Air Traffic Control Evaluation Unit, later Air Traffic Management Development Centre), Bournemouth Airport

The ATCEU tie


the measuring scales representing evaluation though scientific methodology, measurement and analysis

The ATCEU succeeded the former Air Traffic Control Experimental Unit.

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ATCXU had been located at Heathrow whilst the ATCEU located into the new facility at Hurn that also accommodated the School, later College, of Air Traffic Control. The ATCEU had numerous roles including both real time and fast time airspace simulation, air traffic control procedures and software development and ATC radar calibration. The large real time simulation facilities were frequently used for training too, including pre validiaty training for LATCC West Drayton and North Sea Sector relocation.


although labelled LATCC in the archive this is almost certainly the ATCEU operations room in use for LATCC pre-validity or “Mediator” training.

Below is a slide show of the upstairs ops room in use for a large scale CCF simulation

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1988 Oct, final Mediator course CATC Copy

EU2a from Dave Wilton

This was taken during the final LATCC Mediator Course at Hurn.  On the left are Ross Lawson and Trace Carvall, in the centre are myself (seated) and Bill Hastings (standing).  Of the others to the right, the only names I can remember are Jane Wagland (in rugby shirt) and Bill Pell (standing to her right).  1988 was a vintage year in that I was treated to two free meals by LATCC management, one in Watton celebrating the closure of Eastern Radar and the other in Bournemouth for being on the last Mediator Course!!

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the data preparation area in the Ops room printing flight progress strIps and loading the flight progress strip holders for distribution onto the sectors

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Trevor Hocking and Geoff Arch designed, and Geoff built this fps strip loader at ATCEU


pseudo pilot input to the simulator

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the ATCEU computer ops room

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Operational Controllers assist with the development of the new £21 million Central Control Function (CCF) during a simulation exercise at the Air Traffic Control Evaluation Unit. Using prototypes of the new vertical control suites, the ATCOs are carrying out trials of the new procedures and of the system that is planned to handle the increases in air traffic in the 1990s.

EU9 – this is an APC (TC) picture – small strips. John Baker

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a VIP visit to the ATCEU upper operations room which is configured for CCF trials. Centre is the minister Cecil Parkinson, on the right, facing left is the CAA chairman Christopher Tugenhat. Boss of the ATCEO Paddy Pollock is in front of and to the left of the Chairman. The three controllers are all ATCEU controllers, from left to right Mike Bowler, Alistair McLean, John Levesley.

and some more views of the ops room configured for CCF trials

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in the blue shirt on the left is Kevin Glanville. Is the guy standing with the white shirt Rob Herron?


EU10a John Levesley flying the mahogany (well oak actually) bomber as project manager for trial EU694/2 CCF5 in January 1990


EU10b one of the ATCEU scientific team that provided the range of required specialist analytical and human factors skills, Richard (?)

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The crew chief is Pip Stolle (?)

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Steve Thorogood is the radar man to the left of Dennis Sergeant (in jacket) from the LATCC training section. Glo Thorogood

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These photos were included in the ATCEU file but the equipment fit and room features suggest they are at West Drayton after  pre-validity training was transferred back there.

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In the new downstairs ops room was the simulator built to support the New En-Route Centre (NERC) project ATC development simulation programme. ATCEU ATCO project manager Peter McKinnon explains the system and functions to visitors

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John Levesley testing the interface on a feed sector.

ATCEU brochure 1988

ATMDC Brochure 1996

Following NATS privatisation the CAA Chief Scientist’s Department was transferred to NATS and some of the work carried out in London and at RSRE Malvern was relocated to Hurn and to acknowledge the wider brief of the site it was renamed the Air Traffic Management Development Centre.

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the old ATCEU had acquired a new North Wing and as part of that redevelopment a new expanded Library was provided

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here is Christine Tucker the Chief Librarian

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Peter Pennie in the reading room

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on the right, Ron Pearsall one of the team working on Automatic Dependent Surveillance


Chris Townend (foreground) with visitors to the ADS room at Hurn. Gary College (standing) second from left.


EU25a another view of Chris (Kit) Townend working on the ADS project

below is a picture of the ADS surveillance monitor

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two aircraft are being tracked in real time from Bournemouth, a British Airways flight over the Sahara and an Air France flight south of the Caspian Sea.


ADS article

EU26a ADS article

Below ATCEU and ATMDC hosted a NATS radar calibration team.

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here is Brian Crouch

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Chris Lewis and Archie MacIntyre

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and some of the track plots used to evaluate the radar’s performance

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the radar calibration team on Field Trials at LATCC (West Drayton)

Brian Crouch on left – John A Baker

5 thoughts on “Air Traffic Control Evaluation Unit, later Air Traffic Management Development Centre), Bournemouth Airport”

  1. EU2a-I think that is Stephen Danson of 60 course on the far right. Oh what a time we had on that last mediator course at Hurn


  2. Picture EU24 with Ron Pearsall is Dave Ferguson as well as the other picture ‘Double Achievement’ which looks to be from an old ‘Airway’ magazine article.


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