For the first time, people who represent the community on matters concerning the aircraft overhead have shared the view with those who let the planes take off.
Members of the Canberra Airport Community Aviation Consultation Group toured the control tower this week, as a clear blue sky offered long-range, 360-degree vistas from arguably the city's cleanest windows.
The members took the spiral stairs to join the handful of staff acting as the city's aerial traffic lights six at a time.
Acting chairman Bob Ross said the experience would help them make more informed decisions.
"I was surprised at the height once you got up," he said.
"From my point of view, I felt that I now have a much better understanding of the flight paths and what's happening, where planes come in and where they're turning – which is a big point for our communities, out at Jerrabomberra for example."
For all the electronic radar charts, buttons and sophisticated communications, the tower does retain the 1970s feel which reflects its 38-year-old age, a contrast to the modern designs which greet the ordinary traveller at the airport across the runway.
The curious guests who allowed this reporter to join them were told the main runway was 3.6 kilometres long, that 767s were the largest aircraft frequently at the site – although A380s were there during the G20-related visits – and that the tower was open from 6am to 11pm daily.
The visit neatly coincided with the Canberra launch of some new features on the near real-time flight monitoring system, WebTrak.
An Airservices Australia spokeswoman said the online tool, focused on tracking aircraft noise since 2008, now provided an overview of where aircraft typically flew, which suburbs were overflown more frequently than others and the seasonal variations for flight paths.
Canberra Airport planning and government relations director Noel McCann said flight path changes to push Melbourne and Adelaide-bound planes 3.5 kilometres further north before their turn west had been approved and would take effect from March, four months later than expected.