Hobart International Airport

Hobart International Airport is the primary passenger and freight airport of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. The Airport is located on the Eastern shore of the Derwent River, near the semi-rural/industrial suburb of Cambridge; approximately 20 kilometres from the city centre via the Tasman Highway. Being sited on a narrow peninsula, take-off and landing are inevitably directed over bodies of water regardless of approach/departure direction. This region, especially that immediately surrounding the Airport, remain largely unpopulated which enables the airport to operate curfew free services.

Although the airport has not had a regular scheduled international passenger service since the 1990s (to Christchurch, New Zealand), the official name of Hobart International Airport remains. Singapore Airlines’ charter program flies into the airport using Boeing jet aircraft and Skytraders conducts regular flights to Antarctica on behalf of the Australian Antarctic Division using an Airbus A319. As such, the airport maintains its international terminal building, customs and immigration facilities.

The airport now serves over 20,000 flights which equates to 1.6 million people per year.


The airport opened in 1956, replacing the nearby Cambridge Aerodrome as the aerial gateway to Hobart. At this time, it was known, not as Hobart International Airport, but as Lanherne Airport, after the name of the property on which it was built. This name, however, has now fallen into disuse. In its first full year of operation the airport processed 120,086 passengers and 11,724 tonnes of freight, ranking fifth in Australia. By 1957 the airport's infrastructure comprised a small terminal building that remains at the southern end of the Qantas area, 2 freight hangars, fuel depot, timber weather station and the airport administration office and works compound. In 1964 the Federal Government upgraded and lengthened the runway to cater for Jet aircraft. The runway was extended again in the 1980s to cater for large aircraft such as Boeing 747 and Antonov aircraft (to a limited operating range). The Current domestic terminal building was officially opened in April 1976 and the international terminal building opened in 1986. In 1998 the airport was privatised, now on a 99 year lease to Hobart International Airport Pty Ltd. During December 2007 the State government sold the Tas Ports owned subsidiary for $350 million to a private consortium made up of Macquarie Capital, one of Macquarie's infrastructure funds and Tasmania's public sector superannuation fund, the Retirement Benefits Fund. The sale was in line with other state capital airport sell-offs, and was the last capital airport remaining in government control.

The Runway

The high strength flexible runway was constructed with an asphaltic concrete surface. It is adequate for unrestricted operations up to and including Boeing 767 and Airbus A300 aircraft. Boeing 747 aircraft can operate with a weight restriction. A runway length of 2,800 metres would allow unrestricted operations to destinations such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Tokyo. The current runway length of 2,251 metres is adequate for direct flights to New Zealand, Cairns, Perth, Singapore and Jakarta. For longer range operations, a weight limit is imposed for aircraft landing and on take off. The landing length required at Hobart for a Boeing 747 at maximum operational landing weight is 2,400 metres, a minimum runway extension of 150 metres is understandably desirable in future development of the airport. However, the current runway length is considered adequate for the time being.

The Airport has recently purchased land from the State Government, for the future development of further operational facilities in the southern part of the Airport. This additional area would allow for a short runway for general aviation aircraft. The purchase would allow a runway either parallel to the main runway along the southern end of the eastern boundary of the Airport or a cross runway towards the southern end of the main runway. The alternative second runway would provide an opportunity to improve the operational management of the lighter categories of aircraft. However, these capabilities will most likely be developed in the relatively distant future.

Both the second runway and existing runway are not likely to be developed any time soon, due to the fact the runway is presently under-utilised. If Antarctic operations or other airline operations changed the nature of the runway operations enough to warrant these developments, they will be undertaken.


Domestic Terminal Redevelopment

Stage 1

In 2004 the domestic terminal was redeveloped, the first in its 30 year history. This development involved:

  • Modernising the terminal
  • Retail shops moved to within the security screened area
  • Re-alignment of the carpark
  • Car rental facilities moved to new building in the carpark

In 2005 Hobart Airport experienced record annual passenger turnoversand it was then decided to bring forward plans to upgrade the seating capacity of the airport. This work involved expanding the domestic terminal building over the tarmac by three meters to provide more departure lounge space.

