Canberra Airport (IATA: CBR, ICAO: YSCB), is a major airport serving Australia's capital city, Canberra, as well as the nearby city of Queanbeyan and regional areas of the Australian Capital Territory and southeastern New South Wales. Located approximately 8 km (5.0 mi) from the city centre, within the North Canberra district, it is the eighth-busiest airport in Australia.
The airport serves direct flights to most Australian state capitals and regionally to Newcastle, Dubbo and the Gold Coast. Direct international links operate from Canberra to Singapore. Flights to Qatar also operate via Sydney.
Canberra Airport handled 3,217,391 passengers in the 2018-19 financial year. Major redevelopment work completed in 2013 included the demolition of the old terminal, replacing it with a new facility designed to handle up to 8 million passengers annually.
In addition to serving airline traffic, the airport is also the only public general aviation facility within the Australian Capital Territory. A former Royal Australian Air Force base - Defence Establishment Fairbairn is located within Canberra Airport and supports government VIP flying operations by 34 Squadron as well as ground handling for itinerant military aircraft and visiting heads of state.
The airport's controlling entity is Capital Property Finance Pty Ltd, which had a 2014–15 income of A$405 million. The airport is managed and operated by the Canberra Airport Group Pty Ltd. Terry Snow is the airport's executive chairman and his step-son, Stephen Byron, is the managing director.
The airport was built up from an old airstrip that was first laid down in the 1920s, not long after the National Capital site was decided. In 1939 it was taken over by the RAAF, with an area leased out for civil aviation.
On 13 August 1940, in what became known as the Canberra air disaster, a RAAF Lockheed Hudson flying from Melbourne crashed into a small hill to the east of the airport. Four crew and six passengers, including the Chief of the General staff and three Federal Government ministers, were killed in the accident. James Fairbairn, Minister for Air and Civil Aviation, was one of those killed and Fairbairn Airbase, the eastern component of the airport, was subsequently named after him. In 1962 the military side of the airport was renamed RAAF Base Fairbairn. The North-East quadrant of the airport still retains the Fairbairn name.
The lease to the site was sold to Canberra International Airport Pty Ltd in 1998, and the RAAF area was sub-leased back to the Department of Defence. It was decommissioned as a RAAF base in 2003, (although No. 34 Squadron RAAF remains based there), and the RAAF area was renamed Defence Establishment Fairbairn.
Before the airport redevelopment in 2009 there was one building made up two terminals. The former Qantas Terminal at Canberra Airport was located on the western side of the building. All Qantas and QantasLink flights and related services such as lounges now operate from the new Southern Concourse Terminal. The former terminal was demolished in 2011 to make way for the building of the second Western Concourse Terminal.
The former Common User Terminal was located on the far eastern side of the building. The terminal served Virgin Australia and briefly Tiger Airways. Also until 2001 the terminal was the home of Ansett Australia's operations from the airport. However, after the construction of the new Southern Concourse, only the terminal's departure lounge and gates 5 and 6 were in use. The Common User terminal was demolished in June 2013 after the opening of new Southern Concourse.
In 2008, Canberra International Airport launched an advertising campaign advocating the idea of having Canberra considered as Sydney's Second Airport. The slogan used was "Is the solution to Sydney's second airport still 20 years away? Less than 3 hours actually". This point of view was presented at "Canberra is the Only Serious Solution to Sydney's Air Traffic Problems."
The Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese rejected Canberra International Airport's draft master plan in November 2008, on the grounds that it did not provide enough detail on the proposal to develop the airport into a freight hub; and that the airport's community consultation had been insufficient. The Airport's 2005 master plan was also criticised by the then-Howard Government for not providing enough information.
In the second half of 2008, Canberra International Airport Pty Ltd started referring to itself as "Canberra Airport".
In early December 2007, plans were announced to construct a new terminal, with works commencing in July 2008, and completion set for September 2010. When completed, the terminal would have six aerobridges (an increase of two), 32 check-in counters, (twice the current number), 2,500 car parking spaces (doubled), three times the baggage belt capacity, and the floor area of the lounge facilities would be quadrupled.
In April 2009, Canberra Airport announced that it would spend $350 million on a number of infrastructure projects:
Changes to the terminal included:
It placed a 4½-minute animated video of the planned finished product on its website.
The project was given the go ahead by Canberra International Airport executive chairman Terry Snow, to start late 2009. It was approved by the Australian Government in February 2008. The new terminal increased space by 65%. Completed as part of the redevelopment were 10 airbridges; two four-level car parks; and an under-cover taxi rank. Space will be made for the future requirements of international flights.
In 2010, 8 Brindabella Circuit, a building located in the administration area of the Airport precinct, won the 5 Green Stars Australian Excellence Award.
