The factual accuracy of parts of this article (those related to article) may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (November 2010)
Archerfield air traffic control tower
|Owner||Leased Federal Airport|
|Operator||Archerfield Airports Corporation|
|Elevation AMSL||63 ft / 19 m|
Archerfield Airport is a Leased Federal Airport located in Archerfield, 12 km (7.5 mi) to the south of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. For some time it was the primary airport in Brisbane. During World War II it was used as a Royal Australian Air Force station. Airport traffic peaked in the 1980s. In December 2010, a development plan was released for public comment which included a new parallel runway.
The land upon which Archerfield airfield is now situated (Portion 18, Parish of Yeerongpilly) was originally purchased in 1855 by Thomas Grenier, publican of the Brisbane Hotel in Russell Street, South Brisbane. He purchased 640 acres (2.6 km2) of lightly timbered alluvial soil, some of the best grazing land in the district, for a price of £1,920.
Thomas Grenier called his property Oomoropilly. By April 1862 the property was almost established with most of the fences erected and a cottage with outbuildings and a stable erected. By 1865 the property had been subdivided into three farms. Thomas's son George Alexander Grenier and his wife Sarah Greenwood lived on the middle farm where they had been since 1863. Tom and his wife Mary Ann lived in the homestead called Willows which fronted onto Mortimer Road. Franklin Grenier occupied the farm which fronted onto Mortimer and Beatty Roads, and William Leichhardt Grenier ran the farm called Stoneleigh which had a long frontage onto Oxley Creek.
Thomas Grenier died in 1877 and was buried at the cemetery on his property. It was known as Oxley Cemetery at that time. This is now known as Grenier's Cemetery or God's Acre Cemetery and it is located at the main entrance to Archerfield Aerodrome. Franklin Grenier died in 1889 and his farm was bought by the Beatty family in the early 1890s. The other two farms were also sold in the early 20th century.
In 1927, Captain Lester Brain, chief flying instructor for Qantas Airways, landed his de Havilland Giant Moth (DH-61) on Franklin's Farm which was located at the western side of the present aerodrome. His mission was to see if the site was suitable to become an airfield. A Civic Survey was carried out in 1928 by the Brisbane City Council and then in July 1929, part of the Oxley Ward was zoned for noxious trade as recommended in the Civic Survey and it was renamed Archerfield by the Brisbane City Council to distinguish it from the surrounding residential and farming areas.
The Government finally acquired about 300 acres (1.2 km2) of land in 1929. More land was purchased in 1930, 1936, 1942 and finally the cemetery (God's Acre) in 1946 resulting in a total area of 8,250 acres (33.4 km2). Two light gravel strips 5,000 ft × 500 ft (1,524 m × 152 m) were built and the aerodrome started operations.
Qantas moved their operations from Eagle Farm to Archerfield after the first hangars were erected at Archerfield, and the airport was officially opened on 1 April 1931. Ansett ANA and Trans Australia Airlines both used Archerfield during the 1930s. The Queensland Aero Club, which was established in 1919, moved from Eagle Farm to Archerfield in 1931.
The control tower and many buildings at Archerfield were built during these busy years when Archerfield was the main airport in Brisbane. Although designed in 1936, it was not until 1941 that the administrative building and control tower was finally erected at a cost of £15,000. The control tower on top of the administrative building has since been dismantled.
World War II
During World War II, Archerfield became an important military airfield for the Royal Australian Air Force, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), Military Aviation of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army and Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. The airport was home to RAAF Station Archerfield from 1939 to 1956, with 23 Squadron being the first RAAF squadron to be based in Queensland. Plaques commemorating the RAAF, USAAF and Royal Navy personnel who served in the Pacific theatre can be viewed in the old administration building.
With the Japanese conquests in the Philippines and much of the Southwest Pacific in 1941 and 1942, Brisbane became both the headquarters of the USAAF Fifth Air Force, as well as a major logistics and maintenance center. Personnel transports and cargo shipping from the United States arrived at Brisbane's port facilities, with aircraft being unloaded and transported to Archerfield. The Air Technical Service Command[clarification needed] 44th Depot Repair Squadron's mission was to uncrate and prepare these aircraft for combat units assigned to Australia. In addition, the squadron was tasked to perform depot-level repair on aircraft in service throughout Australia. Aircraft processed though the depot consisted of P-38 Lightning, P-39 Airacobra, P-40 Warhawk, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-70 Havoc, B-25 Mitchell, B-26 Marauder, B-18 Bolo, and B-24 Liberators. The United States Army 1622d Ordnance and Supply Company (Aviation) was the main organization coordinating warehousing of spare parts, receiving cargo and shipping supplies from Brisbane.
In addition to the maintenance and logistics, during 1942 the flight echelons of USAAF groups and squadrons assigned to Australia received their aircraft at Brisbane. After a short organizational stay, they were reassigned to their operational airfields around the country. Known USAAF units assigned were:
- 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), (22 December 1941 – February 1942)
- 3rd Bombardment Group (Light), (25 February – 10 March 1942)
- 22nd Bombardment Group (Medium), (25 February – 7 March 1942)
- 38th Bombardment Group (Medium), (25 February – 8 March 1942; 10 June – 7 August 1942)
- 16th & 17th Bombardment Squadrons (Light) (27th Bombardment Group (Light)), (10–25 March 1942)
- 8th Reconnaissance Squadron (24 April – 2 May 1942)
- 374th Troop Carrier Group, (12 November–December 1942)
- 6th Reconnaissance Group, (27 November-10 December 1943)
- 58th Fighter Group, (21 November – 28 December 1943)
The main USAAF flying unit permanently assigned to Archerfield was the Air Transport Command 21st Troop Carrier Squadron from April 1942 to August 1944. Various USAAF bombers and fighters of various types transited the airport, however, thougout the war.
After World War II, Ansett ANA and Trans Australia Airlines moved their operations to Eagle Farm Airport. The improvements to Archerfield allowed it to assume its role of secondary and civil aviation airport.
In 1998, the airport was leased by the Federal Airports Corporation to the Archerfield Airport Corporation. Today, Archerfield is used mainly for civil aviation. It is home to the Department of Emergency Services rescue helicopter flights, No. 219 Squadron of the Australian Air Force Cadets and still in their original hangar, the Royal Queensland Aero Club.
General aviation procedures
Archer Tower is only open between 0700 and 1700 hours. Outside these hours Archerfield becomes a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF). During this time the longest runway (10L/28R) becomes the main active runway for both arrivals and departures. The grass runways are not available during CTAF hours. Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) broadcast the phonetic letter Zulu to alert pilots that CTAF procedures are in effect.
Aircraft reporting inbound are usually given circuit joining instructions straight away however an example when this does not occur is when aircraft reporting inbound from Park Ridge Water Tower during the use of runways 10L and 10R.
|[Aircraft Type]||Cessna 172|
|[Call Sign]||Romeo Delta Mike|
|Received [ATIS]||Received Alpha|
|Type of Call||Inbound|
During tower operating hours Archerfield is a Class D control zone, and taxi clearances are required before ground movement in the manoeuvring area. There are run up bays located near each runway to allow aircraft to conduct pre-flight checks.
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