Avalon Airport

Avalon Airport
Linfox Field[citation needed]
Control tower and offices at avalon airport.jpg
Avalon's control tower and offices
Airport type Public
Owner Linfox
Serves Melbourne, Geelong
Location Avalon, Victoria
Elevation AMSL 35 ft / 11 m
Coordinates 38°02′22″S 144°28′10″E / 38.03944°S 144.46944°E / -38.03944; 144.46944Coordinates: 38°02′22″S 144°28′10″E / 38.03944°S 144.46944°E / -38.03944; 144.46944
Website avalonairport.com.au
YMAV is located in Melbourne
Location in Victoria
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[1]
Passengers from The Australian[2]
Movements from Airservices Australia[3]

Avalon Airport (IATA: AVVICAO: 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.[4] 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.[2]

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.[citation needed]



Aircraft hangars at the airport. The tail of VH-EBU Nalanji Dreaming can be seen in the second hangar

Avalon Airport was opened in 1953, to cater for the production of military aircraft.[5] 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.[citation needed]

In 1985 the Government Aircraft Factories changed its name to Aerospace Technologies of Australia (ASTA).[6] 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.[7] 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.[8][9]

Training of pilots from Japan's All Nippon Airways commenced at Avalon on 8 September 1993.[10]

On 27 June 1995 Aerospace Technologies of Australia was privatised by the Commonwealth Government,[11] selling the aircraft divisions to Rockwell Australia Limited, and the airport operations to Avalon Airport Geelong Pty Ltd.[6] The ASTA airliner overhauling facility was closed in 1997.[12]

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.[13] The service was discontinued after a short time due to a lack of patronage.

In 1997 the Australian government decided Avalon was no longer needed[citation needed] and it was leased to Linfox, a company owned by Lindsay Fox.

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.[14] 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.[15] Avalon was considered the preferred option, however the need to construct customs facilities ruled it out for the first destination in Australia.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18] Currently, passenger volumes at Avalon are projected to reach 1.4 million for the year 2008.[2] 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.[19] 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.[20]


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.[21] Since that time, Avalon Airport has expanded its facilities.

Currently, the only other airline operating passenger services is Sharp Airlines, operating regional flights to Portland Airport.[22]

Qantas maintenance facility

Avalon is the site of one of Qantas' heavy maintenance and engineering facilities.[23] The facility opened in the late 1990s, and currently employs 1000 people.[24]

Other uses

C-17 Globemaster III at Avalon Airport, Australia, March 2005

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.[25] Further expansion plans involve international passenger and freight flights to the Asia-Pacific rim and Europe.[26]

An upgrade to the current terminal is planned to handle AirAsia X and future international passenger airline flights.[16] 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.[27]

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.[28]

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.[29] The airport management welcomed the announcement, which will also include an aviation fuel pipeline to the airport from the Shell Geelong refinery.[30]

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.


