Control cabin for Air Traffic Control tower joins the RAAF Base Richmond skyline

A new sight has appeared on the RAAF Base Richmond skyline, with the installation of a Control Cabin structure on a new Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower.

Installed on 29 March 2018, the cabin structure has a weight of 79 tonnes and was carefully installed on top of the tower with the use of a 500-tonne hydraulic crane.

This is the portion of the tower used by Air Traffic Controllers and Communications Electronics Technicians to deliver Richmond’s ATC capabilities.

Senior Australian Defence Force Officer for RAAF Base Richmond, Air Commodore William Kourelakos, said construction of the ATC tower and an accompanying Airfield Systems Complex building commenced in October 2017.

“The new ATC facilities for RAAF Base Richmond will be completed in December 2018,” Air Commodore Kourelakos said.

“The Tower will have a control cabin, external observation deck and a crew rest area, toilet, kitchenette and a mechanical plant room.”

“Unlike the existing ATC Tower, the new building will feature both stairs and an elevator to reach the control cabin level.”

Once completed, the new buildings will replace the ageing ATC Tower that was constructed at RAAF Base Richmond in the early-1960s, along with several other buildings across the Base.

The current ATC Tower will be demolished once services are being provided from the new tower.

“The removal of the old ATC Tower is necessary in order to provide an unobstructed view from the new ATC Tower of air operations across RAAF Base Richmond,” Air Commodore Kourelakos said.

“The new ATC tower and the accompanying facilities are essential infrastructure for us to safely manage ground and airspace operations around RAAF Base Richmond.”

The new facilities are part of a wider Defence infrastructure programme, AIR5431 Phases 2 and 3, which will deliver new or upgraded ATC facilities at 13 Defence Bases across Australia.

Construction has commenced at most locations, and the project will be complete by late-2021.

More information is available from