Its primary purpose involved diplomatically ensuring the safety of allied air traffic into and out of the western sectors of the divided city against the threat of East German or Soviet air defenses.
Located in the Allied Control Authority (ACA) Building, the BASC was manned continuously by American, British, and French military representatives along with two Soviet representatives - a controller and an interpreter. These officers worked in close cooperation to ensure the safety of allied aircraft 24 hours a day.
Coordinating closely with BARTCC air traffic facilities at Tempelhof Airbase, the BASC representatives verified diplomatic clearances, protested Soviet infringements upon allied air corridors, and fielded the political ramifications of east bloc defectors escaping into West Berlin by stolen aircraft.
Tensions reached an understandable high during the Berlin Airlift in 1948-49, though the success of the campaign was in large part due to the coordination carried out within the BASC.