FAQ – Dundee ATC position in ATMS Transition Plan

Dundee, as part of the ATMS Programme, presents a challenge in defining the most appropriate solution for Air Navigation Services.  Dundee has the highest number of aircraft movements of any airport in the Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) group. However, apart from a small number of scheduled flights the majority of aircraft operating at Dundee are general aviation, training and charter flights.

Additionally, given the complexity and density of traffic in the Dundee area, it will not be possible to provide an Air Traffic Control (ATC) service from a single combined aerodrome and approach radar position in the new Combined Surveillance Centre (CSC).  Dundee will require a two-controller position operation i.e., a remote tower and an approach radar position, similar to Inverness and Sumburgh.

In order to deliver services from these two positions, an increase in staff will be required, from the seven in the current operation, to 14 in the CSC.
The introduction of controlled airspace at Dundee remains a significant challenge, due to the busy and complex airspace in the region, the number of other airports in operation nearby and the volume of General Aviation (GA) traffic.

Due to the nature of the operation at Dundee, the Board agreed that it should be the final airport to transition to the CSC. This will allow time to assess the optimum operating model.

Q. What are the long-term plans for Dundee Airport?
A. Dundee is an integral part of the ATMS Programme, albeit that it will be the last airport to transition.  The Board is fully committed to increasing passenger numbers for scheduled flights at Dundee and welcomes the new Public Service Obligation (PSO). This demonstrates the ongoing commitment and public funding to support the operation.

HIAL will work closely with Dundee City Council and Loganair to promote the new routes, particularly amongst the business community.  We will also explore different operating models to ensure the longevity and commercial success of the airport.

Q. Will a surveillance service be introduced for Dundee Airport?
A. A feasibility study, completed by Osprey Consultants Ltd., has explored a number of options for service provision and examined the technical, operational, infrastructural, airspace and business aspects of the proposal. We will consider all opportunities the study presents.

Q. Will controlled airspace be introduced at Dundee Airport?
A. To meet our stated business need and to comply with future legislation around controlled airspace being mandatory at ATC airports, it is our intention to introduce controlled airspace around Dundee Airport.

To this end, consultation will kick off in 2020, commencing with the Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) process. However, significant challenges exist due to the busy and complex airspace in the region, the number of other airports in operation nearby and the volume of GA traffic.