This blog is a translation of my original blog, written in French (publication dates are kept).

March 22, 2009

After the Rundetårn, the Kontroltårn

It does no harm just this once, today, I'm going to talk about my job.

No, don't run away! Because thanks to it, I had the opportunity to get into the control tower of the Copenhagen Airport!

Actually, I work on the air traffic control system of the Danish airspace, at Naviair. My office is located in the control center, where the en route and approach traffic is controlled. And in the center (a normal building) we don't see the aircrafts, except on the radar screens of course. And the tower, which is located on the other side of the runways, serves only for scheduling the takeoffs and the landings, and to monitor the airport itself.

Therefore, a beautiful sunny day, the Danes kindly organized a short guided tour inside, just for us to know how it looks like. Not anybody can enter, it's located in the international area (so we needed special badges ...).

She is two years old, so almost brand new. It's 66 meters height above the ground. Funny anecdote, the controllers at the beginning had seasickness in. Because the tower shouldn't be too rigid, but oscillate slightly with the wind. However, they had to stabilize it by installing something to counterbalance on the top. It was very expensive, but they preferred this solution to the one adopted at Heathrow: cables to maintain it. Don't play with design in Scandinavia.

Then, once reached the top ... wouaoh! The lucky ones who work there enjoy a splendid view. They overlook the sea, at almost 360 ° round.

Look, we can see Malmö and the Turning Torso!
And the Øresundbro of course.

And this is Store Magleby and Dragør (south-east)

In fact the airport is built on the island of Amager, which is not very big, and he is right at the seaside. Pretty unusual isn't it?

So when you arrive in Copenhagen by the air, you often have the impression that the plane will land in the sea!