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Stansted Airport staff pay tribute to NHS with message on air traffic control tower

The air traffic control tower at Stansted Airport became a beacon of support for the NHS and key workers.

A giant projection onto the 63m (206ft) structure was captured on camera by a drone as the nation took to its doorsteps once again to clap for carers on Thursday evening (May 21).

The concept was conjured up by Ross Barker, from Stansted's airfield operations team, and Matthew Silcock, from air navigation service provider NATS. It appeared on the tower from 8.30pm until just before midnight.

The air traffic control tower at Stansted Airport (35104937)
The air traffic control tower at Stansted Airport (35104937)

Ross said: "The NHS is something very close to my heart. I thought it would be really nice to illuminate one of the airport's most iconic buildings with a tribute to the country's brave NHS workers, carers and key workers to recognise their fantastic efforts and say a big thank you from everyone at Stansted Airport."

Outdoor projection company EMF Technology, based in Basingstoke, Hampshire, produced the visual while Great Dunmow photographer Paul Hinwood captured the moment using a drone which had special permission to fly near the airport.

"It took a lot of hard work to organise, but it was a great team effort," said Ross. "I'd like to say a huge thank you to NATS Stansted, EMF Technology and Paul Hinwood for making it happen."

The air traffic control tower at Stansted Airport (35104942)
The air traffic control tower at Stansted Airport (35104942)

This is the second tribute Ross has organised at the airport. In April, he arranged a giant 'Thank You NHS' message to be painted on its main taxiways next to the runway.

Stansted's chief operating officer, Steve Griffiths, said: "The whole country has come together to recognise the fantastic efforts being made by our brave and brilliant NHS and healthcare workers in the tireless fight against Covid-19. As part of that tribute, colleagues working at the airport join the weekly Clap for Carers applause, but Ross has gone that bit further and created a special thank you message on the airfield and last night on the control tower, which looked absolutely incredible.

"Both were brilliant ideas and a very fitting way for the airport to say an even bigger thank you to all those NHS staff working so hard to protect us all at this time of immense difficulty and challenge for them personally."

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