I retired as an air traffic controller at Luton Airport in 2007 after 40 years and I have been involved in Air Displays and Special Events for about 30 years.
I have helped organise and run more than 20 air displays and special events each year. At other times I am bird watching and taking photographs and obsessing about my family history.
My other interests are computers, classical music and opera, cooking, food, wine and anything else that is interesting.
I joined Luton ATC as an Air Traffic Control Assistant in 1967, becoming an ATCO in 1971; I qualified in approach radar in 1973.
I spent 25 years providing Luton Radar and was a Watch Manager between 1985 and 1992, becoming Manager ATC in 1992. Between 1994 and 1996 I was also directly responsible for Aerodrome Operations reporting to the Chief Executive. In 1992/93 I oversaw the construction and introduction into service of the new air traffic control tower at Luton Airport, the first in the UK subject to a Safety Case.
I have written a number of other System Safety Cases including those for new Approach Control Room, new Radar Displays and Aerodrome Ground Lighting. I was also author of an Airspace Change Proposal for new controlled airspace to the west of Luton.
I was Luton Airport’s Year 2000 Compliance Manager.
In 2000 I took Luton ATC into National Air Traffic Services when the airport decided to contract us out. Once within NATS I elected to stay at Luton as a tower-only ATCO. I was a co-author of the Unit Safety Case.
I completely re-programmed the Simtac ATC simulator enabling Luton to start to use it again for training and TRUCE (TRaining in Unusual Circumstances and Emergencies). When it was decided to introduce Electronic Flight Progress Strips into Luton I wrote the Simtac exercises used to train all the Luton ATCOs. I also managed the ATC Roster and Leave Planner.
Since the early 90s I have had an active interest in air displays and special events, volunteering in my own time. In 2007 I retired from NATS to pursue my interests in this area.
I have direct experience of the following:
- Aerodrome Safeguarding
- Aeronautical Ground Lighting inc that required for Cat II/III operations
- Airspace Change Proposal
- ATC Simulators
- Category II/III operations
- Electronic Flight Progress Strips
- Flight Data Processing
- ‘Green field’ ATC Validations
- Low Visibility Procedures
- New air traffic control tower – construction oversight and introduction into service
- Post-aircraft accident and incident management
- Reduced runway distances
- Runway resurfacing
- Safety Management Systems and Safety Cases
- Setting up temporary aeronautical radio stations
- Snow and ice clearing operations
- Temporary taxiways during construction of a vehicle tunnel underneath