The use of the phonetic spelling alphabet – Alfa, Bravo, Charlie etc – is a common sound in air traffic control towers and centres around the world, but where did it come from and why does everyone use the same one?
On 24 June 1948, ground access to the French, British and American zones of Berlin was cut off by the Soviet forces in East Germany. On 26 June, the first airlift flights departed for West Berlin. Over the following fourteen months over two million people were supplied with food, medicine, clothing, fuel, water and any other necessities by air.
Since April this year the Harrier has been absent in order to be stripped down and repainted to ensure its continued preservation. It returned to Swanwick last weekend, resuming its place as the RAF(U) Swanwick Gate Guardian, only a few weeks after its 45th birthday.
The display at the National Museum of Computing has a controller workstation from the 1980’s alongside a state of the art simulation of systems from the Swanwick Centre and a busy airport tower. We’ve added some historical artefacts and a timeline of NATS linkages with Bletchley Park to celebrate our joint heritage. If you are interested in computers or air traffic control, the museum is an excellent day out and if you visit I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together.
Time at Bletchley, whether as a resident apprentice or a course attendee, is considered to be a formative time in an engineer’s life.
NATS College of Telecommunications Engineering not only trained apprentices, but also provided continuing professional development for existing staff and other companies or countries wishing to take advantage of the comprehensive technical facilities.
A new NATS exhibition space in the National Museum of Computing will open in April 2015.
Take a trip down memory lane and read all about the colourful history of Prestwick Control Centre with this amazing timeline, which details the most significant milestones from 1939 to the present day, featuring some mesmerising photographs.
We’ve been delving through the archives and uncovered some great old photographs of air traffic control at Heathrow in the 1940s and 50s. We thought you might like to see them.