Essendon Control Tower - late 1960s
Radar display - fed from Tullamarineairport lighting tell-taleSurface Movement Controller positionCoordinator positionAerodrome Controller position

In September 1967 the original console from the third Melbourne/Essendon Control Tower was replaced and this photograph shows the console as first installed. The current console (2004) and functions are much the same as in this view.

In contrast to the earlier green-painted metal console, this console was wood with pale off-white laminate working surfaces. The bench top was perspex and reference data could be posted on a 'roller-blind' arrangement underneath - the three metal disks controlling the rollers can be seen on the edge of the console facing the camera. The communications circuits were now on modular racks that could be changed much more easily than the previous built-in circuits.

The working positions had changed a bit too. On the left was still the Surface Movement Controller (SMC) with the aerodrome lighting tell-tale. In the middle sat the Coordinator (COORD), responsible for coordination with Approach, which was now radar-based and done from a new Centre up the road at Melbourne/Tullamarine, and on the right was the Aerodrome Controller (ADC). This console notably has a radar display, which was mainly used for monitoring the traffic disposition - separation was (and is) still primarily visual or procedural.

Click here to see the 1956 console.

Click here to see the Tower as it is today.

(Photo: CAHS collection)

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