Published on January 27th, 2018 | by Mark Dwyer


Work Commences on New Dublin Airport Control Tower

Designed by Dublin’s Scott Tallon Walker Architects, the Control Tower comprises three separate but integrated building elements: the control cab and associated elements, the cab supporting shaft and a base building. The need for the new tower has come from the requirement to build a northern parallel runway at Dublin. Site works will include a new car park and a new security station. Construction activities have already commenced. The main contractor, BAM Ireland, expects to complete the project in early 2019. The cost of the new tower is approximately €27 million.

The location of the new facility is within the area of the current air traffic control facilities at Dublin Airport. The overall height of the new tower will be 86.9m which ensures that it will become a significant feature on the Dublin skyline. According to the designers “An essential part of the Brief was to provide an elegant, modern structure, identifiable with the professionalism of the Client organization, that will become a worthy symbol for Dublin, Ireland’s gateway city.”

Development of the design concept has established that the optimum solution for the new Dublin Visual Control Tower (VCT) comprises three separate but integrated building elements namely:

  • A control cab and associated elements.
  • The cab supporting shaft.
  • A base building. The base building will accommodate staff facilities, electronic systems and mechanical plant space to provide control of the building environment.

Analysis of the brief established that the new facility comprises two main elements: The Cab (including the Visual Control Room or VCR) and its associated Support Facilities. In order to provide a slim, elegant structure and in an effort to keep the tower as light and elegant as possible, most of the support accommodation (technical rooms and associated plant) has been separated from the Tower and is located in a single storey support facility at ground level. This support building is connected to the Cab Shaft with a fully glazed single storey link corridor. The separation of the tower and support accommodation ensures that the free-standing quality of the Tower is unaffected and consequently the new facility appears as two distinct elements, each containing their own distinct functions.

The Cab structure itself comprises 4 levels and contains essential technical facilities/ staff accommodation, plant space, technical equipment, maintenance facilities, and the VCR itself. The tapering cone shape of the cab is a result of the spatial requirements of the various functions at each level, and their relationship (in terms of proximity) to the VCR. The support shaft to the cab is an essential element of the structure and considerable effort has gone into making it appear as slender and unobtrusive as possible. Its triangular plan form derives from the 3 modes of vertical circulation from bottom to top: the 2 lifts and the single escape stairway.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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