Essendon Control Tower - Late 1950s

The 'new' Essendon Control Tower shortly before it opened in 1956. On the left sat the Surface Movement Controller
with a tell-tale of the airport layout and control over the airport lighting. In the middle was the Coordinator, and on the right the Aerodrome Controller. The dials provide, among other things, a readout of wind speed and direction, and of QNH.

The console was of mainly blue-green painted metal construction with built-in communications circuits.

Note the light gun hanging from the roof - light signals to no-radio aircraft were still very much a part of daily life. Light guns are still present in all control towers today, but they are generally for emergency use only.

Click here to see the 1970s console.


The 'new' Essendon Tower in service in 1957. The controllers are L-R: Bill Barnfield, Norm Burge and John Lauder.

Southern Airlines' De Havilland Dove VH-GVE sits on the apron outside, whilst across the field can be just seen some wartime hangars that were built on the south side of the reservior. These hangars were later demolished and the area became the site for the airport fire station.

Click here to see some superb colour photos taken inside the Tower in 1963

Read a 1956 press release about this Tower.

Click here to see an external shot of the Tower as it is today.

(Photos: CAHS collection)

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