Brisbane Control Tower Construction - 1980s

The current (new) Brisbane Airport is built on land reclaimed from flood plains and mangrove swamps. The Airport's Control Tower is 75m high in order to provide Controllers with an adequate view over the sprawling airport.


Such a tall Tower on relatively unstable land required good foundations. These consist of a large number of piles driven deep into the soft upper soil, linking to what amounts to a large concrete ball that 'floats' just beneath the surface. This can be seen in the photo above, taken during the Tower's construction in the 1980s. The piles act to stabilise the Tower against toppling over.

The piling system can be seen in the advertisement at left by John Wagstaff Constructions. Balken is a Swedish company that developed this particular piling system.

Construction commenced in 1985 and this Tower opened for business along with the New Airport in March of 1988, although Qantas had been given special permission to use the new runway for its Boeing 747-238 service to Hong Kong since 30 November 1987. The operation was limited to Qantas and daylight only, and was permitted because takeoffs on the old runway were payload-limited


Click here to see more photos of this Tower

Click here to see inside this Tower


(Photos: CAHS collection. Ad: The Aviation Institute Journal, Vol 1 No 2, May-July 1983/CAHS collection)



Brisbane Tower

Back to the main Air Traffic Services index

If this page appears without menu bars at top and left, click here