Rockhampton Airport and Control Tower - 1970s


At the time of its final transmission, 'Rocky Tower' was one of the oldest Control Towers still in use in Australia, having been opened in 1961. It was replaced by a new Tower, opened in March 2013. At the time of opening, the old Tower was one of 28 Control Towers operated by DCA in Australia and Papua & New Guinea. In addition to Aerodrome Control, Rocky Tower also provided procedural Approach and Area Control services. Navigation aids were VAR, NDB and DME(A).

The photos above (and zoomed in below) were taken in the 1970s and show Rockhampton Tower and the associated Terminal and Operations building from landside. Work on this building complex was commenced in 1959 and the Terminal opened for traffic on 15 April 1961. At the same time, the original wartime runway was lengthened and strengthened. The total cost of the works was £324,000. During the War an Aeradio station had been established at Rockhampton, and this continued as Flight Service until 1992. From 1961 the FSU was accommodated in the Operations building.



Rocky Tower and Passenger Terminal seen from airside, below, in the 1970s. The aircraft is TAA Douglas DC-9-31 VH-TJO William Wentworth. This aircraft was delivered to TAA in July 1969 and remained in this livery until December 1981. Retired by TAA in 1986, it was sold to the USA and continuted operating until 2000. It was finally scrapped in July 2002.



The panorama image below shows the Rockhampton Airport main area in November 1968. Starting at the left, we have HF communications antennas, the airport power house, Fire Station, Operations and Control Tower, and Passenger Terminal. A TAA Fokker F.27 Friendship sits on the apron, ready for another load of passengers. Roll your cursor over the image to identify each facility.


RK apron

(Photos: CAHS collection)

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HF communications antennas airport power house containing generators airport Fire Station with watch office at front operations building and Control Tower Passenger Terminal TAA Fokker F.27 Friendship