Canberra International Airport

airport in Canberra, Australia
"Canberra Airport" redirects here.

Canberra International Airport (IATA: CBR, ICAO: YSCB), known as Canberra Airport, is the airport for Australia's capital city, Canberra, and the city of Queanbeyan, NSW. It is in North Canberra.[2] Canberra Airport is the 8th busiest airport in Australia. The airport is also the base for Brindabella Airlines.[3] Canberra is an international airport.

Canberra International Airport / Canberra Airport
Land side of the new terminal building
Airport typePublic
OperatorCapital Airport Group Pty Ltd[1]
Elevation AMSL1,888 ft / 575 m
Coordinates35°18′25″S 149°11′42″E / 35.30694°S 149.19500°E / -35.30694; 149.19500
Direction Length Surface
m ft
17/35 3,273 10,738 Asphalt
12/30 1,679 5,509 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)

Canberra Airport is managed and operated by the Canberra Airport Group Pty Ltd. The Airport has two runways, the 17/35 and the 12/30. Flights in and out of the airport are mainly to and from eastern Australia. Canberra Airport handled more than three million passengers in 2009. Since 2009, the Canberra Airport Main Terminal is being rebuilt and should be completed in 2012. The Southern Extension of the new terminal was completed in November 2010. The Western Extension has not been started.[4]



The Airport is about 8–10 minutes drive from the city centre, 15 minutes from the suburb of Gungahlin and 10 minutes from Queanbeyan. Travel times can be much longer at peak times due to traffic congestion.

The land is currently divided into five areas:

  • The passenger terminal and general aviation buildings are on the western side of the main runway.
  • The Brindabella Business Park is next to the passenger terminal.[5]
  • The ex-RAAF Base Fairbairn, now called Fairbairn, is on the eastern side of the main runway. Fairbairn is home to RAAF No 34 Squadron. This is the RAAF VIP transport aircraft and the area is regularly used by visiting heads of state and military aircraft in transit.
  • The rest of the ex-RAAF base area has been named Fairbairn and is being developed as another "business park" area.[6]
  • There are shops and a mixed use section on Majura Road which has been named Majura Park.[7]



The airport was built in the 1920s, not long after the National Capital site was decided. In 1939, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) took over the airport, but kept an area for civil aviation.

On 13 August 1940, in Canberra air disaster, a RAAF Lockheed Hudson flying from Melbourne crashed into a small hill east of the airport. Four crew and six passengers were killed. The Chief of the General Staff and three Federal Government ministers were among the dead. James Fairbairn, Minister for Air and Civil Aviation, also died. The Fairbairn Airbase was named after him. In 1962 the military side of the Airport was renamed RAAF Base Fairbairn. The north-east part of the Airport is called the Fairbairn Business Park.

The hangars and air traffic control tower of Defence Establishment Fairbairn, viewed from the main runway.
Tiger Airways Australia jet at Canberra.

Canberra International Airport Pty Ltd[8] took over the airport in 1998. They leased the RAAF area to the Department of Defence. It was closed as a RAAF base in 2003, (although No. 34 Squadron RAAF remains based there). The RAAF area was renamed Defence Establishment Fairbairn.

Redevelopment of the Airport, including new terminal buildings, started in 1998. In early December 2007, plans were announced to construct a new terminal,[9][10] but these plans were placed on hold in late 2008.[11] A 600m extension to the airport's runway and upgrades to runway systems were completed in 2006.[12]

Airlines and destinations



  1. Capital Airport Group Pty Ltd Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine,
  2. "Canberra Airport (CBR) Information: Airport in Canberra Area, ACT, Australia, AU". 16 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  3. "Brindabella Airlines". 10 January 2000. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  4. "Canberra's new terminal". Canberra Airport. Archived from the original on 28 February 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  5. "Welcome to Brindabella Business Park". 2012. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  6. "Welcome to Fairbairn". 2012. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  7. Majura Park Archived 2014-02-24 at the Wayback Machine (retail precinct),
  8. "Canberra International Airport Pty Ltd". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  9. The Hub Newsletter Archived 2009-09-13 at the Wayback Machine, Issue 43, January 2008.
  10. Information and updates about changes to the airport Archived 2011-08-07 at the Wayback Machine,
  11. McLennan, David (22 November 2008). "Feds bring airport's 24/7 ambitions back down to earth". The Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2008.
  12. The Hub Newsletter Archived 2012-02-14 at the Wayback Machine, Issue 34, August 2006.

Other websites