Prefabricated Visual Control Rooms for Airport Traffic Control Towers
An interview with Peter Deeks, President of AJT Engineering
Why do airports and builders want to use prefabricated Visual Control Rooms on their Airport Traffic Control Towers?
Quality! AJT’s VCRs are 100% complete at the shop by skilled craftsmen with cab construction experience. Once complete the cabin is thoroughly inspected, tested, prepared and shipped. The most important part of the control tower is designed and built by experienced engineers and tradesmen in a controlled environment.
The AJT VCR is designed around the controllers’ duties and accommodates the communications, weather and airfield systems. The cab satisfies authority and regulatory agency requirements. The VCR comes complete with all interior finishes, consoles, glazing, heat and air conditioning, lighting, isolated equipment and standard power circuits, multipoint, building and lightning protection grounding systems and custom proprietary roof top antenna mounting systems.
Is there a schedule benefit to using an AJT cab?
The cab fabrication starts early in the project, delivery is just in time eliminating the event from the critical path. Once the VCR arrives on site and installed on the tower shaft, the shaft is now dried in, allowing trades to complete their systems while being out of the elements. Normally, the tasks finishing the VCR construction is the cause for project delay. Our prefabricated cab eliminates that risk. We estimate a 2 month schedule savings compared to an onsite cab fabrication.
What standards do th e VCRs conform to?
Our cabs conform to both ICAO and FAA standards. We have provided control rooms conforming to different country requirements as well. All of our designs conform to client requirements.
What configuration is the AJT VCR when arriving on site?
Our VCRs arrive in 2 or 3 segments, depending on size, and is accompanied by a container or two which includes pieces to complete the assembly.
How long does it take to complete the onsite assembly?
We complete the assembly within 2 to 3 weeks. This is complete and ready for communications equipment installation, ready to begin operations. We provide two hands-on field technicians that assist in the assembly and direct the labor. Assembly documentation is also provided.
How are the AJT VCRs manufactured?
Our lead designer is the superintendent of the works. His knowledge of the design and knowledge of the trades’ capabilities provides accuracy and the highest quality conforming assemblies. All of the tradesmen are masters in their field to include welders, sheet metal, roofers, plumbers, electricians and carpenters.
Are there standard models?
Our favorite size is 730cm, 8 sided VCR, it is the most efficient floor plan allowing 4 to 6 comfortable controller positions and transportable halves. Most of our clients require a custom size so we are very comfortable with providing any size cab. Our smallest VCR was 488 and our largest 975cm. We prefer a ceiling height of 290cm to ease for over the road transport special permitting.
Who designs your VCRs?
All of our cabs are designed in-house. We have designed over 30 VCRs in various stages. We incorporate all of our lessons learned in every project. We provide an initial analysis of the cab design that might have been provided by the airport or other entities. This analysis checks against requirements and propose recommendations that will enhance the cab. All of AJT designs conform to international and local codes.
Where are AJT Prefabricated VCRs currently installed?
AJT has cabs installed in Freeport and Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, two Egyptian Air Force Bases and the Nouakchott International Airport in Mauritania. We have also provided prefabricated cab designs for four control towers in the United Arab Emirates as well as two US Air Force Bases.
Does AJT provide other airport services?
- Siting – We have completed nine control tower Siting Studies in accordance with the Safety Management System (SMS) which is currently required by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) but not necessarily ICAO. Our siting studies for international projects have provided a mix of FAA and ICAO standards.
- Design – AJT has completed 18 complete control tower designs across the United States. All of these towers have been successfully constructed with minimal change requirements and high praise from all controllers and airport directors.
- Communications and Weather Systems Integration – Our designers have been on site providing communications systems installations gaining invaluable experience on perfecting our designs. AJT also provides complete installation integration of control tower comm and weather sytems to include radios, voice switches, recorders, radar and weather. We partner with Harris, Indra, Park Air, General Dynamics, Jotron, Icom, All Weather, Vaisala and other preferred vendors. AJT also teams with local communications technical firms and train them in the installation and maintenance of the systems to ensure continued reliability of the installation.