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$400 million project to upgrade RAAF ATC facilities approved

written by australianaviation.com.au | March 29, 2016

Flying Officer Lauren Parker from No.452 Squadron monitors aircraft movements in the control tower at RAAF Base Tindal during Exercise Pitch Black 2014.A project to upgrade Defence air traffic control facilities valued at $409 million was approved earlier this month.

Assistant Minister for Defence Michael McCormack confirmed that new and upgraded facilities will be constructed at 13 bases and five off-base radar sites across Australia.

“AIR 5431 Phases 2 and 3 Air Traffic Management and Control System Facilities and Australian Defence Force Air Traffic Control Complex Infrastructure Project is a joint program between Defence and Airservices Australia,” he stated on March 18.

“This project will upgrade Defence’s air traffic control towers and airfield systems complexes that are aged, deteriorated and no longer fit for purpose, as well as provide new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure to support the OneSKY [harmonised air traffic management system] initiative.”

According to a Defence website for the project: “The proposed facilities include a requirement for new or refurbished air traffic control towers and airfield systems complex facilities to house the new air traffic management system, sensor equipment buildings to support new sensors, working accommodation to house operational maintenance trainers for both Phase 2 and Phase 3 to support technical training, and upgrading the School of Air Traffic Control to support the training of joint battlefield airspace control officers [JBACs].”


Under the project new air traffic control towers will be built at RAAF Bases Amberley, Darwin, Pearce, Richmond, Tindal, Townsville and Williamstown and Army Aviation Centre Oakey, while existing towers at RAAF Bases East Sale, Edinburgh and Woomera, the satellite training base for Pearce at Gingin, and HMAS Albatross (Nowra) will be upgraded.

AIR 5431 works
  1. Tower modifications at RAAF Base East Sale, HMAS Albatross (Nowra), RAAF Base Edinburgh, RAAF Base Woomera and RAAF Gingin;
  2. New Tower construction at RAAF Base Amberley, RAAF Base Darwin, Army Aviation Centre Oakey, RAAF Base Pearce, RAAF Base Richmond, RAAF Base Tindal, RAAF Base Townsville and RAAF Base Williamtown;
  3. Airfield Systems Complex modifications at RAAF Base East Sale, HMAS Albatross, RAAF Base Edinburgh and RAAF Base Darwin;
  4. New Airfield Systems Complex construction at RAAF Base Amberley, AAC Oakey, RAAF Base Townsville, RAAF Base Richmond, RAAF Base Williamtown, RAAF Base Pearce and RAAF Base Tindal;
  5. Sensor Equipment Building modifications at RAAF Base Townsville and HMAS Albatross (Nowra Hill);
  6. New Sensor Equipment Building construction at RAAF Base Amberley, AAC Oakey (Turkey Hill), RAAF Base Williamtown, RAAF Base East Sale (Deadmans Hill), RAAF Base Pearce (Eclipse Hill), RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal;
  7. New Operational Maintenance Trainer facilities to be incorporated within the new Airfield Systems Complex at RAAF Base Amberley; and
  8. Modifications to the RAAF Base East Sale School of Air Traffic Control simulator facility.

Source: Dept of Defence submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works


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Comment (1)

  • kvnbaldrick


    ADATS was NEVER going to cut it. Decision back in 1995 has cost the Australian taxpayer $400 million. Pity!!!!

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