Adelaide Airport

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Adelaide Airport
Adelaide Airport logo.svg
Adelaide Airport T1, Qantas Check in Desks
Airport type Public
Operator Adelaide Airport Limited
Serves Adelaide
Location Adelaide Airport, South Australia
Hub for Alliance Airlines
Regional Express Airlines
Sharp Airlines
Focus city for Virgin Australia
Jetstar Airways
Elevation AMSL 20 ft / 6 m
Coordinates 34°56′42″S 138°31′50″E / 34.94500°S 138.53056°E / -34.94500; 138.53056Coordinates: 34°56′42″S 138°31′50″E / 34.94500°S 138.53056°E / -34.94500; 138.53056
ADL is located in Greater Adelaide
ADL is located in South Australia
ADL is located in Australia
Direction Length Surface
m ft
05/23 3,100 10,171 Asphalt
12/30 1,652 5,420 Asphalt
PassengersYE 2016 8,007,000[1]
Movements 2015 78,072
Freight (Tonnes) 2015 20 822
Sources: BITRE [2]

Adelaide Airport (IATA: ADLICAO: YPAD) is the principal airport of Adelaide, South Australia and the fifth busiest airport in Australia, servicing just over eight million passengers in the calendar year ending 31 December 2016.[3] Located adjacent to West Beach, it is approximately 6 km (3.7 mi) west of the city-centre. It has been operated privately by Adelaide Airport Limited under a long-term lease from the Commonwealth Government since 29 May 1998.[4]:p 25

First established in 1955, a new dual international/domestic terminal was opened in 2005 which has received numerous awards, including being named the world's second-best international airport (5–15 million passengers) in 2006.[5] Also, it has been named Australia's best capital city airport in 2006, 2009 and 2011.[6]

Over the 2016 calendar year, Adelaide Airport experienced passenger growth of 5.9% internationally and 2.1% for domestic and regional passengers.[3]


The first Adelaide airport was an aerodrome constructed in 1921 on 24 ha (59 acres) of land in Hendon. The small facility allowed for a mail service between Adelaide and Sydney. To meet the substantial growth in aviation, Parafield Airport was developed in 1927. The demand on aviation outgrew Parafield and the current site of Adelaide Airport was selected at West Torrens (now West Beach) in January 1946.[7] An alternative site at Port Adelaide, including a seaplane facility, was considered inferior and too far from the C.B.D.[8] Construction began and flights commenced in 1954. Parafield Airport was turned into a private and military aviation facility.

Passengers boarding from the tarmac in December 1967; this continued for domestic passengers until 2006.

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

Plans were announced for an expansion of the terminal in July 2007, including more aerobridges and demolition of the old International Terminal.[12]

On 5 August 2008 Tiger Airways Australia confirmed that Adelaide Airport would become the airline's second hub which would base two of the airline's Airbus A320s by early 2009.[13] On 29 October 2009 Tiger announced it would be housing its third A320 at Adelaide Airport from early 2010.[14] Tiger Airways later shut down its operations from Adelaide only to recommence them in 2013.[15]

The airport encountered major problems during the eruption of Puyehue volcano in Chile, the ash cloud caused flights to be cancelled nationwide, with over 40,000 passengers being left stranded in Adelaide.

Previous terminals[edit]

The original international terminal had only one gate with limited space for passengers. Check in desks were small and waiting space was limited. It was partially demolished[when?] to make the area more secure and allow aircraft to park on the other side of the terminal. The old domestic terminal was closed shortly after the new terminal was opened to flights and was demolished not long after. A new control tower was built west of the current terminal with the old control tower maintained for additional operations.

Present terminal building[edit]

A large crowd watches Qantas A380 VH-OQA visit Adelaide, 27 September 2008
Main concourse terminal one, 2006

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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 afterward 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.[16] The new airport terminal is approximately 850 m (2,790 ft) end to end and is capable of handling 27 aircraft, including an 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.[17]

The first Qantas A380, VH-OQA "Nancy Bird Walton", landed at the airport on 27 September 2008, Several thousand spectators gathered to catch a glimpse of the giant aircraft. This was a 25-minute stopover before it flew on to Melbourne. This was one of several visits the airliner made as part of a pilot training and testing program.

