New tower is first of its kind
WITH pinpoint accuracy, two giant cranes gently lowered the control cabin on top of Rockhampton Airport’s new $6 million air traffic control tower on Saturday.
It was the first time anywhere in Australia that such a lift had been attempted, and it had been abandoned on Friday morning when it became too windy to continue.
The 32 tonne structure was lifted 23 metres and manoeuvred into place with less than 10mm margin for error.
With building work at the tower complete, Air Services Australia will spend the next three months installing state-of-the-art digital technology that will make Rockhampton the most advanced air traffic control centre in the country.
Spokesman Bryan Nicholson said it was a big vote of confidence in the region for Rockhampton to be chosen for the first of the new generation of control towers.
Air traffic controllers will have a touch screen system and will be able to handle an increased number of incoming and outgoing flights.
“One of the reasons Rockhampton was chosen is because it is getting busier and during military exercises it is used by a mix of commercial and military aircraft,” Mr Nicholson said.