Starting tomorrow, the sectors that control Heathrow, Gatwick and the airspace to the South and South-East of these airports will switch over to EXCDS. This is obviously a particularly busy area of airspace, covering the approach function for the UK’s two busiest airports.

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Back in November 2017, we started transitioning controllers in our London Terminal Control Centre from a system of paper strips to a new electronic flight strips tool called EXCDS. It’s vital that we prepare ourselves for the significant growth in air travel that’s forecast for the years ahead and we need new tools, such as EXCDS, to help us do that.

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Last month my colleague Chris Edwards talked about the transition that’s under way in our London Terminal Control room, where we’re introducing a new digital tool called EXCDS to replace the paper strips currently used by Controllers.

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The airspace above London and the South East is some of the busiest and most complex in the world, so it might come as a surprise to know that a core part of the way air traffic is managed in this airspace currently still relies on pen and paper…

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