Air traffic controllers are on hand at this weekends 2009 FORMULA 1TM ING Australian Grand Prix to ensure safe skies over the event.
A portable air traffic control tower has been installed trackside by Airservices technicians to ensure the safe operation of the aerial component of the four day event. Staffed by Airservices controllers from the Essendon and Moorabbin airport control towers, the event tower will manage hundreds of helicopter movements and high-speed flying displays by the RAAF Roulettes, an FA-18 Hornet and Black Hawk and Sea Hawk helicopters. More than 500 race-related aircraft movements are expected around and over the circuit during the event. Three controllers from a team of seven will be on duty at all times to ensure sufficient separation between Grand Prix aerial activities and regular services into Melbourne airport are maintained and that regular passenger and cargo services are unaffected. Two Airservices technicians will also be onsite all weekend. Air traffic controllers will also work with event managers in Race Control during the aerial components of the event to ensure flying displays run smoothly. The service is the culmination of months of preparation and liaison between Airservices, race organisers, emergency services and aviation representatives. Airservices controllers, engineers and technicians have provided similar capacity at the event since it moved from Adelaide to Melbourne in 1996.