Essendon Airport was established in 1921 and is one of Australia’s oldest operational airports. ATC Tower No.3 was designed in 1953 and constructed in the following year, making it the oldest operational tower in the country. It is of historical significance for its association with a major programme undertaken by the Australian Government in developing standardised nation-wide air traffic control facilities.
The 1950s was a formative period in the evolution of air traffic control facilities, and towers of this era are generally characterised by a degree of experimentation and invention. They became the stylistic prototype for towers built in Australia and Papua New Guinea until the late 1960s.
Under the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Act 1999, the owner of the tower, Airservices Australia, was required to develop a management plan to protect and manage the site’s Commonwealth Heritage values.
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