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London Heathrow to introduce AI-controlled runways

January 24, 2019 / Efe Otokiti

London Heathrow airport has announced that it will be building a £2.5m ($3.2m) "digital tower laboratory" to help air traffic controllers land more planes. The new lab will be part of the airport's planned £17bn ($22bn) expansion. The tower lab will utilize 20 ultra-high definition 4K cameras, along with AI technology, to help flight controllers navigate planes to runways during times of low visibility. The most common cause of flight delays and disruptions are low visibility caused by bad weather conditions which end up leaving controllers reliant on less efficient radar systems. Speaking about the airport's choice to begin incorporating more innovations in technology to counteract the airport's capacity problems, Kathryn Leahy, director of operations at Heathrow Airport said: "We'll be keeping a close eye on this trial, as the technology could have a major role as we prepare for the expanded airport.