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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Behind the Scenes: Sydney Air Traffic Control

arrivals air traffic controller
Air traffic controller on arrivals

It wasn't until I saw the film Pushing Tin, that I realised the complexities involved in Air Traffic Control. Like so many things in this world, you take for granted the behind-the-scenes effort that goes into getting a passenger plane into the air and back down again in safety.

So when fellow SydneyPhotoblogger Speedy_MSD volunteered to show a small group of us around his place of work, I jumped at the chance for a school-excursion-like sticky beak.

Sydneyphotobloggers on tour inside the TCU (radar room)

departure air traffic controllers
Air traffic controllers on departures

control panels
Control panels

After a brief overview and tour (did you know that Air Services Australia controls 11% of the world's airspace?), we headed up to the old Air Traffic Control tower (a new one was completed in 1996) with 360 degree views over Botany Bay.

Singapore Airlines plane landing
Singapore Airlines cargo flight lands against a Sydney sunset


botany bay
Botany Bay by twilight

observation deck
Outside on the old Sydney Air Traffic Control observation deck

comet mcnaught
Comet McNaught

As dusk fell we realised we could all see Comet McNaught, one of the brightest comets visible to the naked eye.

Finally we were treated to a bird-eyes view of fireworks, a weekly event during January, provided for locals by Air Traffic Control.

fireworks 1
Fireworks off Cooks Park, Kyeemagh

fireworks 2

fireworks 3

Related links:
Air Services Australia
Air Traffic Control recruitment
Sydney Airport
6 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 1/21/2007 05:22:00 pm


  • At 1/21/2007 6:53 pm, Blogger Dolce said…

    Thank you very much for your interesting report "behind the scenes" and for your wonderful photos! I've never been to Australia and it's fascinating for me to read something like this, but I like your foodposts as well :-))

  • At 1/22/2007 3:33 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great pictures, i just found your blog last week. Enjoying your posts!

  • At 1/22/2007 7:04 am, Blogger MissK said…

    Oh you're lucky,i love visiting the airport and seeing the aeroplanes land and take off.

  • At 1/22/2007 8:42 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for the pictures. Funny thing is I work here at the airport too, but didn't know anything like this. - Kelly

  • At 1/22/2007 4:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Helen - That is *seriously* cool!!!


  • At 1/24/2007 12:02 pm, Blogger Julia said…

    Oh that would be a dream come true for me! I am a planespotter geek and that would be the ultimate!


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