Hughes Airfield

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Hughes Airfield (32 Mile) is an airfield near Noonamah, Northern Territory, Australia constructed during World War II. The airfield now functions as a base for aerial firefighting aircraft to protect the outer rural suburbs of Darwin.

The airfield was built by the 808th Engineer Aviation Battalion between 10 March 1942 until 13 April 1942. The runway was 5,000 feet (1,500 m) long and 100 feet (30 m) wide.

Units based at Hughes Airfield[edit]

Japanese Bombing Raids against Hughes Airfield[edit]

  • 23 August 1942 (12:12 pm)
  • 26 November 1942 (03.20 a.m.)
  • 27 November 1942 (03:56 - 04:46 am)

Present Day[edit]

On 25 January 2012, the Northern Territory Government awarded a contract to repair and resurface the airstrip to Downer EDI Works.[1] This will better enable access to the strip for the Air Tractor AT-802 water-bombing aircraft, operated from the strip by Bushfires NT since 2009.[2] In addition to the resurfacing works, a water tank has also been installed on site, allowing mobile pumps to be used to load firefighting aircraft.[3]

It has been proposed that construction of the new satellite city of Weddell to the northwest should include a general aviation airport separate from Darwin International Airport. While no formal commitment to building a new general aviation facility in the Greater Darwin area has yet been made by the Northern Territory Government, the runway alignment of 11/29 at Hughes is the preferred option for such a concept.[4]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Wartime airfield in another battle role". Northern Territory News. 13 June 2009.
  3. ^ "Hughes Airstrip". Northern Territory Bushfire Volunteers. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 12°41′20.13″S 131°05′21.11″E / 12.6889250°S 131.0891972°E / -12.6889250; 131.0891972