Perth - Second Control Tower & Fire Station

The second Control Tower at Perth's Guildford airport was built in time for the Perth Commonwealth Games in November-December 1962. As was the fashion of the time, the complex also incorporated a new Airport Fire Station. The Tower/Fire Station was initially in an ideal location on the western side of the aerodrome between the main apron and the main north-south Runway 02/20 - see the aerodrome diagram below, dating from 23 May 1974. Later on the location of the complex became a bit of a problem as very large aircraft (e.g. Boeing 747) did not have enough room to taxy between the complex and the terminal. Click here to see some aerial photos and read more about this.

When this Tower was first opened, Area and Approach control (all procedural) was done from the Tower, in addition to Aerodrome control. The console was laid out as follows, from left to right: SMC + Area ; COORD + Area COORD ; ADC + APP. The Tower had a Semi-Automatic Altitude Assignment Board although it wasn't used as Approach and Area was done in the Tower!

In 1970, the Western Australian nickel boom took off around Meekatharra and the Murchison. Retired Controller Geoff Goodall remembers that Perth "went mad with light twins". That year a radar control position was established at the new radar head at nearby Kalamunda and a new console was installed in the Tower. Initially the radar controller only worked specific separation problems assigned by Approach or Area.


In 1972 Approach and Area were relocated from the Tower to a new AACC nearby. In 1973 an additional radar console was added at Kalamunda, and dedicated radar Approach and Arrivals positions were established. Geoff Goodall remembers that this was partly to facilitate noise abatement.The outer Area sectors were still done procedurally from the AACC.

This Tower was vacated when the current Tower was opened in 1986, although the Fire Station continued in use. The photos on this page were taken on 19 May 2010. The vehicles parked at the Fire Station are Rosenbauer Panther Mk 8 ULFVs.




(Photos: Phil Vabre / Aerodrome diagram: CAHS collection)

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