As I am sure you are aware the airport management at Cranfield have been developing the facilities over the past couple of years and that this process has resulted in some disruption to our operations. More recently, the airport has been implementing a project called ‘Digital Tower’ where the ATC operation is removed from the present tower to a remote location, not in direct site of the runways and taxiways. Visual work is to be carried out by a number of cameras located at key points around the airport. To operate and get this approved by the CAA, as you can imagine, requires some intensive training of our ATC staff and this is about to start (20th October). To minimise the disruption the airport has informed us of two key changes that we will need to abide by until the new tower and staff is fully operational. Firstly, from the 20th October until probably the end of the year (maybe longer) the airport will be closed at weekends. Secondly, there will be a strict implementation of a 24 hour advance notice PPR system for all movements. Any departure slots which are more than 30 minutes later than agreed in the PPR will be deemed to have expired. Late changes may be permitted for, say, weather, but this cannot be guaranteed.
We are obviously disappointed at the disruption that this will cause to some peoples training. The airport have tried to minimise this, by doing this over the winter months etc. However, if this causes anyone particular difficulties then please let us know and we will see if we can find some workarounds. For those of you who have booked weekends we will try to find slots during the week if you can do this. For everyone training or hiring during the week, please make sure you book your slots with the tower at least 24 hours in advance and then do your utmost to adhere to the agreed timing. If you are late then the likelihood is that you will lose your slot.