New Radar Consoles at Malta International Airport

 In News

Thinking Space have recently completed the installation of new radar consoles at Malta International Airport.

After meeting at ATC Global in 2012, Thinking Space were awarded the contract to design, manufacture and install the new radar consoles for clients, Malta Air Traffic Services. They were to upgrade their ATC operations room which involved the updating of their ATM system. This in turn required a great deal of planning so that operations remained active with no loss of service. So a “shadow mode” was planned, in phases, where both ATM systems would be run at the same time.

However, after some initial designs and consultations between both parties, it was realised that rather than having a number of workstations dotted around the Ops Room, a single hexagonal console design wrapping around the room was a better solution. This would create better co-ordination between the teams of operators, positioned so that those teams who needed to communicate with each other had the ability to do so. Its design within the room limited distractions by other teams and sound absorbing privacy screens were added to the rear of the consoles to limit noise and distractions from staff passing around the room. Some of the features of the consoles included footrests, PIP panels, VCCS mounts, sliding printer shelves and an array of Novus monitor mounts and LED task lights.

After a detailed Factory Acceptance Test in September 2013, where a team from MATS visited the factory to see the assembled consoles in entirety, the consoles were then broken down into partial elements and exported to Malta.  After the completion of phase 3 of the clients’ ATM system project in May 2017, the Thinking Space installation team headed out to Malta to reassemble the consoles, working 12 hour days to minimise the transition period. The beauty of a Thinking Space console is that it is easily reassembled, even after a number of years being in storage, thanks to the aluminium profile system used as the basis of all furniture builds.

With the new OPS Room now fully commissioned and active, its operators have positive feedback for how teamwork ensured project success. “The MATS team performed all the necessary preparatory work prior to the arrival of TS personnel. This included the reinforcement of the false flooring, reorganising of the cable tray system, the upgrade of the electrical supply distribution and the design of the console footprint that permitted the cutting of holes in the false flooring for cable entry. A team from MATS continuously supported Thinking Space personnel during the installation process” explained Frankie  Dimech, Senior Head Technical Services at Malta Air Traffic Services. “The transition process was fully coordinated with TS personnel and this facilitated simultaneous installation processes thereby reducing significantly the installation and testing execution times. The process turned out to be a success story thanks to the effort from all parties and the excellent teamwork. This was something that was noticed and appreciated by the MATS operational section who enjoyed their new environment”.

For the full story with photographs, read our case study


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