Christmas Island Airport
Christmas Island International Airport
A view from above the runway
|Operator||Toll Remote Logistics|
|Elevation AMSL||916 ft / 279 m|
Christmas Island International Airport (IATA: XCH, ICAO: YPXM) is an airport located on Christmas Island, a territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean. The island is located 2,600 km (1,600 mi) northwest of the Western Australian city of Perth, 500 km (310 mi) south of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, and 975 km (606 mi) east-northeast of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
Although located on Australian territory, the airport is classified as a Category 2 international airport for all arrivals, including those from Australia. It is owned by the Commonwealth through the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and is operated under contract by Toll Remote Logistics.
From the late 1940s, when the island was still a British colony administered by Singapore and the Straits Settlements Administration, it was serviced occasionally by Royal Air Force (RAF) Short Sunderland flying boats before the construction of the airport.
A brief revival of the "old days" happened in 2001 during the Tampa crisis when the heightened Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) traffic was complemented by a large number of Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and media charters. During this incident, traffic at the airport is said to have been "near-continuous".
Satellite launch facility
After the closure of the casino, the resort was taken over by the Asia Pacific Space Centre, which developed plans for a satellite launch facility on Christmas Island. The company, with solid financial participation from the Australian Government, had planned to start satellite launches in 2004. Technical staff was to include 350-400 Russian rocket scientists and engineers, and componentry was to be flown in on Antonov An-124 and Boeing 747 freighters. To achieve this, the airport would need major extensions, and the Government allocated around A$55m to the task. This included a 600 m (1,969 ft) runway extension, plus additional taxiways, apron space, and other infrastructure.
The airport's location at the top of a hill, with a 2% mid-runway gradient, makes it a challenging landing for pilots.
Airlines and destinations
|Garuda Indonesia||Charter: Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta|
|Malindo Air||Charter: Kuala Lumpur |
|Toll Global Express||Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Perth|
|Virgin Australia Regional Airlines||Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Perth|
Traffic to and from the airport varies greatly. Along with regular flights to the Australian mainland, the airport receives weekly open charter flights from Jakarta with Garuda Indonesia and fortnightly open charter flights from Kuala Lumpur with Malindo Air. Historically airlines such as Indonesia AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines and SilkAir travelled to the island. Tourist attractions such as the migration of the Christmas Island red crab and the island's Christmas Island Resort have caused spikes in traffic levels. The construction of an immigration detention centre on the island resulted in a temporary increase in RAAF and DIMIA arrivals..
|Year||Revenue passengers||Aircraft movements|
- PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 08 November 2018, Aeronautical Chart Archived 11 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (
- "Airport Traffic Data 1985-86 to 2010-11". Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE). May 2012. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012. Refers to "Regular Public Transport (RPT) operations only"
- 2018, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Malindo Air files Christmas Island charter schedule from Dec 2016". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
- Fiscal year 1 July - 30 June
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