See also


  1. ^ YMAV – AVALON (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 25 August 2011
  2. ^ a b c Creedy, Steve; Burgess, Matthew (16 May 2008). "Avalon Airport to get air traffic control for passenger services". Australian. News Limited. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,23705288-23349,00.html?from=public_rss. Retrieved 30 June 2008. 
  3. ^ "Movements at Australian Airports" (PDF). Airservices Australia. https://www.airservicesaustralia.com/projectsservices/reports/movements/calytd2010.pdf. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Qantas Opens New Hangar at Avalon". Avalon: Qantas. 7 November 2003. http://www.qantas.com.au/regions/dyn/au/publicaffairs/details?ArticleID=2003/nov03/2985. Retrieved 3 March 2007. 
  5. ^ "Avalon Hangar Conversion for Qantas? Skybed Fit-Out Adds to Meinhardt Aviation Portfolio" (Press release). Meinhardt. 10 December 2003. http://www.meinhardt.com.au/newsdeskdetail.php?nid=84. Retrieved 18 December 2007. 
  6. ^ a b "Government Aircraft Factories / Aerospace Technologies of Australia". Boeing. Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070609103735/http://www.boeing.com/global/Australia/History/gafASTA.html. Retrieved 23 July 2007. 
  7. ^ "AVALON LEADS THE WAY IN AEROSPACE, SAYS GUDE". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070928015703/http://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/domino/Web_Notes/pressrel.nsf/bfce938dc49fdcea4a2563710007b7b3/3811293f5a93c04f4a2561f10032a1e8!OpenDocument&Click=. Retrieved 23 July 2007. 
  8. ^ "Oddities - The Lockheed File". Adastron. http://www.adastron.com/lockheed/oddities/oddities.htm. Retrieved 9 August 2009. 
  9. ^ "The Demise of TriStar VR-HOF - The Lockheed File". Adastron. http://www.adastron.com/lockheed/oddities/vr-hof.htm. Retrieved 9 August 2009. 
  10. ^ "JAPANESE PILOTS' CAREERS SET FOR TAKE OFF AT AVALON". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070930223304/http://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/domino/Web_Notes/pressrel.nsf/8c6a107c25fde2364a2562e600030477/3e8713d8fcdd9f544a2561f100308c23!OpenDocument&Click=. Retrieved 23 July 2007. 
  11. ^ "SUPERANNUATION (CSS) CONTINUING CONTRIBUTIONS FOR BENEFITS REGULATIONS (AMENDMENT) 1995 NO. 349". Commonwealth of Australia. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/num_reg_es/sccfbr1995n349839.html. Retrieved 23 July 2007. 
  12. ^ "Property Council of Australia — Geelong Fights Back". http://propertycouncil.gravitymax.com.au/nat/page.asp?622=276929&E_Page=17720. Retrieved 23 July 2007. 
  13. ^ "GUDE WELCOMES GEELONG AIR LINK TO SYDNEY". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070928001636/http://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/domino/Web_Notes/pressrel.nsf/9d5a9280109520ff4a25620d002d06d8/a842a152df93919c4a2561f1003c209e!OpenDocument&Click=. Retrieved 23 July 2007. 
  14. ^ Kirby, James (15 April 2004). "Lindsay Fox's grand plan". Age. Melbourne: Fairfax. http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/04/15/1081998280971.html?from=storyrhs. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "AirAsia to fly to Victoria, Queensland". News Limited. 10 August 2007. http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,23636,22222403-31037,00.html. Retrieved 10 August 2007. [dead link]
  16. ^ a b "New airline AirAsia X offers Aussies $31 fare to Malaysia". Courier-Mail. News Limited. 11 August 2007. http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,22226209-3122,00.html. 
  17. ^ "Low-cost carriers convince Avalon to spread wings". Australian. News Limited. 20 November 2007. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22787998-5006785,00.html. Retrieved 20 November 2007. 
  18. ^ "Linfox's Avalon Airport plans rejected". Age. Melbourne: Fairfax. 5 June 2008. http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2008/06/05/1212258958573.html. Retrieved 5 June 2008. 
  19. ^ "Linfox's Avalon Airport plans rejected". Herald Sun. News Limited. 14 November 2008. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24647333-2862,00.html. Retrieved 15 November 2008. [dead link]
  20. ^ "International flights at Avalon in two years: Linfox chief". Herald Sun. News Limited. 10 March 2009. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25167039-661,00.html. Retrieved 10 March 2009. [dead link]
  21. ^ "Bracks Visits Jetstar facilities at Avalon" (Press release). State Government of Victoria. 23 April 2004. http://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/domino/Web_Notes/newmedia.nsf/798c8b072d117a01ca256c8c0019bb01/75f9a381c7641050ca256e83001113e4!OpenDocument. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  22. ^ Sharp Airlines Flight Schedules
  23. ^ Stephen Moynihan (10 March 2006). "Threat to Qantas Melbourne jobs". Age (Fairfax). http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/threat-to-qantas-melbourne-jobs/2006/03/09/1141701635131.html. Retrieved 3 March 2007. 
  24. ^ Tucker, Rebecca. "Geelong Advertiser — Jetstar set to announce more flights from Avalon Airport". http://www.pprune.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-124399.html. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  25. ^ East-West Submission Avalon Airport, Page 1
  26. ^ East-West Submission Avalon Airport, Page 2
  27. ^ "Avalon Airport to become international hub". Herald-Sun. News Limited. 19 November 2007. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22781448-662,00.html. Retrieved 19 November 2007. 
  28. ^ "Avalon Airport". Intown Geelong website. http://www.intown.com.au/locals/lara/avalon-airport.htm. Retrieved 2011-02-07. 
  29. ^ Ashley Gardiner (17 November 2010). "Liberal leader Ted Baillieu promises railway to Avalon Airport". Herald Sun. News Limited. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/special-reports/liberal-leader-ted-baillieu-promises-railway-to-avalon-airport/story-fn5kmqy2-1225955024312. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  30. ^ "Avalon Airport welcomes the Coalition's rail link and aviation fuel pipeline announcement". Media Release. Avalon Airport. 17 November 2010. http://www.avalonairport.com.au/resources/docs/Avalon%20Train%20Link%20Press%20Release.pdf. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 

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