London City Airport Operates By Remote Control

London’s City Airport has become the first major commercial airport in the world to become fully remote controlled. Normally, air controllers sit at the top of a tower at the airport. At City Airport they are operating take-offs and landings from 70 miles away. It is the first time remote-control technology is used at a commercial airport.

Air traffic controllers can see everything that happens from 14 cameras that sit atop a 50-m high tower. The cameras record everything that happens on the runways and can be set to pan around and zoom in on certain areas. Controllers also receive weather and aircraft information on their screens .

The technology was developed by a Swedish company and has been tested at Swedish airports. Several backup systems provide security in case the something goes wrong with the main computers. British authorities claim that the new technology is safe and will make operating an airport more efficient.

Aerial view of London City Airport
Ercan KarakaƟ (GFDL or GFDL), via Wikimedia Commons

Words

  • aircraft = airplane
  • air traffic controller = someone whose job it is to give instructions to pilots by radio
  • atop = on top of
  • authorities = the people or organizations in control of something
  • backup systems = computers that start working when the main computers are damaged or don’t work the way they should
  • claim = to say that something is true
  • commercial = used by businesses, not military or private
  • develop = make something new for the first time
  • efficient = to work in a better way
  • fully = completely
  • major = important
  • pan around = to move around and follow an object
  • provide = give
  • receive = get
  • remote-controlled = operating or working on something from a distance
  • security = things that are done to protect something
  • set = here: instructed, programmed
  • several = here: a few

Portugal Opens World’s Longest Suspension Bridge

The world’s longest pedestrian bridge opened on Sunday in Arouca, in northern Portugal. The suspension bridge spans 516 meters across a canyon of the Paiva river. It hangs on steel cables connected to two massive towers. Tourists who walk on the bridge can watch the fast-moving river over 170 meters below them.

The mayor of Arouca hopes the new bridge will be an additional attraction to the Arouca Geopark, a region where tourists experience all kinds of outdoor adventures, including hiking , rafting, biking and other activities.

The bridge cost 2.3 million euros and was completed in 2 years. The previous record for the longest pedestrian suspension bridge was held by Randa in the Swiss Alps.

Arouca Geopark in Northern Portugal
Ricardo Oliveira, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Words

  • additional = extra
  • canyon = deep valley with very steep sides that has a river running at the bottom
  • completed = finished
  • experience = here: something great that happens to you
  • hiking = taking walks in the mountains
  • massive = very large and heavy
  • mayor = person who is the head of a city
  • pedestrian= someone who is walking
  • previous = earlier, up to now
  • rafting = travelling in a raft on a fast-moving river
  • span = distance from one side to the other
  • steel = very strong metal
  • suspension bridge = bridge that hangs from heavy steel ropes that are connected to towers

Vespa Celebrates 75th Birthday

The Vespa, one of the most iconic motorcycles in history, is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Since the first motorbike left the northern Italian production site in Pontedera, Italy over 19million scooters have been sold, almost 2 million in the past decade alone.

Over the years, the Vespa has become a symbol of freedom and culture for millions of people. Sold in 83 countries on all continents, it is a global brand that represents Italian technology.

For its 75th birthday Vespa has announced the production of a special anniversary series.

1964 Vespa
hongsta, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Words

  • anniversary = birthday
  • announce = to officially say something
  • decade = ten years
  • global brand = an object that people know all over the world
  • iconic = famous and admired