|Operator||Bankstown Airport Ltd.|
|Serves||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Location||Bankstown Aerodrome, New South Wales|
|Hub for||Toll Aviation|
|Elevation AMSL||34 ft / 10 m|
Bankstown Airport (IATA: BWU, ICAO: YSBK) is an airport and business park located in the City of Canterbury-Bankstown, approximately 26 km (16 mi) from the Sydney Central Business District (CBD), Australia and 17 km (11 mi) west of Sydney Airport. It is situated on 313 ha (770 acres) of land and has three parallel runways, several apron areas, a small passenger terminal and a business park, home to more than 160 businesses. The airport, is home to numerous fixed-wing and helicopter flying schools and also caters to charter and private business flights, freight, aeromedical services, recreational flights, aircraft maintenance businesses, private aircraft and emergency services. Bankstown Airport operates 24 hours a day, with limitations placed on night circuit training.
World War II
Bankstown Airport was originally planned in 1929. The plan to build an airport at Bankstown was put on hold until it was established in 1940, after the commencement of World War II when the Department of Civil Aviation attained 630 acres (2.5 km2) of land for development as a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) facility. The formal proclamation of the Bankstown airfield project occurred under the National Security Act on 7 June 1940. The urgency was such that work began immediately; the Act permitted construction to begin even before the land had been officially resumed by the government. On 2 December 1940 RAAF Headquarters was established at Bankstown and on 19 December No 2 Aircraft Park moved to Bankstown where it remained until 28 March 1945. Its facilities were then taken over by the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm.
During World War II, Bankstown Airport was used by the United States Army Air Forces, and was established as a key strategic air base to support the war effort in 1942. It became home to members of the 35th Pursuit Group and the 49th Pursuit Group from 1942 to 1944. In 1945 operations became the responsibility of the British Fleet Air Arm, known as Royal Naval Air Station Bankstown, HMS Nabberley, before being handed back to the RAAF on 31 July 1946.
Aircraft manufacturer de Havilland Australia (later Hawker de Havilland) built a new factory at Bankstown Airport during the war and commenced manufacturing de Havilland Mosquito combat aircraft there in 1942.
Units based at Bankstown during World War II
- No. 2 Aircraft Park RAAF
- No. 451 Squadron RAAF
- 4th Fighter Squadron of 35th Pursuit Group
- 39th Fighter Squadron of 35th Pursuit Group
- 41st Fighter Squadron of 35th Pursuit Group
- 7th Fighter Squadron of 49th Pursuit
- Royal Naval Air Station Bankstown, HMS Nabberley
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2016)
In 1970, the government put forth a proposal to expand the airport's operations but this was vigorously opposed by the local community.
In September 1982 a Socata TB10 Tobago light aircraft was stolen by 26-year-old student pilot Philip Henryk Wozniak, who committed suicide by intentionally crashing on the airport, also destroying a parked Douglas DC-3 and Piaggio P.166 in the process.
Today, Bankstown Airport is Sydney's primary general aviation airport, and also serves charter and cargo flights for various companies and carriers.
The airport's master plan was approved in March 2005 by the Minister for Transport and Regional Services. The plan governs the airport's operations until 2024–25. The current approved Airport Environment Strategy was published in 2014 and is valid until 2019.
The airport has three parallel runways. The primary runway (11C/29C) is 1,416 m × 30 m (4,646 ft × 98 ft). Bankstown has its own dedicated air traffic control tower, operated by Airservices Australia, and uses Class D airspace procedures.
The existing small passenger terminal at the airport is capable of handling up to 200 passengers per hour. Vehicle parking is available at no charge. Arriving passengers can arrange for taxi pick up at the terminal. The main airport entrance is also serviced by a local bus service to Bankstown railway station.
Airlines and destinations
|Toll Aviation||Brisbane, Melbourne|
The following organisations have operating bases at Bankstown Airport:
- New South Wales Ambulance
- New South Wales Police Aviation Support Branch
- Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia
The Australian Aviation Museum was located at Bankstown Airport when the museum opened in February 1994. It was planned to close at Bankstown in 2016 and reopen at the less busy Camden airport in 2017. However this move does not appear to have proceeded. It is not known whether it is still open.
In popular culture
One of its hangars was used for the filming of Top Gear Australia, however none of the track sections were filmed at Bankstown as it is too busy. They were predominantly filmed at Camden Airport which is far quieter. The apron area was used as a location for the short film Come Fly with Me in 2009.
- List of airports in Greater Sydney
- List of airports in New South Wales
- Transport in Australia
- United States Army Air Forces in Australia (World War II)
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- Business estate prompts Australian Aviation Museum at Bankstown Airport to shift to Camden Airport Daily Telegraph 16 September 2015
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