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HISTORY of Portishead
|Remotely-controlled receivers and receiving aerials, located at Somerton, were utilised for all services, resulting in the dismantling of the receiving aerials at Highbridge.|
The old operating rooms were demolished, creating space for administration offices and stores.
1985 saw the opening of a new aircraft service, providing world-wide 'phone patch' and flight information services. This service proved so popular that many land-based industries based in remote locations in Africa used the 'aero' frequencies, culminating in the opening of the Gateway service, which continues to flourish to this day. Relief agencies, military units, embassies, and industries still use the service, which acts as a lifeline to those located in countries where normal landline links are poor or non-existent.
By the end of the 1980s, satellite communications were making significant inroads into Portishead's traffic figures. It became clear that a severe rationalisation programme was necessary in order for the station to remain viable, which resulted in the closure of the transmitter sites at Leafield and Ongar. The number of operating consoles was reduced in line with the decline in radio traffic, and the number of staff employed fell proportionally.