Darwin International Airport: Wikis


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Darwin International Airport
Darwin 6398.jpg
Darwin International Airport terminal
Airport type Military/Public
Operator Northern Territory Airports[1] / RAAF Darwin
Serves Darwin, Northern Territory
Location Marrara, Northern Territory
Elevation AMSL 103 ft / 31 m
Coordinates 12°24′53″S 130°52′36″E / 12.41472°S 130.87667°E / -12.41472; 130.87667Coordinates: 12°24′53″S 130°52′36″E / 12.41472°S 130.87667°E / -12.41472; 130.87667
Website Darwin International Airport
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11/29 11,004 3,354 Asphalt
18/36 5,000 1,524 Asphalt
Statistics (2007)
Total Passengers 1,813,000
Source: NTArports Annual Report 2007 - 2008[1]
Opening of the new airport terminal in December 2001

Darwin International Airport (IATA: DRWICAO: YPDN) is the busiest airport serving the Northern Territory and the tenth busiest airport in Australia. It is the only airport serving Darwin.

The Airport is located in Darwin, Northern Territory's northern suburbs, 13 kilometres from the Darwin city centre, in the suburb of Marrara. It shares runways with the Royal Australian Air Force's RAAF Base Darwin.

Darwin Airport has an international terminal, a domestic terminal and a cargo terminal. Both of the passenger terminals have a number of shops and cafeterias.

The airport serves over 56,000 flights and 1,813,000 passengers per year[2]



In 1919, when the England to Australia air race was announced, Darwin Airport was established in the suburb of Parap to act as the Australian Terminal[3]. It operated as two airports, a civilian airport and a military field.

It frequently took hits from Japanese bombing through the Second World War, and was used by the Allies to project air power into the Pacific. The airport hosted Spitfires, Hudson Bombers, Kittyhawks, C-47s, B-24 Liberators, B-17 Fortresses and PBY Catalinas.[4]

In 1945 the Department of Aviation made the existing Darwin military airfield available for civil aviation purpose. As a result, the civilian airport at Parap was closed down and airport operations combined with the military airport[3].

Between 1950 and 1974 Darwin Airport acted as the primary domestic and international airport for the Northern Territory and a very important stop for airlines flying between Australia, Asia and onwards to Europe. UTA [5], BOAC [6], Alitalia[7] and Air India[8] were some airlines that had scheduled services to Darwin. However the introduction of longer range aircraft in the 1970s meant that many airlines did not need to stopover in Darwin, and chose to ceased services.

Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin in 1974 and flattened the city. The airport was used to ferry 25,628 people out of Darwin. Darwin Airport was extensively used to assist United Nations operations in East Timor from 1999, and to support medical evacuations following the 2002 Bali bombings.

The new passenger terminal, with four aerobridges, was opened in December 1991.


Airnorth Aircraft at Darwin International Airport
Darwin International Airport tarmac

Darwin Airport has scheduled flights to destinations in the Northern Territory, around Australia and in Southeast Asia. Only one terminal is used for both domestic and international services. The terminal has several food outlets and shops, with duty-free shopping for international travellers. [9]

During 2005-06 a total of 1,440,000 passengers passed through Darwin International Airport which consisted of 334,000 international passengers and 1,106,000 domestic passengers.[10]

During the 2006-07 period there was a total of 1,654,000 passengers which consisted of 372,000 international passengers and 1,282,000 domestic passengers up 35.6 per cent.

During the 2007-08 period there was a total of 1,813,000 passengers.

Statistics for Darwin Airport
Year Total Passengers International Domestic
2001-02 1,090,000 290,000 800,000
2002-03 1,085,000 210,000 875,000
2003-04 1,182,000 197,000 985,000
2004-05 1,386,000 281,000 1,105,000
2005-06 1,440,000 334,000 1,106,000
2006-07 1,654,000 372,000 1,282,000
2007-08 1,813,000 - -


Commercial passenger aircraft most commonly seen at Darwin International Airport include Airbus A319, A320 and A330, Boeing 717, 737 and 767, Beech 1900, Fokker F100, Dash 7, Dash 8 and Embraer Brasilia, and sometimes a Boeing 747.

Darwin International Airport is extensively used by a wide range of general aviation aircraft as well as military aircraft that use the adjacent RAAF Base Darwin.

Until they were withdrawn from service, Concorde made sporadic visits to Darwin as well, having one of the few runways long enough in Australia to handle them.

Future of Darwin Airport

Australian low-cost carrier, Jetstar Airways, has expressed a keen interest in developing Darwin Airport as a hub for its trips to Asia. With the close proximity to South-East Asia, Jetstar anticipates that it will be able to make flights using smaller aircraft, such as the Airbus A320 to fly anywhere within 4 to 5 hours from Darwin. [11] Most of the traffic on the routes will come from southern Australian cities. This will allow one-stop flights to less popular destinations. Destinations that have been considered include Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines and Kota Kinabalu International Airport in Malaysia. New low cost carrier Tiger Airways had also expressed interest in making Darwin Airport its second hub[12]; however, Tiger terminated its flights from Singapore to Darwin in October 2008, and does not currently serve the airport.

