defence connect logo



Improving air traffic management and control under AIR 5431

darwin afb
AIR 5431 will see extensive modernisation and infrastructure upgrades to key Air Traffic Control and Management facilities (Source Department of Defence)

AIR 5431 Phase 2 and 3 are part of the upgrade of fixed airbase air traffic management and control systems, which will see extensive capital works and purpose-built facilities at key defence sites around the country. 

AIR 5431 Phase 2 and 3 are part of the upgrade of fixed airbase air traffic management and control systems, which will see extensive capital works and purpose-built facilities at key defence sites around the country. 

AIR 5431 Phase 2 and 3 Defence Air Traffic Management and Control System Facilities Requirements will deliver the provision of facilities to support the AIR 5431 Phases 2 and 3 capabilities and ongoing provision of air traffic control services across the Defence fixed base air traffic management and control network.

The proposed facilities include a requirement for new or refurbished air traffic control towers and airfield systems complex facilities to house the new air traffic management system, sensor equipment buildings to support new sensors, working accommodation to house operational maintenance trainers for both Phase 2 and Phase 3 to support technical training, and upgrading the School of Air Traffic Control to support the training of joint battlefield airspace control officers.



The project will deliver purpose-built facilities and improved infrastructure at 13 Defence properties throughout Australia. In addition to these key sites, works are required at five off-base existing sites, including:


  • RAAF Base Richmond;
  • HMAS Albatross (Nowra);
  • Off-base sensor site Nowra Hill – approximately two kilometres to the east of HMAS Albatross; and
  • RAAF Base Williamtown.


  • RAAF Base Amberley;
  • Army Aviation Centre Oakey;
  • Off-base sensor site Turkey Hill – approximately nine kilometres to the north of the Army Aviation Centre Oakey;
  • RAAF Base Townsville; and
  • Off-base sensor site Many Peaks – approximately seven kilometres to the north of RAAF Base Townsville.


  • RAAF Base East Sale; and
  • Off-base sensor site Deadmans Hill – radar site approximately 10.5 kilometres to the south of RAAF Base East Sale.

South Australia:

  • RAAF Base Woomera; and
  • RAAF Base Edinburgh.

Western Australia: 

  • RAAF Gingin;
  • RAAF Base Pearce; and
  • Off-base sensor site Eclipse Hill – approximately 32 kilometres to the north of RAAF Base Pearce.

Northern Territory: 

  • RAAF Base Darwin; and
  • RAAF Base Tindal.

Most of the major works across all the sites include the redevelopment, upgrading or expansion of critical air traffic control and management infrastructure, including: 

Sensor equipment building: The proposed sensor equipment building will be a single-storey structure housing a generator, uninterruptible power supply room, switch room and communications room located adjacent to the new sensor.

Air traffic control tower: The proposed new tower is a 25-metre-high multi-level facility accommodating a control cabin, external observation deck and a crew rest area, toilet, kitchenette and a mechanical plant room. The existing tower will be demolished following the commissioning of the new facility.

Airfield systems complex: The proposed airfield systems complex will be a single-storey facility with approach control, maintenance and administrative functions. The existing airfield systems complex will not be demolished due to a requirement to maintain information and communication technology services that currently pass through the facility.

Operational maintenance trainer: Both Phase 2 and Phase 3 will provide a new operational maintenance trainer, which will enable technical training of engineering and maintenance personnel. The new trainers will be located within the airfield systems complex to maximise sharing of amenities without compromising the function of the facility.

New fire watch facility: The demolition of the existing tower will require provision for a new fire watch facility to maintain the existing air base fire service capability. 

For more information on the proposed works outlined in AIR 5431 Phase 2 and 3, the project team can be contacted This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..