Commercial \ Combined Air Traffic Control Remote Surveillance Facility, Inverness Airport

The project was never submitted for planning permission. Unbuilt.

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL), operate almost all of the small airports in the north of Scotland. Many of these have their own air traffic controllers and this project responded to the latest technology, whereby a controller can be remote from the airfield, and operate visually, using cameras and 270 degree ‘wraparound’ projection screens in the control room.  Controllers and control would therefore be progressively centralised in Inverness. This would be both more efficient and allow for greater supervision of the controllers and is a system which is already in place in other countries. Our project as a sub-consultant to Arcadis engineers, was to convert an office building in Inverness, but this has now been shelved. However, before that point we took the initiative to imagine what a purpose-built facility might look like and sited it at HIAL owned land at Inverness Airport.

This was an opportunity to give HIAL a building which exactly matched their brief as opposed to the considerable compromises necessary to place them in the former office building. In addition, it probably would have been a less expensive option than the conversion project. Our proposal consists of a double-height control room, including a supervisor’s mezzanine looking down at the controllers, a board room which looks down at the control room and can be used both for visitors and emergencies, offices, social facilities for staff, and a very large plant room for the miscellaneous electrical equipment required. The control room and plant room were capable of being simultaneously extended if the number of airports in the scheme expanded and there was a need for more controllers. The building was made from a repetitive steel frame structure for speed of construction, no wet trades, substantial glazing to the north and a huge area of PV panels to the south to assist with the considerable electrical load the building would require.

Architects Richard Murphy, Graeme Armet, James Cockburn, Calum Dalgetty
Engineers Arcadis 
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