Airservices Australia has opened a A$20m ($20.5m) high-tech air traffic control tower and aviation rescue and fire fighting facility at Broome Airport, the first of its kind in the country.
Airservices chief executive officer Andrew Clark said that the multi-purpose facility ensures the continued safe management of air traffic and the provision of aviation fire and rescue services in the event of an emergency.
"With a significant increase in aircraft movements in the north-west, this facility is a demonstration of our commitment to provide safe, efficient air traffic operations in the region well into the future," Clark said.
The 16m-tall ATC tower features new digital touch-screen air traffic control consoles, which replaced the previous paper strip-based system.
By combining flight and operational data, surveillance and voice communications into a single incorporated system, the new ATC tower is expected to improve safety and efficiency.
"The new tower enhances safety and efficiency by providing controllers with better airfield views and more modern equipment," Clark added.
The fire control centre is located in an observation tower overlooking the airport and is equipped with the latest communications and monitoring systems, while the fire fighting facility will have three vehicles, each with a 10,000l capacity and the ability to shoot water up to a distance of 80m.
"The fire station ensures our aviation fire fighters are better able to respond to any incident within minutes," Clark said.
Broome Airport currently handles over 400,000 passengers each year and passenger numbers are expected to rise with growth in mining and tourism sectors.
Airservices Australia is planning to invest A$1bn ($1.02bn) over five years in air navigation, surveillance, air traffic management, aviation rescue and fire fighting projects.
The Australian agency is also constructing new facilities at Melbourne, Adelaide and Rockhampton airports, as well as upgrading and refurbishing the remaining 24 towers around the country.
Image: The new ATC system installed within the tower at Broome Airport. Photo: courtesy of Airservices Australia.