In July 2013, Adelaide Airport became the first Australian airport and second airport worldwide to have Google Street View technology, allowing passengers to explore the arrival and departure sections of the airport before travel.[18]

Recent development[edit]

As of 2011 a series of developments are either underway, approved or proposed for Adelaide Airport. In February 2011 a A$100 million building program was launched as part of a five-year master plan. The developments which have been made public (whether part of the building plan or not) are listed below:

  • New airport road network to improve traffic flow (completed)
  • New multi-storey car park – increasing parking spaces from 800 to 1,650 (completed August 2012)[19]
  • New passenger terminal plaza frontage (completed March 2013)
  • Walkway bridge connecting new car park and existing terminal building (completed March 2013)
  • Terminal concourse extension
  • Three new aerobridges
  • Terminal commercial projects and passenger facilities
  • Relocation of regional carrier Rex
  • Relocation of old transportable charter aircraft operators' terminal
  • New control tower, twice the height of the old tower, expected to cost A$16.9 million (opened early 2012)
  • Addition of Emirates airlines, Qatar Airways and China Southern Airlines to the list of airlines serving the airport.
  • Adelaide Airport Hotel (37 m (121 ft) tall, nine levels)
  • New airside cargo facility (1500sqm)[1]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


The tarmac of the regional Gate 50
Airlines Destinations Refs.
Air New Zealand Auckland
Alliance Airlines Ballera,[20][21] Moomba,[20][21] Olympic Dam [22]
Mining Charter: Coober Pedy, Port Augusta, Prominent Hill Mine
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou[23]
Emirates Dubai–International
Fiji Airways Nadi (begins 30 June 2017)[24]
Jetstar Airways Avalon,[25] Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Denpasar, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Sunshine Coast,[26] Sydney
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International
Pel-Air Mining Charter: Jacinth-Ambrosia Mine
Qantas Alice Springs, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
operated by Cobham Aviation Services Australia
Brisbane,[27] Perth, Sydney
operated by Eastern Australia Airlines
Kingscote (resumes 4 December 2017)[28][29], Port Lincoln, Whyalla,
Qatar Airways Doha[30]
Regional Express Airlines Broken Hill, Ceduna, Coober Pedy, Kingscote, Mildura, Mount Gambier, Port Lincoln, Whyalla
Rossair Mining Charter: Ballera, Challenger, Moomba (all flights suspended)[31]
Sharp Airlines Mining Charter: Beverley Uranium Mine, Honeymoon Uranium Mine, Leigh Creek, Moomba, Prominent Hill Mine
Singapore Airlines Singapore
Tigerair Australia Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney
Virgin Australia Alice Springs,[32] Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney


Airlines Destinations
Atlas Air
operated by Emirates Sky Cargo
Australian air Express
operated by Cobham
Melbourne, Sydney
MASkargo Kuala Lumpur–International, Sydney
Qantas Freight Sydney, Singapore
Singapore Airlines Cargo Singapore
Toll Priority
operated by Pel-Air and Toll Aviation
Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Canberra

Traffic and statistics[edit]


Busiest domestic/regional routes out of Adelaide Airport
Airport Passengers
Year Ending
% Change July
% Change
1 Victoria (Australia) Melbourne 2,393,636 Increase 3.6 215,400 Increase 6.4
2 New South Wales Sydney 1,871,990 Increase 2.2 153,700 Decrease 1.7
3 Queensland Brisbane 830,335 Increase 4.7 76,200 Increase 7.2
4 Western Australia Perth 617,103 Increase 1.0 50,400 Decrease 5.1
5 Queensland Gold Coast 221,536 Increase 1.0 20,200 Increase 1.2
6 South Australia Port Lincoln 178,895 Decrease 3.7 14,000 Decrease 4.4
7 Australian Capital Territory Canberra 174,046 Increase 2.4 13,200 Decrease 6.5
8 Northern Territory Alice Springs1 120,714 n/a 11,700 Decrease 6.1
  • ^1 Alice Springs only included from April 2015.


Busiest International routes out of Adelaide Airport
Airport Passengers
Year Ending
% Change June
% Change
1 United Arab Emirates Dubai 202,502 Decrease 3.1 14,451 Decrease 21.8
2 Singapore Singapore 199,632 Decrease 2.9 14,796 Increase 3.3
3 Indonesia Denpasar (Bali) 160,202 Increase 6.6 16,169 Increase 10.3
4 Hong Kong Hong Kong 104,696 Increase 16.0 8,124 Increase 9.9
5 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur–International 98,295 Decrease 50.9 6,202 Decrease 45.8
6 New Zealand Auckland 76,243 Decrease 2.5 4,258 Increase 0.1
7 Qatar Doha 15,632 new 9,079 new

Annual Passengers[edit]

Annual passenger statistics
Year Passenger movements
2001–02 4,180,000
2002–03 4,358,000
2003–04 4,897,000
2004–05 5,371,000
2005–06 5,776,000
2006–07 6,192,000
2007–08 6,635,000
2008–09 6,799,000
2009–10 7,030,000
2010–11 7,297,000
2011-12 6,968,000
2012-13 7,300,000
2013-14 7,696,000
2014-15 7,670,000
2015-16 7,777,747
2020-21 9,856,000
2025-26 11,552,000
2030–31 13,537,000


Busiest international freight routes into and out of Adelaide Airport
(YE June 2011)[37]
Rank Airport Tonnes  % Change
1 Singapore, Singapore 10,995.7 Decrease10.8
2 Hong Kong, Hong Kong 3,413.2 Decrease8.8
3 Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur–International 2,984.4 Increase1.9
4 New Zealand, Auckland 449.4 Decrease11.8

