Barrie Slingo ( - )
Barrie Slingo

Barrie Slingo

(Photo: via Barrie Slingo)



Barrie Slingo retired in January 2018 after a distinguished 50 year career primarily in the Australian aviation industry, working with Australian government departments and as a private consultant.

Barrie undertook primary, secondary and tertiary education in Castlemaine, Victoria, gaining a Diploma of Electrical Engineering before taking up a position of Electrical Engineer Class 1 in Melbourne with the then Postmaster Generals Department in 1957.  Barrie continued with his education in electrical and mechanical engineering at Melbourne University, RMIT and Swinburne University of Technology before undertaking taking additional studies in economics and business administration at Monash University, graduating with a Master of Business Administration.
In 1960, he gained promotion to a Sectional Airways Engineer position with the then Department of Civil Aviation. Over the next 25 years he was employed in, and promoted to, various positions within DCA and its successor Departments, including:

  • Electrical design engineer for airways facilities at Australian airports;
  • Project Engineer/Project Manager for the installation of airways facilities at the new Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport;
  • Sectional Airways Engineer, Papua New Guinea Region responsible for the installation and maintenance of all electrical and mechanical airways facilities in PNG;
  • In 1968, awarded a 12 month Confederation of British Industry Scholarship to undertake studies of airport lighting and power supply systems for airways facilities in the United Kingdom. This secondment was supported by DCA and included working with the British Airports Authority, Heathrow, Gatwick, Farnborough and Bedford airports and with various private companies that provided engineering contract services to the BAA;
  • Project Manager/Engineer for the installation of night landing facilities in Papua New Guinea;
  • Principal Engineer, marine navigational aids. At this stage, DCA had been incorporated into the Department of Transport and this was a 2 year posting to broaden knowledge and experience of Departmental facilities;
  • Chief Electrical Engineer, Airways Facilities – technical point of reference and responsible for standards relevant to the planning, development, installation, operation and maintenance of all airport lighting and electrical engineering services associated with airways facilities;
  • Chief Airways Engineer, Airways Facilities Maintenance responsible for the maintenance standards associated with all Departmental airways facilities. The duties associated with this position also included:
    • representing the Department as Technical Advisor at Arbitration Court hearings; and
    • Airways Technical Advisor to the newly independent country of Papua New Guinea; and
  • Member of expert panel providing advice to the Australian government on the awarding of government contracts for the provision of aerial coastal surveillance contracts; and
  • Assistant Secretary Airways Facilities Branch, responsible for the planning, development, installation, operation and maintenance of all Departmental airways facilities.

In 1984, following the transfer of the Airways Facilities Branch from Melbourne to Canberra, Barrie was promoted to the positions of Regional Manager, Defence Contracting Office and Regional Secretary, Department of Defence, Melbourne. In 1988, he resigned from the Commonwealth Public Service and established his own aviation consulting company providing engineering and project management consulting services to government Departments and private companies. Among the many organizations that Barrie provided aviation consulting services were:

  • Department of Transport;
  • Airservices Australia;
  • Civil Aviation Safety Authority;
  • Bureau of Meteorology;
  • Air Traffic and Navigation Services Co., South Africa;
  • Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia;
  • The Ambidji Group Pty Ltd; and
  • Landrum & Brown Worldwide Aviation Services Co.

In summary, Barrie has worked on or at most registered and certified airports in Australia and has an extensive knowledge of airport lighting, airways facilities and associated power supply systems. After more than 50 years involvement in the aviation industry, which in addition to his Australian experience, has involved working in many countries including England, South Africa, Germany, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, Barrie is enjoying a well earned retirement. He still maintains a keen interest in the aviation industry and is a member of the Civil Aviation Historical Society and is contributing to the Society’s extensive knowledge of airport lighting systems and airways facilities power supply systems.

Back to the Airways Museum Volunteers page

Back to the main Departmental People Index

If this page does not have menu bars at top and left, click here