Rottnest Island Airport

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Rottnest Airport
Rottnest airport-2.jpg
Rottnest Airport
Airport typePublic
OperatorRottnest Island Authority
LocationRottnest Island
Elevation AMSL12 ft / 4 m
Coordinates32°00′24″S 115°32′23″E / 32.00667°S 115.53972°E / -32.00667; 115.53972Coordinates: 32°00′24″S 115°32′23″E / 32.00667°S 115.53972°E / -32.00667; 115.53972
YRTI is located in Western Australia
Location in Western Australia
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 1,293 4,242 Asphalt
Sources: Australian AIP and aerodrome chart[1]

Rottnest Island Airport (IATA: RTS, ICAO: YRTI) is a small airport for light aircraft, situated about 800 m (2,600 ft) from the main settlement at Thomson Bay, Rottnest Island and 10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi) northwest of Fremantle.[1] Daily air services operate to the island. In the past these have been from Perth Airport, but in recent years have been mainly from Jandakot.

The single 1,290 m × 18 m (4,232 ft × 59 ft) runway runs east-west and is situated behind Thomsons Bay and south of Government House Lake.[1] Part of the lake was resumed for the construction of the airport runway. The Rottnest Tram track runs south of and parallel to the runway.

The airport opened in November 1930 and has been used regularly since then for private and small commercial operations, ferrying workers and holiday makers between Perth and the island.[2]

Commercial services[edit]

At one stage, the 32 km (20 mi) Perth to Rottnest flight was the world's shortest scheduled air route.[2][3]

Woods Airways which was run by pioneer aviator Jimmy Woods, operated the Perth to Rottnest service from about 1948 with two war-surplus Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Avro Anson aircraft.[4] The service closed in 1961 after concerns about the safety of the ageing aircraft[5] and recurring conflict with the Department of Civil Aviation over minor infringements of regulations.[citation needed] In 14 years of operations, it had made more than 13,000 crossings.

Other services continued after Woods Airways departed and at various stages facilities were upgraded.[6]

Woods Airways and its owner were considered synonymous with the airport and in 1987 State Tourism Minister Pam Beggs opened the renamed and upgraded Jimmy Woods Air Terminal in recognition.

MacRobertson Miller Airlines took over services after Wood's Airways using both DC-3 and Fokker F27 Friendship, until the route became uneconomical.

Rottnest Airlines (aka "Quokka Airlines") operated the service until 1999 when it was taken over by Frank Stynman who operates a four and six-seater daily service from Jandakot called Rottnest Air-Taxi.[7] Flying time is from 12 to 15 minutes.[8]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Rottnest Air TaxiJandakot


On 12 November 2006 a light twin engine charter aircraft carrying the pilot and five passengers crashed on the edge of the salt lake adjoining the airport. The plane split in two from the impact and two passengers were hospitalised. All escaped with minor injuries. It is believed that the aircraft suffered an engine failure, and the pilot was not able to maintain control.[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c YRTI – Rottnest (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 08 November 2018, Aeronautical Chart
  2. ^ a b "Capt. Jimmy Woods & Lockheed DL-1A Vega Special VH-UVK". The Airways Museum & Civil Aviation Historical Society. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  3. ^ "Western Australian Aviation History". Royal Australian Air Force Association. Archived from the original on 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  4. ^ Julie Lewis. "Woods, James (1893 – 1975)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  5. ^ "PLANES' BAD LUCK". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 31 December 1948. p. 8. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  6. ^ Rottnest Island Airport – new terminal building opened 17 December 1985 West Australian, 18 Dec. 1985, p.4
  7. ^ "Milestone 10,000 touchdowns for Rotto pilot". Rottnest island Authority. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  8. ^ "Rottnest Air-Taxi". Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  9. ^ "Police investigate Rottnest Island plane crash". ABC News online. 13 Nov 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-21.