With the world’s busiest two runways, the Heathrow Airport control tower is a busy place, with the NATS controllers responsible for safely guiding 1,350 aircraft movements every day.

The need for us to concentrate and focus means visits to the Visual Control Room are a pretty rare event. Few of the 72 million passengers that pass through the airport’s terminals each year will have had the chance to take a peek inside and see the controllers at work from 87m above the terminals and taxiways.

It’s with this in mind that we’ve created a 360 degree panoramic virtual tour that puts you right at the heart of the control room. Not only can you take in the stunning view that includes Windsor Castle and the London skyline, you can learn more about the differing roles each of the controllers play.

If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Tap the image to open our panoramic

Tap/click the image to open our panoramic

You can also listen to real Heathrow air traffic control radio transmissions.

Comments

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30.01.2015

16:57

Allan

That’s pretty awesome – thanks!

30.01.2015

17:47

kenan davies

I’m one of the lucky few to have been up there before – but really great to now be able to relive with the virtual tour!

Great stuff!

31.01.2015

06:34

David

Absolutely Brilliant

31.01.2015

10:01

Kumar

Thanks

01.02.2015

12:08

Bob Park

Very good. I can almost think I am back working on that supervisors desk.

02.02.2015

09:42

Colin Smithson

Great panoramic Paul (Warwick) – good job Drawing office!

03.02.2015

11:02

Selma Piric

I keep coming back to this blog because there is always something exciting to see and read. Well done.

05.02.2015

16:14

DavidG

what are those things that look a little bit like metal detectors on long arms around the place??

05.02.2015

20:45

Fitz Maro (@fitzmaro)

Very cool! What type of software did you create the clickable/interactive 360 panorama with? Cheers!

@Fitz – thanks for leaving a comment and glad you like it. We used a bit of kit called Pano2VR Pro – http://ggnome.com/pano2vr. Thanks, Paul.

@DavidG Hi David – I’m sorry to say they’re nothing more exciting than lamps! Thanks, Ady.

06.02.2015

12:40

Bruce

Fantastic photography from Paul Warwick at the Drawing Office! Guessing that is an awesome piece of kit. Must take a while to create even though so easy to upload to the site 🙂

06.02.2015

13:52

Paul Warwick

@Fitz- Just adding to Paul’s comment, I captured this image with a Canon 500D mounted on a robotic camera mount (60 shots in all). Following a little Photoshop work, these shots were then compiled into the finished panorama using our stitching software.
Incidently, we normally use this equipment to capture extremely detailed images during specialist survey work.

06.02.2015

15:08

Al Punt

At the risk of being too critical myself, and a couple of friends, who also tried out the page had problems in that some of the ‘darkened’ & ‘Frosted”(both) windows never cleared! It spoilt the views I’m afraid. I thought it may have been my PC but as others had the same problem I’m not so sure.
Al Punt

@Al thanks for taking the time to comment. We captured the panoramic photo on what was a fairly sunny day – great for visibility, but it did also mean the tinted blinds were down on some of the windows. Unfortunately this darkens our view in the panorama, but means the controllers don’t get dazzled by the sun!

09.02.2015

12:12

Jeanette Magill

Thanks for that, as I patrol the airport I often wonder what the view is like from up there, if there’s ever a chance to visit I’ll be first in line..

19.02.2015

11:23

pauldrans

Totally amazing… What a great View. Wouldn’t it be great to get a live feed of the airport? Fat chance. Oh well this will have to do.:)

09.04.2015

23:36

Liam H

Next step: A night time version!

11.04.2015

09:59

William

Hello,
when I used to work at the airport back in 2006, when the control tower was being completed, I created a website dedicated to the tower: http://www.heathrow-tower.com
The site does require Macromedia Flash in order to run (it has animation) and requires sound too! There’s quite a bit of info on the site re the details of the tower’s construction….hope it’s of interest!

Best regards,
William Flint

18.04.2015

12:12

Jorge Maceda

Excellent work and the view is fantastic. I wonder if you guys ever take photos or video of the landings and take offs?. I’m a 340 pilot flying very often to LHR, it would be very interesting to get some footage from that location.

02.07.2015

15:41

Monica (@chocolatlatemon)

it’s awesome

12.09.2015

00:09

Adrian

Wonderful! A world away from when I was in Air Traffic Control in the RAF.

01.10.2015

12:27

Bhubalakrishnan

I’m going to visit shortly. Lovely place.


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