Stage 2

In August 2006 the airport began a 15 million dollar development to bring the airport into line with new Federal Security laws that came into effect on August 2007. This enables ALL checked luggage to be X-rayed. This area is located between the existing Domestic And International Terminal buildings, connecting the two terminals. The works also involved situating the three airline check-in counters in a central area (located in the area where the old Virgin Blue check-in counter was) and relocating the Virgin Blue arrivals area to the northern side of the International Terminal. Enhancements of this redevelopment involved:

  • New high strength aircraft parking bays (Apron), and new fuel spill drainage arrangements.
  • New food and beverage facilities before security screening.
  • Combining the international and domestic terminal buildings
  • Terminal space to cater for any new entrant airlines.

Big Box Project

Early 2006, the Airport announced plans to build a Direct Factory Outlet just east of Holyman Avenue. The complex will cover an area equal to the area of nine football fields, which will make it the largest of its kind in Australia. Austexx, a Melbourne based company - will be leasing the site and is the main investor in the 100 million dollar project. The retail outlets will include a Direct Factory Outlet of over 100 leading fashion brands, a Trade Do It Yourself Centre, a Homemaker Centre and a Bulky Goods Centre. Confirmed individual retail outlets include:

  • Fila
  • Jag
  • Joanne Mercer

  • Nine West
  • Sandler shoes
  • Sheridan

The development would also provide car parking for over 2000 cars and road works will most likely be conducted on Holyman Avenue to ensure that traffic flow into the Airport itself is not affected. While the state government has thrown its support into the project and believes the Direct Factory Outlet will drive retail trade growth, the Hobart City Council and a large amount of retail shop owners in the Hobart CBD have expressed fear of losing business. Concern was also expressed about the Big Box being built on Commonwealth Land and therefore escaping the state planning laws. During April 2007 the Hobart Airport's public relations firm confirmed they had submitted plans of the project (including rejections) to the Federal Government for assessment. When federal Transport Minister Warren Truss assessed the project , he gave approval on condition the outlet centre was cut by almost half to 10,000 square metres, prompting Austexx to walk away from the proposal. However in February 2008, Austexx chief executive Geoff Porz confirmed the Direct Factory Outlet and Homemaker Hub was back on, going as far as to say that Hobart was "grossly under supplied with shopping facilities".

Other Developments

In December 2005 prominent Hobart developer, Ali Sultan proposed a four star 60 room Hotel/motel for the airport. To be constructed on Holyman Ave the $80 million project would also feature a caravan park, service station, Restaurant and a Car wash.


Passenger Statistics

The table below contains statistics on passenger movements for routes out of Hobart Airport where multiple airlines operated for some of the year ending the specified month. For example, there are no statistics available for Hobart to Adelaide as it is currently only served by Virgin Blue.

Top Competitive Routes out of Hobart Airport (YE June 2008)
Rank Airport Passengers handled % Change
1 Melbourne Airport 1,074,700 7.3
2 Sydney Airport 443,200 4.0
3 Brisbane Airport 152,400 11.1

Landing patterns and approach

Hobart Airport resides within the Melbourne FIR, which is managed by Melbourne Centre and operated by Airservices Australia. Once an aircraft is established on its final approach, control is handed over to Hobart Tower.

Airlines and destinations

7 airlines currently operate regular flights to 8 destinations from Hobart Airport.
Airlines operating in Hobart Airport
Airlines Destinations Terminal
Australian air Express Melbourne-Tullamarine Freight Area

Melbourne-Tullamarine, Sydney
  • Melbourne-Tullamarine, Sydney

Skytraders Casey Station International
Tasair Burnie, Devonport, King Island Regional Area
Tiger Airways Australia Adelaide [begins March 1], Melbourne-Tullamarine Domestic
Virgin Blue Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne-Tullamarine, Sydney Domestic

See also


External links

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