Adelaide Airport is the principal airport in the South Australian capital of Adelaide, operated by Adelaide Airport Limited. It is located adjacent to West Beach approximately 8 kilometres (5 miles) from the city-centre. Although owned by the Commonwealth Government, it is operated independently by Adelaide Airport Limited. It is the fifth busiest airport in Australia, servicing over 6.3 million passengers in 2006/2007.
First opened on 16 February 1955, the airport was established to replace Parafield Airport as the main airport for Adelaide. It was built on land once used for market gardens and which included wetlands of Patawalonga Creek. Passenger flights are operated from a state-of-the-art dual international/domestic terminal that was opened in 2005.
An annexe to one of the large hangars at the airport served as a passenger terminal until the Commonwealth Government provided funds for the construction of a temporary building. International services became regular from 1982 upon the construction of an international terminal. A new dual-use $260 million facility replaced both the original 'temporary' domestic and international terminals in 2005.
In October 2006, the new terminal was named the Capital City Airport of the Year at the Australian Aviation Industry Awards in Cairns. In March 2007, Adelaide Airport was rated the world's second best airport in the 5-15 million passengers category at the Airports Council International (ACI) 2006 awards in Dubai.
Plans were announced for an expansion of the terminal in July 2007, including more aerobridges and demolition of the old International Terminal.
On 5 August 2008 Tiger Airways Australia confirmed that Adelaide Airport become the airlines second hub which would base two of Tiger Airways A319s by early 2009.
The airport was redeveloped in 2005 at a cost of $260 million. The redevelopment was managed by builders Hansen Yuncken. Before the redevelopment, the old airport terminal was criticised for its limited capacity and lack of aerobridges.
Proposals were developed for an upgraded terminal of world standard. The final proposal, released in 1997, called for a large, unified terminal in which both domestic and international flights would use the same terminal. A combination of factors, the most notable of which was the collapse of Ansett Australia, then a duopoly domestic carrier with Qantas, and the resultant loss of funds for its share of the construction cost, saw the new terminal plans shelved until an agreement was reached in 2002.
The new terminal was opened on 7 October 2005 by the Prime Minister John Howard and South Australian Premier Mike Rann. However, Adelaide Airport Limited announced soon afterwards that only international flights would use the new facility immediately due to problems with the fuel pumps and underground pipes. These problems related initially to the anti-rusting agent applied to the insides of the fuel pumps, then to construction debris in the pipes. Although international and regional (from December 2005) aircraft were refuelled via tankers, a lack of space and safety concerns prevented this action for domestic jet aircraft, which instead continued operations at the old terminal. The re-fueling system was cleared of all debris and the new terminal was used for all flights from 17 February 2006.
The new airport terminal is approximately 850 metres (930 yds/2790 ft) end to end and is capable of handling 27 aircraft, including the Airbus A380, simultaneously and processing 3,000 passengers per hour. It includes high amenity public and airline lounges, 14 glass-sided aerobridges, 42 common user check-in desks and 34 shop fronts. Free wireless Internet is also provided throughout the terminal by Internode Systems, a first for an Australian airport.
The Qantas A380 made a historic landing at the airport on September 27th, enthralling spectators who had gathered to catch a glimpse of the giant aircraft. This was a 25 minute pitstop, before the plane flew on to Melbourne. This is one of the several visits planned.
|Rank||Airport||Passengers handled (thousands)||% Change|
|5||Canberra International Airport||206.8||1.8|
|6||Gold Coast Airport||203.3||17.7|
|Air New Zealand||Auckland|
|Air South Regional||Kingscote (Kangaroo Island)|
|Cathay Pacific||Hong Kong|
|Malaysia Airlines||Kuala Lumpur|
|National Jet Systems||Ballera, Moomba|
|Qantas|| Alice Springs, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Singapore, Sydney |
|Regional Express||Broken Hill, Ceduna, Coober Pedy, Kingscote (Kangaroo Island), Mount Gambier, Port Lincoln, Whyalla|
|Sharp Airlines||Mildura, Port Augusta|
|Tiger Airways Australia||Alice Springs [begins March 1], Gold Coast [begins March 1], Hobart [begins March 1], Melbourne, Perth [begins March 1]|
|Virgin Blue|| Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney |