Bankstown Airport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bankstown Airport

Sydney/Bankstown Airport
Blue Sky Helicopters Bankstown Airport IMG 1505 (cropped).jpg
Airport typePublic
OperatorBankstown Airport Ltd.
ServesSydney, New South Wales, Australia
LocationBankstown Aerodrome, New South Wales
Hub forToll Aviation
Elevation AMSL34 ft / 10 m
Coordinates33°55′30″S 150°59′18″E / 33.92500°S 150.98833°E / -33.92500; 150.98833Coordinates: 33°55′30″S 150°59′18″E / 33.92500°S 150.98833°E / -33.92500; 150.98833
YSBK is located in Sydney
Location in Sydney
Direction Length Surface
m ft
11C/29C 1,416 4,646 Asphalt
11R/29L 1,038 3,406 Asphalt
11L/29R 1,100 3,609 Asphalt
Statistics (2011)
Aircraft movements243,126
Sources: AIP and Movements at Australian Airports from Airservices Australia[1][2]

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.

The airport's air traffic control tower is listed on the Commonwealth Heritage List.[3]


World War II[edit]

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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

Units based at Bankstown during World War II[edit]

Post War[edit]

RAAF CT4 trainers lined up on the tarmac at Bankstown awaiting the Pickles auction start. 36 of these aircraft went under the hammer in Sydney in 1993 following the closure of the No 1 Flying Training School at Point Cook in Victoria.

In 1970, the government put forth a proposal to expand the airport's operations but this was vigorously opposed by the local community.[9]

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.[10][11][12][13][14]

Today, Bankstown Airport is Sydney's primary general aviation airport, and also serves charter and cargo flights for various companies and carriers.[15]

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.[16]


Bankstown Airport's passenger terminal with a Piper Chieftain on the right, October 2016
Toll Aviation ATR 42 cargo aircraft at Bankstown Airport, November 2016
Hangar of the UNSW Faculty of Science School of Aviation with some of the school's training aircraft, October 2016

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.[17]

Passenger facilities[edit]

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.[18]

The terminal plays host to numerous events year round such as the annual Sydney Aviation Model Show.[19]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Toll Aviation[20]Brisbane, Melbourne

Other operators[edit]

The following organisations have operating bases at Bankstown Airport:

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.[24][25] However this move does not appear to have proceeded. It is not known whether it is still open.

In popular culture[edit]

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.[26]

See also[edit]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^ YSBK – SYDNEY/Bankstown (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 2022-03-24
  2. ^ "Movements at Australian Airports" (PDF). Airservices Australia. 17 February 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Bankstown Airport Air Traffic Control Tower (Place ID 106118)". Australian Heritage Database. Australian Government. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  4. ^ Mellor D P, Australia in the War of 1939–1945, Series 4 – Civil – Volume V – The Role of Science and Industry, Australian War Museum, Canberra, 1958, page 37ff
  5. ^ White, K, Brief History of RAAF Station,Bankstown NSW, Australian Aviation Museum, Bankstown, 2001, page 3
  6. ^ "History of Bankstown airport". Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  7. ^ Wilson, Stewart (1990). Beaufort, Beaufighter and Mosquito in Australian Service. Weston Creek, ACT: Aerospace Publications. pp. 157–160. ISBN 0-9587978-4-6.
  8. ^ 7th Fighter Squadron Archived 9 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Maltby, Kathy; Rosen, Sue. From Settlement to City. Bankstown City Council. p. 13.
  10. ^ "ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 33040 - Socata TB10 Tobago VH-BXC 16-SEP-1982". Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  11. ^ "VH-AEU. Douglas C-47-DL. c/n 6108. Badly damaged during crash of a suicidal pilot at Bankstown Airport". Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  12. ^ "Plane crashes at Bankstown, pg5, The Age, 16 September 1982". Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  13. ^ "WOZNIAK, Philip Henryk (death notice), pg30, The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 September 1982". Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  14. ^ "No inquest on plane death, pg14, The Sydney Morning Herald, 09 February 1983". Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Our Vision for Australia's Premier General Aviation Airport". Bankstown Airport Limited. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  16. ^ "Airport Environment Strategy 2014" (PDF). Bankstown Airport. 2014.
  17. ^ "Tips for flying at Bankstown" (PDF). Air Services Australia. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Bankstown Airport Guide Airlines Accommodation Car Minivan Limousine Rental Guide To Australia Airports Bankstown NSW". Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  19. ^ Sydney Aviation Model Show Archived 16 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Toll Priority Branch Locations". Toll Group. Archived from the original on 22 October 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  21. ^ "Bankstown Helicopter Base" (PDF). NSW Ambulance. NSW Government. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  22. ^ Anonymous (24 October 2013). "Aviation Support Branch (Air Wing)". Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  23. ^ "RFDS in your state – NSW&ACT | Royal Flying Doctor Service". Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  24. ^ "Home, is dedicated to the preservation of Australia's rich aviation heritage. Bankstown Airport, Sydney. –". Archived from the original on 13 January 2018.
  25. ^ Business estate prompts Australian Aviation Museum at Bankstown Airport to shift to Camden Airport Daily Telegraph 16 September 2015
  26. ^ "Cosmopolitan Autumn Fashion Shoot 2014". Navair. Retrieved 30 May 2014.

External links[edit]