On 8 November 2007, it was announced that it had reached agreements for a $100 million home and lifestyle centre in Darwin Airports Business Park, which will be developed by retail developer Ticor Developments. The centre is being built on eight hectares of airport land at the major intersection of Bagot Road and McMillans Road and is due for completion by the end of 2009. [13]

In April 2009, Garuda Indonesia suspended the Denpasar service from Darwin after nearly 30 years of service, citing "economic reasons". The move had been protested by the Northern Territory government.[14][15] The suspension leaves Darwin Airport without any non-Australian carriers flying there.

The Australian Infrastructure Fund (AIX) is set to be taking a $60 million expansion of Darwin International Airport to cater for growing passenger numbers. This will provide a 65 percent increase in terminal floor space. [16]



Busiest Domestic Routes out of Darwin International Airport
(Year Ending October 2009)[17 ]
Rank Airport Passengers carried  % Change
1 Queensland Brisbane Airport 381,400 13.1
2 Victoria (Australia) Melbourne Airport 233,800 16.1
3 Western Australia Perth Airport 86,800 0.0*
Busiest Domestic Routes out of Darwin International Airport
(Month of August 2009)[17 ]
Rank Airport Passengers carried  % Change
1 Queensland Brisbane Airport 36,200 11.2
2 Victoria (Australia) Melbourne Airport 24,800 10.0
3 Western Australia Perth Airport 16,000 0.0*

*Perth route became competitive in May 2009


Busiest International Routes out of Darwin International Airport
(Year Ending December 2008)[18 ]
Rank Airport Passengers handled  % Change
1 Singapore Singapore Changi Airport 134,586 35.7
2 Indonesia Ngurah Rai International Airport 47,051 26.4
3 Vietnam Tan Son Nhat International Airport 3,900 New service
4 Brunei Brunei International Airport 1,155 85.8
5 Indonesia El Tari Airport 895 69.3
6 India Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport 250 93.5
Busiest International Routes out of Darwin International Airport
(Month Ending August 2009)[18 ]
Rank Airport Passengers handled  % Change
1 Singapore Singapore Changi Airport 11,150 118.9
2 Indonesia Ngurah Rai International Airport 6,266 88.3
3 Vietnam Tan Son Nhat International Airport 1,702 0.0

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Airnorth Broome, Elcho Island, Gold Coast, Gove, Groote Eylandt, Kununurra, Maningrida, McArthur River, Mount Isa, Perth Domestic
Airnorth Dili International
Jetstar Airways Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney Domestic
Jetstar Airways Brisbane, Cairns, Denpasar/Bali, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City International
Qantas Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra (commences Feb 2010[19]), Perth, Sydney Domestic
Qantas operated by QantasLink Alice Springs, Cairns, Gove Domestic
Skywest Broome, Perth Domestic
Vincent Aviation Bathurst Island, Groote Eylandt, Cairns Domestic
Virgin Blue Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth Domestic

See also


  1. ^ "Welcome to Northern Territory Airports". Airport Development Group. http://www.ntapl.com.au/. Retrieved 2008-06-16.  
  2. ^ PDF file "2007-08 Annual report". Darwin International Airport. 2007. http://www.ntairports.com.au/Portals/0/ADG%20Annual%20Report%202007-2008.pdf PDF file. Retrieved 2009-03-25.  
  3. ^ a b "History of the Qantas Hanger". Northern Territory Government. Natural Resources, Environment and The Arts. http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/heritage/visit/qantas/history.html. Retrieved 2008-06-16.  
  4. ^ Darwin Airport website
  5. ^ UTA timetable, 1964
  6. ^ BOAC timetable, 1964
  7. ^ Alitalia timetable, 1961
  8. ^ Air India website
  9. ^ Space Shuttle Emergency Landing Sites
  10. ^ Annual 2005-06 Report
  11. ^ "Jetstar boosts services from Darwin airport". Fairfax (The Australian). 2008-08-02. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24114446-23349,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-02.  
  12. ^ Creedy, Steve (2007-12-22). "Jetstar plan for Darwin springboard into Asia". News Ltd (The Australian). http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,22961347-23349,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-25.  
  13. ^ "$100 Million Home Centre Development to Excite Shoppers" (PDF). Northern Territory Airports. 2008-07-11. http://www.ntapl.com.au/Portals/0/docs/Media%20Releases/DIA%20$100%20Million%20Home%20Centre%20Development%20to%20Excite%20Shoppers.pdf. Retrieved 2008-07-13.  
  14. ^ http://www.news.com.au/travel/story/0,28318,25345835-5014090,00.html
  15. ^ http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2009/04/16/45211_ntnews.html
  16. ^ "AIX announces Darwin airport expansion". Fairfax (The Sydney Morning Herald). 2008-07-11. http://news.smh.com.au/business/aix-announces-darwin-airport-expansion-20080711-3dg9.html. Retrieved 2008-07-11.  
  17. ^ a b Domestic airline activity
  18. ^ a b International airline activity
  19. ^ "Now for non-stop flights to Darwin". The Canberra Times (Fairfax Digital). 13 November 2009. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/now-for-nonstop-flights-to-darwin/1676472.aspx. Retrieved 13 November 2009.  

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