Snake Bay Airport (IATA: SNBICAO: YSNB) is located at Milikapiti, Northern Territory on the northern coast of Melville Island, Australia.


World War II

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) built the airfield as a forward fighter aerodrome, during World War II as part of the proposed strategic amphibious operations by Allied forces against the Tanimbar Islands and Kai Islands. It was proposed to accommodate a RAAF Fighter Wing and a United States Army Air Forces Fighter Group.

Construction was started on 7 July 1944, by No. 9 Mobile Works Unit RAAF with the help of 40 Aborigines. The airfield was operational on 30 August 1944. Two side by side runways 1,829 m (6,001 ft) long were constructed.[2]

The airfield was never fully utilized as the proposed amphibious operations were canceled and replaced with the New Guinea campaign. The airfield was known as Austin Strip and RAAF Melville Island.

Units based at Austin Strip

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Air Ngukurr Darwin
Fly Tiwi
operated by Hardy Aviation
Darwin, Pularumpi


  1. ^ YSNB – Snake Bay (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 29 May 2014, Aeronautical Chart
  2. ^ OzatWar website
About Snake Bay Airport- (IATA: SNB, ICAO: YSNB)


  • Address: Milikapiti NT 0822, Australia