The Project

As part of Onelink Electrical’s 6 month contract for EMCOR at NATS (National Air Traffic Services) Swanwick, the work required included the preparation, build and installation of power and data to all of the new desks in the Combined Operations Room. Other work includes the new system install in the Temporary Operations Room of new Harris Voice Communication and Rohde and Schwarz equipment.


With air traffic forecast to grow significantly over the next decade and ongoing pressures to improve environmental performance and reduce costs whilst maintaining safety, we need to change the way we manage air traffic in the UK. One part of this is updating the airspace structures which were designed half a century ago. Another important part is modernising the tools and technologies we use to manage traffic using that airspace. We are in the middle of a major investment programme that will do exactly this providing us with the systems, technologies and processes we will need to meet growing demand and support the UK aviation industry in the decades to come.

It is a big shift too, not just in the tools we use but also in the way we work. This requires flexibility as we move from an asset-focused model with a lot of investment and focus on developing and maintaining bespoke assets, to the kind of service-oriented approach that you find in many other high-tech industries such as banking, insurance and logistics, where we can adapt and respond more nimbly to customer requirements.

One important aspect of this change is the creation of a Combined Operations Room at our Swanwick Centre, bringing together in a single physical location two operations that have previously been separate: London Area Control, which manages high level airspace over much of England and Wales and London Terminal Control, which manages flights on approach to and departure from the airports in and around London.

As a team we laid 270km of data cabling, 15km of power cabling, over 5000 network termination points and installed desks for more than 260 of our future controller workstations. This project was made possible with investment from the European Union via their Connecting Europe fund.

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