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Information provided by Airservices Australia
Tower stands 21 metres high and was built in 1981.
Australia has implemented a National Towers Program which in its first stage
will see the replacement of tower facilities at Adelaide, Rockhampton and
Airservices operates 26 control
towers across Australia, many of which were constructed between1941 and 1995. A number of
these have now exceeded their design life, contain obsolete equipment no longer
supported by suppliers and require modernisation to bring them in line with current industry standards. Related projects under the National Towers Program involve the refurbishment of
a number of other ageing tower facilities and the incorporation of new tower
technology into the refurbished and renewed buildings.
The project aims to introduce a
blueprint for a nation-wide program centred on a standardised approach to tower
construction and fit out. This includes reducing the range of tower building
configurations by using a modular approach to building design. The new towers
will be designed with a minimum building lifespan of 20 years. The project will
also deliver tower Infrastructure.
controllers operate Surface Movement control on 121.7, Airways Clearance
delivery/Co-ordinator (ADC) on 126.1 and Tower on 120.5.
Adelaide Control Tower
21 Metres High
Adelaide Terminal Control Unit
TCU operators are responsible for controlling air space in the vacinity of the airfield from a short time after the aircrat leaves the ground until 36 nautical miles from the field.
TCU operators are also responsible for inbound traffic untill 5-10 nautical miles from the airfield where aircraft are handed over to Adelaide Tower.
Below is an overview and facts about the Adelaide TCU.
Facts and Figures provided by Airservices Australia.
TCUs - Terminal Control Unit Stations
Adelaide Terminal Control Unit:
Facts and Figures
Adelaide TCU operates 24/7 and is staffed by an experienced team of air traffic
- Adelaide Terminal Control Unit
(TCU) provides Air Traffic Services in a cylinder of airspace 24000 feet high
(over 7km) and 36 nautical miles (NM) (about 67 km) in radius, extending
to a 50 NM (about 93 km) radius in a wedge to the north for RAAF traffic.
Geographically, the airspace extends to Stansbury in the west, Victor Harbor in the south,
Murray Bridge in the east, and Balaklava / Riverton / Eudunda in the north.
tower controllers are responsible for aircraft on the surface of the aerodrome.
Departing pilots will be in contact with the TCU controllers almost immediately after
takeoff and for the first 10 to 15 minutes of their flight, and arriving pilots
from about 15 minutes before landing until about 5 to 10 NM before landing.
- Airspace is split into three
sub-sectors, each with its own frequency, and each controlled by one
See downloadable map (PDF) (JPG)
ApproachWest (AAW) on 124.2 MHz controls traffic to the west of the extended runway
East (AAE) on 118.2 MHz controls traffic to the east of the extended runway
05/23 centreline. “East” also has frequency 130.45 MHz which is used for light
aircraft traffic in class G (uncontrolled) low level airspace.
North (AAN) on 128.6 MHz controls traffic in the wedge of airspace to the
north, which tapers to about a 4 mile radius to the south of Edinburgh. “North”
also has a UHF 306.3 MHz which is used for some military operations.
often combined with “West” when there is no military traffic. During quiet
times of civilian traffic, “East” may also be combined so that all services are
provided from one console.
Beyond and Above
Beyond and above the Adelaide TCU airspace, services are provided from Melbourne Centre,
Tailem Bend (TBD) sector to the east on 125.3MHz, Augusta (AUG) sector to the
west and north on 127.05MHz, and Kingscote (KSC) sector to the south west on
- There are four control
positions (consoles) in the Adelaide TCU, one for each executive plus a
assists the executives by issuing airways clearances to aircraft departing from
Parafield and Edinburgh, monitoring the overall workload of the unit and
opening and closing consoles as required.
may pass inter-unit coordination on behalf of an executive if so requested. The
planner also performs the ‘flow’ function, calculating the landing sequence
into Adelaide and issuing instructions to aircraft via the outer sectors in
Melbourne Centre for aircraft to slow down or speed up in order to achieve an
orderly stream of arriving traffic.
- Adelaide Airport sees 300
movements per day, which is a combination of landings and take offs.
Adelaide Terminal Control Unit
Airspace and Facilities
Download ATCU map (PDF) (JPG)
Apart from regular transport traffic, there are medical and police helicopter movements to
deal with, media helicopters, photographic and survey operations in helicopter
and fixed wing aircraft, RFDS operations, corporate jets, joy flights,
parachuting operations, and in the warmer months, shark patrol and bushfire
water bomber operations.
addition, Adelaide Approach also provides services to numerous training and
general aviation aircraft travelling to and from Parafield Airport, and to
military aircraft operating from Edinburgh, many of which fly over or conduct
operations at Adelaide Airport in the course of their operations.
events such as air shows or aviation activity associated with events like the
Clipsal 500 motor race and Tour Down Under add to the traffic mix.
interesting mix prevails of fast and slow, rotary and fixed wing, large and
Related information: How Air Traffic Control Works (view)