Phil Ware (Retired Air Traffic Controller)
As part of the Department
of Civil Aviation Aerodrome Rescue Equipment at Brisbane Airport, the
"Command Post" was an integral part of Aerodrome Emergency Procedures,
at the old Brisbane Airport, in the 1970s through until the early 1990s.
In event of an aircraft crash on or in the vicinity of the airport, the
Command Post would be towed to an appropriate location, from which the
Senior Airport Fireman, Police Officer, Air Traffic Controller and Airport
Manager would gather, to put the rescue and recovery procedures into practice.
It was affectionately known as the "Pie Cart", and at the commencement
of each yearly exercise when the radio communications had been tested,
and communications established with Police Headquarters, the Control Tower,
the Fire Station and Airport Administration, I would fling open the windows
and yell out to all and sundry; "Hot Pies and Cold Drinks here".
The senior staff mentioned above would be on the spot, and could each
communicate with their own organisations, whilst at the same time liaise
with the other members of the emergency response team.
An Emergency Exercise was held at least once a year, and an in depth critique
would highlight any inadequacies discovered as the exercise progressed.
The final report would be acted upon by the Airport Manager, directives
issued as to how various aspects and procedures would be implemented in
event of an aircraft crash on the airport.
With the construction of the new Brisbane Airport, more modern means of
Command and Control were developed, and the old "Pie Cart" was eventually
disposed of as being surplus to requirements, so it brought back memories
to find it here, on the 26th October 2009 at the Queensland Air Museum.
The Command Post played an important role in having a system at the ready,
for something we are all thankful, never happened ... an aircraft crash
at the airport.
During a visit to QAM, Phil Ware advised Museum staff of his connection
with the command post caravan. QAM member, John Stitt offered Phil the
use of his personal laptop whereupon Phil proceeded to write his story
on the spot.