Air traffic control display screen at West Drayton, London, July 1992.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The display shows air traffic around Heathrow airport. The two parallel lines show the airport's main runways. The surrounding zones indicate the approach radar areas and Gatwick Airport to the south. In 1962 RAF West Drayton became the main air traffic control facility handling civil and military flights over southern England. This role was taken over by a new purpose-built air traffic control centre at Swanwick, Hampshire in 2002. It is estimated that in 2003, air traffic controllers will have to be responsible for the movements of two million flights per year in UK airspace.