Essendon VAR Approach Chart - 1960
VAR was still the main en route radio navigation aid, supplemented by NDBs. Along-track position fixing was possible using the Australian DME network, a beacon from which was located at Essendon Airport, or alternatively by noting station passage over an airways marker beacon. The detail above shows the City Marker, which was conveniently located on the roof of DCA Headquarters at Henty House!
Air Traffic Control at this time was mainly procedurally-based and short-range radar was only used as a supplement to procedural control. In bad weather, extensive use was made of Approach holding stacks. The City Marker marks the commencement of this instrument procedure and has a holding pattern and procedure turn associated with it.
Also of note in this detail is the location of the closed Fishermans Bend aerodrome, site of the Government Aircraft Factories and the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation. Test flying activities were by this time transferred to the new airfield at Avalon, near Geelong.
(Chart: Macarthur Job collection. Original 20 x 26.5 cm)
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