Airservices Australia re-introducing AFIS and ARFF services at Port Hedland Airport

Airservices Australia is to re-introduce an Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFIS) and Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting service (ARFF) at Port Hedland Airport, following increasing air traffic movements at the airport.

The AFIS provides pilots with directed traffic information, emergency services alerts, and local weather advice.

The aviation rescue and fire fighting services at the airport have two large Rosenbauer Mk8 fire fighting vehicles, currently housed in an interim fire station. A new fire station is to be built by mid-2014.  Airservices previously operated an ARFF service at Port Hedland until it ceased in 2003, when a downturn in the resources sector caused a decrease in air traffic.

In response to increasing air traffic in WA caused by the expanding resources industry, Airservices recently re-established ARFF services and air traffic control towers at Karratha and Broome airports and is installing a radar at Paraburdoo.

Control Tower at Karratha Airport - 8 July 2010.
Control Tower at Karratha Airport – 8 July 2010.
This was originally opened in July 1987, and closed in 1995.
It was reopened on 18 Nov 2010 after being disused for a number of years.
Refurbishing the Tower took approximately three months and five Controllers are based in Karratha, working two shifts a day between 0945 and 2215 local. In the lead-up to the re-opening Airservices provided a Flight Information Service from the Tower for several months so the Controllers could become familiar with the area and traffic patterns.
The building to the right of the Towers is the Flight Service Centre and Briefing Office. This was constructed earlier than the Tower, in about 1983. The FSC and BO also closed during the 1990s as part of a programme of consolidation of Flight Service units into the major Centres.
To the left of the tower is the airport fire station.
Photo © David Eyre

David Eyre

President, Aviation Association of WA Inc

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