Airservices Australia and Melbourne Airport have launched the construction of a new air traffic control tower and technical services centre, while the airport has also commissioned Australia’s first Category 3 instrument landing system (ILS).
Construction of the $17 million, 78m high new control tower is expected to begin immediately, and it will be built adjacent to the existing tower. It will feature state-of-the-art technology and will be ready for service in 2012. Airservices is also establishing a new Air Traffic Services Centre at the airport which will be completed by 2011 to house engineers, technicians and equipment.
The Cat 3 ILS system meanwhile will allow a number of aircraft to land in foggy conditions at the airport where visibility is down to as low as 75 metres, down from at least 800m previously. It is supported by other improvements including a laser-based runway visual range system to measure fog density, improved taxiway lighting for low visibility conditions, and the introduction of runway ‘stop bars’ to control aircraft movements and enhance safety.
“We invested over $10 million in additional infrastructure,” said Melbourne Airport’s executive general manager Simon Gandy. “The entire project practically ensures a 100 per cent arrival and departure capability in foggy conditions for all approved operators. This whole-of-industry initiative is fantastic for the state and testament to the partnership between Airservices Australia, airlines and airport operator.”