Ballarat Airport

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Ballarat Airport
Airport type Public
Operator City of Ballarat
Location Mitchell Park, Ballarat, Victoria
Elevation AMSL 1,433 ft / 437 m
Coordinates 37°30′42″S 143°47′28″E / 37.51167°S 143.79111°E / -37.51167; 143.79111Coordinates: 37°30′42″S 143°47′28″E / 37.51167°S 143.79111°E / -37.51167; 143.79111
YBLT is located in Victoria
Location in Victoria
Direction Length Surface
m ft
05/23 1,265 4,150 Asphalt
13/31 568 1,864 Grass
18/36 1,245 4,085 Asphalt
Sources: Australian AIP and aerodrome chart[1]

Ballarat Airport (ICAO: YBLT) (known officially as the Ballarat Aerodrome) is located 4 nautical miles (7.4 km; 4.6 mi) west[1] of Ballarat in the outer suburb of Mitchell Park, Victoria, Australia.


Pilot training was first offered on the Ballarat Common in 1914-15. In 1934 the airport was formalised with the construction of a tin hangar.

No. 1 Wireless Air Gunners School (1 WAGS)[edit]

In 1940 the site was resumed by the Commonwealth of Australia and a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) airfield known as Empire Air Training Scheme No 1 Wireless Air Gunners School was established (EATS 1 WAGS) at the Ballarat Showgrounds on 22 April 1940.

The hangar already on the site was relocated to the Commonwealth Flax Mill, and four Bellman hangars and numerous "P"-type hut buildings were erected. In mid-1940 the Wireless Air Gunners School relocated to the aerodrome. During its operation as a WAGS the wireless operators were mainly trained in panel vans and, from mid-1941, in CAC Wackett trainer aircraft.

The Wackett was used up until 1941 and then the Avro Anson was used up until 1945. The Avro Anson was a twin engine model, coloured yellow for training purposes. The plane was flown around the regions of Ballarat, and western Victoria.

This information has been supplied by a former trainee in 1945 discharged late 1945 at the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne. best regards KPQ 24071925

No 1 WAGS was disbanded on 31 December 1945.

Post War[edit]

Unlike many other EATS sites the RAAF retained the airfield as its Radio School until 1961. The then-Shire of Ballarat negotiated with the Department of Interior to become the civil operator of the airfield and sought the maintenance on site of the hangars and other structures, however a majority of the P Huts were sold by the Commonwealth.[2]

In 2006 the aerodrome was recommended for listing on the Victorian Heritage Register due to its ability to illustrate the Empire Air Training Scheme in Victoria. The site was included on the register on 27 July 2007.[3]

The aerodrome continues to perform an important role in emergency services operation, civil operation, flight training and as accommodation for many community groups and organisations.

Location Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Time zone UTC +10
Operator Light Car Club of Australia
Victorian Sporting Car Club
Opened 26 January 1947
Closed 12 February 1961
Major events Victoria Cup, Victoria Trophy
Length 5.1 km (3.2 mi)
Turns 6
Lap record 1:51 (Dan Gurney, BRM P48, 1961, Formula Libre)


The airfield had a brief motor racing career, beginning on Australia Day in 1947 when it held its first motor race meeting. Racing returned in November of both 1950 and 1951, then finally for an International Formula Libre race in February 1961, which was attended by some European Formula One teams. BRM factory drivers Dan Gurney and Graham Hill finished first and second in the major race, the Victoria Trophy with Ron Flockhart third in a Cooper. Famously on the night before the race Gurney's car was stolen from its hangar and driven into or hidden with, hay bales out on the track with minimal damage.[4][5]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ a b YBLT – Ballarat (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 29 May 2014, Aeronautical Chart
  2. ^ Ballarat Airport - City of Ballarat
  3. ^ "Former Ballarat RAAF station, Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number H2113". Victorian Heritage Database. Heritage Victoria. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "This Week in Racing History (February 11–17)". 11 February 2007. Retrieved 26 July 2008. 
  5. ^ Walker, Terry (1995). Fast Tracks. Turton & Armstrong Pty Ltd Publishers. pp. 22 & 23. ISBN 0-908031-55-6. 
  • Shire of Ballarat History

External links[edit]