Ground transport[edit]

Adelaide Metro operates frequent JetBus buses connecting the airport to the Central Business District and Glenelg. Routes J1, J1X and J3 operate to the City every 15mins. Route J1 also operates to Harbour Town Shopping Centre and Routes J1 and J3 continue to Glenelg. Routes J7 and J8 operate to West Lakes and Marion.[38] The AAL's latest airport master plan proposes a light rail service. Historically airlines provided connecting buses to the Central Business District, after which a private bus service provided a service until 2013.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Adelaide Airport". Retrieved 13 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "Airport Traffic Data 1985–86 to 2014–15". BITRE. March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Adelaide Airport reaches 8 million passengers in 2016" (pdf). Adelaide Airport Ltd. media release. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "Air passengermovements through capital city airports to 2025–26" (PDF). Working Paper 72. Canberra: Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. 2008. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Adelaide Airport: T1" (PDF). Adelaide Airport Limited. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008. 
  6. ^ "Adelaide names Australia's best airport again" (PDF). 
  7. ^ "West Beach Airport Plan Approved". The Advertiser 26 January 1946 page 1. 
  8. ^ "Airport For Adelaide". The Advertiser 27 June 1945 page 7. 
  9. ^ "History: 1927–2005". Adelaide Airport Limited. Archived from the original on 3 October 2006. Retrieved 14 October 2006. 
  10. ^ "China Aviation News:Adelaide Airport Rated No. 1 in Australia". 18 October 2006. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Adelaide Airport Wins International Praise". 13 March 2007. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  12. ^ Innes, Stuart (12 July 2007). "Adelaide Airport boost". The Advertiser. Retrieved 13 July 2007. 
  13. ^ "Tiger sets up second home in Adelaide". Fairfax Digital. Melbourne: The Age. 5 August 2008. Archived from the original on 15 May 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2008. 
  14. ^ Innes, Stuart (29 October 2009). "Tiger Airways base in Adelaide to grow by 50 per cent". The Advertiser. News Limited. 
  15. ^ "Tiger Airways future Aust look under wraps". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "Passengers urged to be patient as new SA terminal opens". Australia: ABC News. 17 February 2006. Retrieved 14 October 2006. 
  17. ^ Denise Murray (31 October 2005). "Weaving wireless magic". CRN. Archived from the original on 10 October 2006. Retrieved 14 October 2006. 
  18. ^ "Google Street View Technology First for Adelaide Airport" (PDF) (Press release). Adelaide Airport Limited. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  19. ^ "Parking". Adelaide Airport Limited. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  20. ^ a b "Alliance wins new Santos contract". Australian Aviation. 
  21. ^ a b "Cobham loses Cooper Basin FIFO contract". The Advertiser. 
  22. ^ "Australia's Alliance Air ends QantasLink tie-up". ch-aviation. 
  23. ^ "China Southern to start flying to Adelaide - Travel Daily Asia". Travel Daily Asia. Retrieved 13 June 2017. 
  24. ^ "Bula Adelaide! Fiji Airways to operate flights out of its newest Australian port, Adelaide Airport.". Fiji Airways. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016. 
  25. ^ "Jetstar includes Hobart, Adelaide on Avalon flights radar". Geelong Advertiser. 
  26. ^ "Jetstar announces Sunshine Coast-Adelaide flights - Australian Aviation". Retrieved 13 June 2017. 
  27. ^ "Qantas expands 717 domestic network". Australian Aviation. 
  28. ^ "Qantas to serve Kangaroo Island following airport upgrade - Australian Aviation". Retrieved 13 June 2017. 
  29. ^ "Media Releases - QANTASLINK HOPPING TO KANGAROO ISLAND - Qantas News Room". Retrieved 13 June 2017. 
  31. ^ "Rossair chief pilot among dead in Riverland plane crash". 31 May 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017. 
  32. ^ "Virgin to fly Adelaide-Alice Springs from March 2015". Australian Aviation. 
  33. ^ "Domestic aviation activity - Annual 2016" (PDF). Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE). March 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.  Refers to "Regular Public Transport (RPT) operations only"
  34. ^ "Domestic aviation activity - July 2016" (PDF). Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE). July 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.  Refers to "Regular Public Transport (RPT) operations only"
  35. ^ "City pairs data—passengers, freight and mail—2009 to current". Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE). September 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.  Refers to "Regular Public Transport (RPT) operations only"
  36. ^ "International airline activity - June 2016" (PDF). Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE). July 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.  Refers to "Regular Public Transport (RPT) operations only"
  37. ^ "Australian International Airline Activity 2011" (PDF). Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE). June 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.  Refers to "Regular Public Transport (RPT) operations only"
  38. ^ "Adelaide Metro - Stop 17327". Adelaide Metro. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Adelaide Airport at Wikimedia Commons