In November 2012, a national petition was started by 10-year-old Eve Cogan to name the new extensions after David Warren, inventor of the blackbox. The petition has been supported by Captain C.B. "Sully" Sullenberger.
In January 2016, Singapore Airlines announced it would launch flights from Singapore to Wellington via Canberra with the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. Dubbed as the "Capital Express" service, it was the first regular international service to Canberra in years and began on 21 September 2016.
The ACT Government and Canberra Airport had been attempting for years to attract international airlines such as Air Asia X, Air New Zealand, and Emirates or persuade Qantas or Virgin Australia to commence international flights from Canberra. The airport argues there is a strong business case for flights to New Zealand. Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron said he believed there was a case to support about three flights a week to the capital of Wellington and another three to Auckland. In addition, the airport believes in the viability of a direct daily flight to an Asian Hub airport (such as Singapore or Hong Kong) to accommodate one-stop flights to onward destinations in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Canberra has a population of 900,000 in its catchment area (approximately 75% of that of Adelaide which has 42 weekly international services from its airport). Its status as Australia's capital city and the above average income of residents in the surrounding area provide more arguments in favour of international services at the airport.
On 24 January 2018, Singapore Airlines announced that it was ending its Canberra to Wellington service on 30 April 2018, altering its Canberra operations to a daily Singapore-Sydney-Canberra-Singapore service from 1 May 2018 using the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
The Canberra Spatial Plan released by the ACT Government in March 2004 identified the airport and surrounding areas as being an important centre for future industrial and related development. The airport precinct is currently divided into four areas, catering to aviation and non-aviation activities:
Construction of the Southern Concourse was completed in late 2010 and came into service on 14 November. Qantas uses its check-in counters and departure gates. The Southern Concourse also includes The Qantas Club, The Qantas Business Class Lounge and The Qantas chairman's Lounge. The building's two wings, the Southern Concourse and the Western Concourse are separated by an Atrium, the centrepiece of the terminal.
The Western Concourse opened in March 2013 and conjoins onto the Southern Concourse Terminal. Virgin Australia uses its check-in counters and departure gates. The Western Concourse also includes the 300-seat Virgin Lounge and Virgin's invitation-only The Club.
The western concourse was built with space for customs, immigration and quarantine facilities next to the Virgin lounge on the upper floor and on the ground floor. These areas were fitted out and opened when Singapore Airlines began its Canberra services to Wellington and Singapore. International flights arrive and depart from gate 5.
The General Aviation Terminal in Canberra Airport is a small separate building located on the far west side of the Terminal Precinct. Brindabella Airlines had its head office and maintenance facility located near this terminal prior to the airline's collapse in 2013.
- These flights stop in Sydney en route to Doha; however Qatar Airways has no traffic rights to carry passengers solely between Canberra and Sydney.
- Flights to Canberra stop in Sydney en route to Canberra; flights from Canberra are non-stop. Singapore Airlines has no traffic rights to carry passengers solely between Canberra and Sydney.
|2||Sydney, New South Wales||953,333||0.4|
|4||Adelaide, South Australia||195,185||7.5|
While billboards have been barred in Canberra since the 1930s, an amendment of the National Capital Plan in 2000 allowed them to be displayed at Canberra Airport. Subsequently, the airport has hosted advertisements promoting defence hardware. A community group said the airport should not be promoting weapons manufacturers. The airport defended the ads and said the airport would continue to accept defence industry advertising. In 2015 the airport was lit up in rainbow colours, and in 2017 electronic and 3D message boards were used to support marriage equality. In August 2017 Canberra Airport awarded Qatar Media Services (QMS) the concession for all internal and external advertising. The first advertising project will be a double-sided "landmark digital billboard", being the only installation of this type in the ACT.
Approach and departure corridors lie over largely rural and industrial areas, although the instrument approach path (from the south) passes near the New South Wales suburb of Jerrabomberra, the city of Queanbeyan, and the Royal Australian Navy base, HMAS Harman, which has some barracks and housing.
Proposals have been made to the NSW Planning Minister by various developers to approve housing estates that are under the southern flight paths in New South Wales. Canberra International Airport Pty Ltd has been vigorous in advertising its opposition to these plans on the basis of a general increase in noise levels over a wide corridor which is currently free of aircraft noise, and concern that this will lead to the imposition of a curfew on the hours-of-operation of the airport.
Access to the city from the airport is via Morshead Drive and Parkes Way and Pialligo Avenue to Queanbeyan. A major junction which connects the Majura Parkway and Monaro Highway with Canberra's east-west arterial road network is located adjacent to the airport. Travel time to Canberra from the airport is generally around 10 minutes. The road approaches to the airport and business parks have historically been prone to traffic congestion in peak times. In 2007, the Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope controversially attributed the congestion to the Federal Government permitting construction of office buildings on airport land. A report commissioned by the ACT Government however identified a range of factors contributing including population growth in Gungahlin and Queanbeyan and the expansion of the airport itself, calling for a staged approach to road improvements in the area. Major investment in upgrades aimed at improving access have progressively been completed since 2008 through joint funding from both Canberra Airport Group and the ACT Government.
