Snake Bay Airport

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Snake Bay Airport
Airport type Public
Operator Tiwi Island Shire Council
Serves Melville Island, Australia
Location Milikapiti, Northern Territory
Elevation AMSL 173 ft / 53 m
Coordinates 11°25′22″S 130°39′13″E / 11.42278°S 130.65361°E / -11.42278; 130.65361Coordinates: 11°25′22″S 130°39′13″E / 11.42278°S 130.65361°E / -11.42278; 130.65361
YSNB is located in Northern Territory
Location in the Northern Territory
Direction Length Surface
m ft
13/31 1,440 4,724 Asphalt
Sources: Australian AIP and aerodrome chart[1]

Snake Bay Airport (IATA: SNBICAO: YSNB) is located at Milikapiti, Northern Territory on the northern coast of Melville Island, Australia.


World War II[edit]

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) built the airfield as a forward fighter aerodrome, during World War II as part of the proposed strategic amphibious operations by Allied forces against the Tanimbar Islands and Kai Islands. It was proposed to accommodate a RAAF Fighter Wing and a United States Army Air Forces Fighter Group.

Construction was started on 7 July 1944, by No. 9 Mobile Works Unit RAAF with the help of 40 Aborigines. The airfield was operational on 30 August 1944. Two side by side runways 1,829 m (6,001 ft) long were constructed.[2]

The airfield was never fully utilized as the proposed amphibious operations were canceled and replaced with the New Guinea campaign. The airfield was known as Austin Strip and RAAF Melville Island.

Units based at Austin Strip[edit]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Ngukurr Darwin
Fly Tiwi
operated by Hardy Aviation
Darwin, Pularumpi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ YSNB – Snake Bay (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 25 May 2017, Aeronautical Chart
  2. ^ OzatWar website

External links[edit]