Linfox Field
Avalon's control tower and offices IATA: AVV – ICAO: YMAV Summary Airport type Public Owner Linfox Serves Melbourne, Geelong Location Avalon, Victoria Elevation AMSL 35 ft / 11 m Coordinates Coordinates: Website Map Runways Direction Length Surface m ft 18/36 3,048 10,000 Asphalt Statistics (2008/2010) Total passengers 1,400,000 (2,008 projected) Aircraft Movements 8,362 (2,010) Sources: Aeronautical Information Package
Passengers from The Australian
Movements from Airservices Australia
Avalon Airport (IATA: AVV, ICAO: YMAV) is the second busiest of the four airports serving Melbourne (in passenger traffic) and is located in Avalon, Victoria, Australia, which is 15 km (9.3 mi) north-east of the city of Geelong and 50 km (31 mi) to the south-west of the state's capital city of Melbourne.
The airport is designed to cater for jet aircraft and comprises a single runway. Avalon is used by Jetstar Airways and Sharp Airlines for scheduled domestic passenger services and as a heavy maintenance facility by Jetstar's parent company, Qantas. Tiger Airways began scheduled passenger services from Avalon in November 2010, however, these flights have now been suspended indefinitely. It is also the site of the biennial Australian International Airshow. Previously, air traffic control was only provided at Avalon on request, but on 16 May 2008 it was announced that regular air traffic control facilities would be provided.
Avalon Airport lies between the You Yangs, Corio Bay and Melbourne Water sewage treatment agistment paddocks. The airport continues to fall under the jurisdiction of the Australian Department of Defence.
The airport had 94,180 passengers for the month January 2011.
Avalon Airport was opened in 1953, to cater for the production of military aircraft. Previously the Government Aircraft Factories located at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne had used a runway beside their factory. However, newer jet aircraft required a longer runway length for safe operations, and the Fishermans Bend runway was being encroached upon by development. Land near Lara was purchased by the Commonwealth Government for a new facility. The site of the airport was originally part of the Avalon homestead and sheep station.
A 10,000 ft (3,048 m) runway was built by Country Roads Board, with the first plane landing on 3 April 1953 - a four-engined Avro Lincoln heavy bomber flown from Fishermans Bend. The Canberra light bomber was under construction at same time at the new airport. In 1959, Qantas established a training base at the site.
In 1985 the Government Aircraft Factories changed its name to Aerospace Technologies of Australia (ASTA). Aircraft produced during this time included the CAC Sabre jet fighter, GAF Jindivik remotely piloted aircraft, and Nomad civil aircraft. Under the ASTA banner, engines for the Dassault Mirage III jet fighters were produced, as well as assembly of the F/A-18 multirole combat aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
In October 1988, the ASTA Aircraft Services division took the first Boeing 747 to Avalon for servicing and maintenance. By December 1993, fifty 747 aircraft had been through the Avalon facility, and 820 people were employed at the site. October 1995 saw a Cathay Pacific Lockheed L-1011 flown to Avalon for scrapping by ASTA Aircraft Services, in what was a one off event.
On 27 June 1995 Aerospace Technologies of Australia was privatised by the Commonwealth Government, selling the aircraft divisions to Rockwell Australia Limited, and the airport operations to Avalon Airport Geelong Pty Ltd. The ASTA airliner overhauling facility was closed in 1997.
The first scheduled passenger flights out of Avalon were operated by Hazelton Airlines, who commenced flights between Avalon Airport and Sydney in February 1995. 36-seat Saab 340 aircraft were used for the service. The service was discontinued after a short time due to a lack of patronage.
Avalon Airport welcomed Jetstar in 2004 and Tiger Airways in 2010 to operate into and out of the facility. However, Tiger Airways flights have now been suspended indefinitely.
Avalon Airport was one of three sites considered for the Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Markets which are being moved from West Melbourne to allow development of the Port of Melbourne. A site in Epping was ultimately chosen as the preferred site.
Malaysian long haul budget airline AirAsia X has been awarded rights to operate to Avalon Airport from Kuala Lumpur. Avalon was considered the preferred option, however the need to construct customs facilities ruled it out for the first destination in Australia.
In a bid to attract potential airlines, airport owner Lindsay Fox embarked on an overseas tour in 2007. Airlines from India, Macau and Australia's Jetstar have been named as possible users. In June 2008, the initial proposal for the international terminal was rejected by the Federal Government for a number of unspecified reasons. This setback will mean Avalon cannot meet AirAsia's timetable of flying into Avalon from early 2009 although Linfox were prepared to continue to work with the Federal Government to sort out those issues. Currently, passenger volumes at Avalon are projected to reach 1.4 million for the year 2008. However, on 14 November 2008, Lindsay Fox announced that upgrading Avalon Airport to handle international flights would no longer be viable due to the government's resistance. Then on 10 March 2009, Linfox announced that Avalon would indeed handle international flights within two years and the Government would approve of a $50 million terminal by the end of 2009.
Scheduled passenger flights
Jetstar Airways, a low-cost subsidiary of Qantas, is the current user of Avalon Airport. Jetstar services Brisbane and Sydney from Avalon. The airport has been chosen to operate these services due to relatively lower operating costs. A new and expanding low cost terminal, consisting of check-in counters and a departure lounge and baggage claim was constructed to cater for Jetstar. Since that time, Avalon Airport has expanded its facilities.
Qantas maintenance facility
Avalon Airport hosts the Australian International Airshow, which is held every two years.
Linfox hopes Avalon will capture 10% of the Melbourne domestic passenger market by 2010, increasing to 20% by 2017. This represents up to 3.4 million passengers each year in the next decade. Further expansion plans involve international passenger and freight flights to the Asia-Pacific rim and Europe.
An upgrade to the current terminal is planned to handle AirAsia X and future international passenger airline flights. This new facility will provide Avalon with customs, immigration, quarantine and retail facilities and will be approximately 8,000 m2 (86,000 sq ft) in size.
India's Kingfisher Airlines has also expressed interest in flying from Avalon to Bangalore non stop utilising Airbus A330-200 or Airbus A340-500 aircraft. This speculation has been formulated around the opening of an international terminal at Avalon Airport.
On 17 November 2010 as part of the 2010 Victorian state election campaign, Liberal National Coalition's leader Ted Baillieu committed to build a railway line to the airport if they form government. To be built as a branch from the Geelong line and with an estimated total cost of $250 million, his commitment was for $50 million to cover planning, land acquisition and preliminary works for the single track line. The additional $200 million will be split between the state government, the Commonwealth and from the airport. The airport management welcomed the announcement, which will also include an aviation fuel pipeline to the airport from the Shell Geelong refinery.
Airlines and destinations
Airlines Destinations Jetstar Airways Brisbane, Sydney Sharp Airlines Portland
Formerly Tiger Airways operated a base at Avalon with flights to Perth and Sydney. Since Tiger Airways' temporary operating suspension by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Tiger has not flown to Avalon and has announced the closure of its Avalon base.
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- Peter Begg (1990). Geelong — The First 150 Years. Globe Press. ISBN 0-9592863-5-7
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