EGSS Stansted ATC Control Tower

we just received back from the processor a lot of new photos taken on large format film. Some are of Stansted and they are reproduced here as a slide show.

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The old Tower

EGSS old towerSS1

photo shows the original two story war time watch room built to air ministry drawing 12779/41. In those days there was no VCR of course. To see a tower of the same design restored to its original condition visit

East Kirby or Framlingham

EGSS old tower (3)SS2

EGSS old tower (5)SS3

My beautiful pictureSS4

My beautiful pictureSS5

EGSS old tower (2)SS6

EGSS old tower (3)SS7

EGSS old tower (1)SS8


EGSS old tower (6)SS9

next two from John Bennett

egss jb 11 18 (1)

SS9a  John says that this shot shows the north side of the original control tower and
Radar  c1993. The view below is a  view from the old tower towards the approach radar / Anglia Radar  building c1993  – all gone!

egss jb 11 18 (2)



EGSS bd new

SS9c from Barry Davidson – for those of a certain age EGSS and CAFU are forever linked


SS9d EGSS Skyways Ops Centre: Original vintage press photo via Barry Davidson

EGSS old tower (7)SS10

EGSS old tower (2)SS11

EGSS old tower (4)SS12

The new Control Tower was topped out on the 20th October 1995 by Sir Christopher Chataway, Chairman of the CAA.

new tower (1)SS13

new tower (8)SS14

new tower (9)SS15

new tower (10)SS16

new tower (7)SS17

new tower (3)SS18

new tower (4)

new tower (5)SS19

new tower (2)SS20

new tower (6)SS21

STANSTED Southern North Sea service





That looks like Chris Woolgar in the middle on both the above photos.

111 ARTS Course


In order to do Anglia radar Stansted controllers had to attend RAF Shawbury and complete a military radar course using some antiquated equipment. This explains the 111 ARTS course photo (Area Radar Training Squadron!) – Bryan Brough

Bryan has also sent in some equipment shots including some from the new tower. They include the Old lighting panel – new tower, IRVR displays, ADIS input screen, “Raw” SMR (prior to multilateration), Stopper control panel, ATM with the usual Data Rate Control alerts and the Debden 23cm Radar.

SS27 click on each panel for a better view.

Stansted ADC desk 1980s

SS28  ADC desk early 1980s

Stansted Radar Room mid 1990s - Tim Moss Bryan Williams Ann Thompson

SS29 Stansted radar late 1980s (L to R: Tim Moss, Bryan Williams & Ann Thompson)


SS29a  The controller on Anglia Radar is Mark Vidler, the lady on the right I think is Hilary Taylor. The ATSA in the centre’s name escapes me, Peter?.  from Susie Laurence-Doig (was Court).

Stansted VCR 1980s

SS30  Stansted VCR 1980s

Stansted VCR Interior early 1980 - Tony Foster John Vann Ron McQuaker

SS31  Stansted VCR Interior early 1980 – Tony Foster John Vann Ron McQuaker

Stansted T4008 Raw Primary Radar

SS32  Stansted T4008 raw primary radar, the way things used to be with blips and all the processing taking place between the controllers ears!

Stansted T4008 Scan Converted with Plot Extracted Debden PSR & SSR 1904h 19-Mar-1988

SS33  Progress? Stansted T4008 Scan Converted with Plot Extracted Debden PSR & SSR overlaid taken at 19:04h 19-Mar-1988. The effect of the 10 mile “rain gate” can clearly be seen removing weather and small aircraft too sometimes!


Stansted Tower site mid 1990s

SS35  The old control tower site Stansted mid 1990s. Radar is a 10cm Plessey Watchman with co-mounted SSR (at long last!)


Taxiway Lighting Panel

SS35 Old style taxiway lighting panel in the new control tower Stansted 1995

Morning Rush

SS36  “Sleepy Stansted” waking up prior to the morning outbound rush, summer 2008


SS37 05-Jun-1983 B747 & Space Shuttle combo parked at Stansted


SS38 It flies! B747 & Space Shuttle flypast 05-Jun-1983

Flying Tigers DC86 N786FT after DC85 RP-C830 Collided with it 05-Sep-1982

SS39 The aftermath of a collision between DC85 RP-C830 executing a missed approach in fog and a parked Flying Tigers DC86 N786FT on 05-Sep-1982


SS40 photo via Barry Davidson

the structure on the right looks like an Runway Visual Range observor post. When ATC needed to give RVRs (before IRVR systems were invented) the fire service in the tower counted the visible lights and ATC had a conversion table to turn the lights count into an RVR reading. The height of the tower meant the observer was at the right height to view allowing for an element of slant range.




2 thoughts on “EGSS Stansted ATC Control Tower”

  1. Hi Rick. Yes, the Approach Radar Portacabin (Plessey 430 – character building….) was adjacent to the 23 threshold on the north side. There were two ATCO positions, APC and ATZ plus an ATSA. When the fields were being harvested we used to get overrun by field mice, which necessitated mouse traps being placed around the portacabin in strategic positions!


  2. Hi, back in the mid 70’s I used to work for Fordair Reservations at the Ford HQ in Warley, Essex. On a visit to the Fordair hanger, I was given the opportunity of visiting the tower. I can’t remember exactly but I believed the Approach radio room was located in a Portacabin on the north side of runway 23 as it was. Can anyone confirm this was the case. Many thanks and thank you for a most interesting website.


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