Melbourne Towers - 2013

Airservices Australia's new Control Tower (right) at Melbourne/Tullamarine Airport was officially opened on 14 March 2014. The photo above, taken from near the threshold of Runway 09 on 7 August 2013, gives an excellent impression of just how much larger and taller the new Tower is compared with the original Tower which dates from the late 1960s. The new Tower was completed but not yet fully operational at the time. The official Airservices media release for the official opening read as follows:

Airservices new air traffic controller tower at Melbourne Airport was officially opened today by Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss, and Airservices Chair Angus Houston AC, AFC (Ret’d).

The new tower is Airservices fourth air traffic control tower to be equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology.

Airservices Chief Executive Officer, Margaret Staib said, “Airservices is committed to using the latest technology to safely and efficiently manage the movement of passenger aircraft across the country.

“Moving from the traditional paper-based system to a new digital system will help to enhance our service delivery in Melbourne,” Ms Staib said.

The new Melbourne tower stands 75 metres high and came at a cost of $19 million.

The 360 degree tower cabin, mirrors the ‘glass cockpit’ concept of a modern jet aircraft and is the largest cabin to date in an Australian tower.

The tower features 28 customised touch screens to provide information to air traffic controllers to perform operational tasks. The display system integrates flight and operational data, surveillance and voice communications into one, sophisticated tower-specific design.

“The design and location of the new tower takes into account existing and future development at the airport and enhances our capability, ensuring that we are well placed to meet anticipated growth into the future,” Ms Staib said.

An estimated 2600 cubic metres of concrete was used for the construction of the tower with more concrete being poured and laid below ground than is visible above ground.

The foundation will help keep the tower stable in inclement weather with the tower able to withstand winds in excess of 200 km/h.


The photo below of the old Tower cab from the new Tower, taken on 20 October 2013, also emphasises the dramatic height difference between the two Towers. Note the rotating aerodrome beacon on the Tower roof.




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(Photos: Phil Vabre)

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