed Forces.

In 2014, the MoD’s procurement arm Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) awarded the $1.83bn (£1.5bn) Marshall contract to Aquila Air Traffic Management Services, a Thales UK and NATS (formerly National Air Traffic Services) joint venture.

The new centralised Terminal Air Traffic Control Centre (TATCC) will allow Approach Control Room radar operators from different units to serve their duties from a centralised alternative location.

Although Waddington radar operators have shifted to the new hub, the visual control room at the site will continue to operate.

The milestone achievement comes after the successful installation of various air traffic management equipment, which was introduced into the service at RAF Coningsby, in March 2022.

In the new hub, radar operators will have access to a set of high-quality, reliable and safe tools such as sensors and radar displays. These tools will help them to monitor and control air traffic more accurately.

Later this year, the RAF Cranwell’s radar operators, responsible for handling Cranwell and Barkston Heath radar services, will also shift to the new TATCC in Coningsby.

New Lincolnshire TATCC commander squadron leader Kirsti Fordham said: “Programme Marshall is a game-changer in the way we deliver air traffic services in the busy Lincolnshire area.

“The introduction of these advanced systems will provide us with increased capacity, flexibility and reliability to support military flying; now and into the future.”

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