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Sydney Airport Traffic Control Tower Upgrade

Project Description

Sydney Airport is Australia’s busiest airport & critical to the efficient functioning of the country’s entire aviation network. The Sydney Airport Tower is not only of heritage significance but also critical to the airport’s operations & the broader community transport network, operating 24/7 throughout the year.

The Sydney Airport Tower Refurbishment project enables Kerfoot’s client, Airservices, to undertake an in-situ transition from the current generation technology to new INTAS technology.

The tower was required to remain fully operational to provide ongoing day-today air traffic control services while the systems were transitioned to INTAS. Extensive refurbishment & upgrades to the tower’s building systems & infrastructure ensure a service life for a further period of 15 years, as well as supporting the transition to INTAS technology.

Kerfoot was engaged by the client to supply & install of the electrical cabling and switchboards without interfering with the existing active control system of the tower.


Specific items within the scope of this project were:

  • Cable containment, including dual cable tray pathways, dual cable basket & fibre raceway pathways. into the TBER & TWER comms rooms of the tower, alongside existing critical infrastructure.
  • New switchboards & Design drawings to power 4 distribution boards, HVAC systems
  • Undertake the dual feeds load bank testing. ATS generator start/stop interface within existing infrastructure.
  • Additional supply of 4 distribution boards for equipment in the TBER & TWER.
  • New submain & subcircuit wiring for power & lighting in the TBER & TWER, IEC 60309 outlets for future PDU power.
  • All lighting, including emergency fittings, was installed.
  • New comms racks & HVAC supplies in existing infrastructure.
  • Earthing new & existing communications racks
  • AFL fibre optic cabling, indoor tight-buffered cabling, MTP-type cables, & fibre terminating enclosures. Panduit copper horizontal cabling, patch panels & jacks were installed in TBER & TWER


Project Accolades

The original design was found to be ineffective, which required a complete redesign of the system. Our efforts resulted in the establishment of cascading cable reticulation pathways supported by seismic restraints directly above vital live feed control, communication systems, & operator areas.

Meticulous planning involved carefully considering all aspects of the project, such as the existing infrastructure, space limitations, safety requirements, and operational constraints.  Working in close proximity to critical control systems and operators requires careful coordination to ensure minimal disruption and maintain safety standards. Kerfoot’s comprehensive redesign, combined with proactive planning and out-of-the-box thinking, contributed to the successful execution of this project.

The training and planning that went into successfully running cable containment, fibre, and electrical power within the confined space of the small tower shaft. The Kerfoot team recognised the technical nature of the shaft layout and determined that only two people working in pairs at night, along with a trained rescuer on standby, would be able to undertake the task within the limited space.

The team’s decision to establish teams of three, with one person working in the shaft, another trained as a spotter above, and a trained rescuer with breathing apparatus on the landing, along with a ready-to-use tripod in case of emergency, demonstrates a safety-conscious approach. This setup ensures that safety measures are in place to address potential risks and emergenc

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