Canberra Cabs and partner taxi companies provide services to the airport taxi rank. An enclosed waiting area was opened in November 2013, aiming to improve the experience for arriving passengers who would otherwise wait outside in Canberra's relative climate extremes. Hire car companies maintain a presence in the terminal and Uber pick-up and drop offs are permitted with a $3 fee charged to drivers.
ACTION resumed Route 11/11A to Canberra Airport's passenger terminal from the City bus interchange in 2017. The route operated with 64 services each week day, 26 services on a Saturday and 24 on Sundays. Route 11/11A has since been incorporated into route R3. Canberra Airport Express provides daytime mini-bus services to Canberra City, connecting to regional and Interstate coach services at the West Row bus station. Other local bus services operate through the airport precinct and Brindabella Business park, but do not stop at the terminal including former ACTION route 792 (peak hours) to/from Woden and Qcity Transit route 834 to Queanbeyan (Monday to Friday only).
On 10 February 2009, Canberra Airport released its preliminary draft master plan which announced that a high-speed rail link between Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne was being considered. The plan was shortlisted in December 2008 by Infrastructure Australia for further consideration; however, it was the most expensive project shortlisted, and has not attracted any funding from any government. The decision to build the Second Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek has made a fast rail link to Canberra Airport unlikely in the foreseeable future.
- "Board of Directors". Canberra Airport. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011.
- PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 15 August 2019, Aeronautical Chart Archived 10 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine (
- "Monthly Airport Traffic Data for top twenty airports: 2009 to current". Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE).
- "Canberra Airport (CBR) Information: Airport in Canberra Area, ACT, Australia, AU". Canberra-cbr.airports-guides.com. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- Economics, Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional. "Airport traffic data". bitre.gov.au. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
- 1 July to 30 June
- Back, Alexandra (20 January 2016). "Canberra Airport wins back 'international' title after patchy history". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- Stensholt, John. "Terry Snow's $2.6b Canberra Airport bonanza". Archived from the original on 12 April 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
- Jeffery, Stephen. "Canberra Airport owners appear on ATO corporate tax transparency report".
- "Canberra International Airport Pty Ltd". Canberraairport.com.au. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Terminal map and directory". Canberra Airport. Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Airport reborn as old arch foe meets its end". Canberra Times. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "Canberra is the Only Serious Solution to Sydney's Air Traffic Problems." Archived 29 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "Airport plan lacked detail: Albanese". ABC News. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2008.
- McLennan, David (22 November 2008). "Feds bring airport's 24/7 ambitions back down to earth". The Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2008.
- For example, the Issue 45 Archived 13 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine of "The Hub", dated July 2008, uses the "Canberra International Airport" logo, whereas Issue 46 Archived 13 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine, dated November 2008, uses a "Canberra Airport" logo.
- "Canberra's new terminal". Canberra Airport. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- The Hub Newsletter Archived 13 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Issue 43, January 2008.
- Information and updates about changes to the airport Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, canberraairport.com.au
- "Project key facts" Archived 13 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine, AirVolution project, Canberra Airport Website. Retrieved on 11 April 2009.
- Animated video Archived 13 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine, planned airport changes, Canberra Airport website. Retrieved on 11 April 2009.
- "Still to come - Canberra Airport". Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "The Air Volution" Archived 28 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Information about Canberra's (planned) new air terminal, Canberra Airport website. Retrieved on 11 April 2009.
- "5 Green Star 'Australian Excellence' Award". Canberra Airport. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- Emily Watkins (22 November 2012). "Girl, 10, campaigns to honour black box inventor". News Ltd. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- Ben Sandilands (5 January 2013). "The link between unsung hero David Warren and QF32". Crikey.
- Staff writers (23 January 2013). "Heroic pilot backs little Aussie girl's campaign". News Ltd. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Flynn, David (20 January 2016). "Singapore Airlines to launch Singapore-Canberra-Wellington flights". Australian Business Traveller. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- Ironside, Robyn. "AirAsia X eyeing off Avalon, Brisbane and Canberra". Perth Now. Archived from the original on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- McIlroy, Tom (6 March 2015). "Air New Zealand Canberra flights not happening, despite Barr plea". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
- "Canberra woos Singapore Airlines". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "Push for overseas flights into Canberra". Canberra Times. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "IKEA helps build case for international flights for Canberra Airport". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "Qatar Airways joins Singapore Airlines in growing Canberra international market". ABC News. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
- Platt, Craig (5 November 2019). "Qatar Airways A350-1000 arrives at Sydney Airport on first Doha-Sydney-Canberra flight". Retrieved 27 November 2019.
