Airservices has confirmed it will build a combined air traffic control tower and fire station at Broome Airport valued at almost $20 million.
It will be the first combined facility of its type in Australia and will ensure the safe management of air traffic in and around the Broome airport. A temporary tower service will operate while building works are underway with the new facility scheduled to be complete in mid 2011. Chief Executive Officer, Greg Russell, said that the ground-based radio service currently in use at the airport would not be sufficient to cope with the increased volume of aircraft expected over the next 10 years. Broome Airport is one of the busiest regional airports in Australia and provides regular services to Perth, Darwin, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, along with connections onto overseas destinations. For years, this region has also been the base for extensive mining and tourism operations. The establishment of an air traffic control tower and fire station in Broome shows our ongoing commitment to the development and implementation of infrastructure to make aviation safer and more efficient in regional Australia, Mr Russell said. Airservices has been considering options for the installation of an air traffic control services and an upgrade of the current Aviation and Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) services for the past 12 months. The four storey tower will be fitted out with the latest technology and be built to withstand cyclones. The facility will also include rain water collection for landscape irrigation and vehicle cleaning. Both the air traffic control tower and the fire station will provide coverage to all scheduled passenger transport operations seven days a week. Seven air traffic controllers and 20 aviation fire fighters will be based at Broome and will work across three shifts. With more than 73,000 aircraft movements expected by 2025, this facility represents our ability to appropriately protect life and property at Broome Airport. It will also ensure that we are well placed to provide safe, efficient air traffic operations in the region well into the future, Mr Russell said. The announcement follows the recent commissioning of a new fire station in Karratha and confirmation that Airservices will also re-open its air traffic control tower at the airport.