Devonport Flight Service Unit - 1975

Devonport, Tasmania, Flight Service Unit (FSU), AFTN address 'AMDVYSYX', photographed in August 1975. As with many (but not all) outstation FSUs, Devonport FSU was housed in a control tower-like structure with a view of the airport movement area. The FSU was responsible for providing a traffic and flight information service to all traffic, both VFR and IFR, operating within the Aerodrome Flight Information Zone (AFIZ) which extended out to 15 NM from the aerodrome.

To the left of the photo below can just be seen the corner of the briefing counter where pilots could obtain a face-to-face briefing. In the centre of the space is a teleprinter on which flight plans, aircraft movement messages, weather information and NOTAMs would appear. The seated Flight Service Officer (FSO) has in front of him the traditional single-bay, time-ordered display of flight progress strips.

At this time Devonport was served by parallel RPT services by Trans Australia Airlines and Ansett Airlines using Fokker F27s. On the tarmac in this photograph, however, is Departmental F27 VH-TFE. Unlike the Department's two other F27s, VH-CAV and VH-CAT, VH-TFE was not fitted for flight survey work and was mainly used for crew training and general transport duties.

Devonport FSU closed in about 1990 as part of a programme of consolidating outstation functions into capital city Centres. Satellite communications technology meant the AFIZ became a remote AFIZ. With the first stage of the 'AMATS' airspace changes in 1993, all services within the AFIZ were withdrawn and it became a Mandatory Traffic Advisory Frequency (MTAF), later Mandatory Broadcast Zone (MBZ), within which aircraft were required to self-announce by radio. In 2004 as part of the NAS 2c changes the MBZ was renamed a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (Radio required), or CTAF(R).



(Photos: CAHS collection)

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