- "Singapore Airlines brings first class to Canberra on daily flights". Australian Business Traveller. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- Canberra Spatial Plan, March 2004, ACT Government.
- Brindabella Business Park, brindabellabusinesspark.com.au
- "QantasLink opens heavy maintenance base in Canberra". Australian Aviation. 10 April 2015.
- Majura Park (retail precinct), majurapark.com.au
- "Canberra's new terminal". Archived from the original on 28 February 2009.
- "New Terminal - Canberra Airport". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "Airport opens new gateway to Canberra". ABC News. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "Virgin Australia opens new Canberra Airport lounge". Australian Business Traveller. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "Canberra Airport opens new Virgin Australia terminal, lounges this week". Australian Business Traveller. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "Microsoft Word - FINAL Canberra Airport 2009 Master Plan, Approved 28.09.09.doc" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Awards - Canberra Airport". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "Brindabella Airlines". alternativeairlines.com. 10 January 2000. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Home Archived 7 July 2005 at the Wayback Machine." Brindabella Airlines. Retrieved on 19 November 2013. "Brindabella Airlines Pty Ltd, 5 Rayner Road Canberra Airport PO Box 1542"
- "Pelican gets green light to start Newcastle-Canberra route". Australian Aviation. 27 May 2015.
- McWhirter, Alex (22 July 2017). "Qatar Airways to serve Canberra from February 2018". Business Traveller. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
- Gorey, Michael (26 May 2017). "Cheap flights from Canberra to Brisbane from September 14".
- Knaus, Christopher (22 August 2016). "Cheap flights to Melbourne return, Tigerair announces daily route".
- 2005 Canberra Airport Master Plan pp.24–25
- "Australian Domestic Domestic aviation activity 2018". Bitre.gov.au. September 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
- "International Airline Activity 2018". bitre.gov.au. June 2019.
- "SIA To Launch Melbourne-Wellington Services And Daily Flights To Canberra". Singapore Airlines. 24 January 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- "Qatar Airways Touches Down For the First Time in Canberra, the Capital City of Australia". Qatar Airways. 12 February 2018.
- Burgess, Kate (25 January 2017). "ACT may relax its ban on billboards". Canberra Times. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
- "Campaign to remove weapons advertisements at Canberra airport". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
- "Canberra Airport to be presented with petition criticising defence advertising". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
- "Canberra Airport puts support for marriage equality up in lights". ABC. 10 August 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
- Pickering, Karstie (20 March 2017). "Canberra Airport to promote marriage equality to traveling politicians". Passenger Terminal Today. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
- Lappage, Sara (4 August 2017). "QMS Wins Advertising Concession For Canberra Airport". Bandt. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
- This is referred to as "Noise Sharing". See "Aircraft Noise – Land Use Planning document". Canberra International Airport Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 13 September 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2007. and Noise Sharing, Canberra International Airport Pty Ltd Archived 13 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine for an explanation of their rationale.
- "Judge's Ruling says noise will be a problem at Tralee" Archived 13 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine, The Hub, Issue 40 (September 2007), pg4. Canberra Airport Newsletter.
- "Stanhope blames Commonwealth for airport congestion". ABC News. 7 March 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2007.
- "Media Release: $15 million to Boost Road Access to Airport" (PDF). ACT Government. 1 October 2006. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- "Canberra Airport Roads Working Group – Final Report". ACT Government. 1 October 2006. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2007.
- "Labor party media release". 12 October 2008. Archived from the original on 30 March 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2008.
- "The Hub". Issue 45. Canberra International Airport Pty Ltd. July 2008. Archived from the original on 13 September 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2008.
- Boland-Rudder, Hamish (18 November 2013). "Canberra Airport gets new undercover taxi rank". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
- Lawson, Kirsten; McIlroy, Tom (9 November 2015). "Canberra's transport experiment: Uber and taxis compared". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
- "Canberra Airport Bus Services" (PDF). Canberra Airport. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
- Route R3 Transport Canberra
- "Canberra Airport Express". Ride on Demand. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
- "Weekday timetable: table 791/792". ACTION. Archived from the original on 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
- "Route 834". Qcity Transit. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- Australian Government, Western Sydney airport[permanent dead link], Infrastructure Australia, 4 December 2014, accessed 23 December 2014
Media related to Canberra Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Visit: Website
- Hours: 8:30 a.m - 5:30 p.m week days-Saturday and Sunday closed
- Address: 2 Brindabella Circuit Brindabella Business Park ACT 2609