Canberra International Airport, CBR

Airport Name: Canberra International Airport
Airport Type: Large Airport
Elevation: 575 metres.
Municipiality: Canberra, Region: Australian Capital Territory, Country: Australia
Wikipedia link: CBR Airport on Wikipedia
Also Known As: RAAF Base Fairbairn

Despite the absence of international flights, Canberra Airport is still considered as Australia's the 8th busiest airport, primarily due to the number of domestic passengers it accommodates. It is the main airport that serves Australia's capital city of Canberra, as well as the city of Queanbeyan in New South Wales. Canberra Airport is the main hub of Brindabella Airlines.


In the 1920's, not long after Canberra became the nation's capital, an airport was made from an old airstrip. In 1939, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) took over the said airport primarily for military use, although it also an area for civil aviation.

In August 1940, the so-called Canberra Air disaster occurred when a Lockhead Hudson of the Royal Australian Air Force crashed into a hill on the eastern side of the airport. It caused the death of several government officials, one which was the Minister for Air and Civil Aviation James Fairbairn. In 1962, the military side of the airport was renamed in his honor.

In 1998, the Canberra International Airport Pty Ltd bought the lease for the civil aviation area, while the Department of Defense sub-leased the RAAF area. From this point onwards, a series of renovations took place, which included the enhancement of terminal facilities. Plans of building a new terminal was announced in December 2007, although they were put on hold in 2008.


Canberra Airport is operating with two asphalt runways. 17/35, the airport's main runway is 3,273m in length, while 12/30, the shorter runway, is 1,679m long.


Currently, the airport has a total of five terminals, three of which are passenger terminals. These include the Qantas Terminal, Common User Terminal, and Southern Concourse Terminal, while the other two are the General Aviation and Western Concourse Terminals. The latter is still under construction and will be finished in 2012.

The Qantas terminal, which was previously located in the airport's western side, was demolished last 2011 to give way for the construction of a second Western Concourse Terminal. All airlines assigned to that particular terminal moved and continued their operations on the newly-constructed Southern Concourse Terminal.

Another passenger terminal, the Common User Terminal, is situated on the Eastern side of the airport. The former site of Ansett Australia's operations, this terminal is currently being used by Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways Australia. Even after construction of the terminal's Southern Extension, only the departure lounge and two gates (5 and 6) are in use. As part of the upgrade project, the Common User terminal is set for demolition in the next 2-3 years.

The Southern Concourse terminal, the third passenger terminal, is a product of the airport's recent development in 2010. Check-in for all airlines (Qantas, Virgin Australia, Tiger Airways Australia, and Brindabella Airlines) are done here, but the departure gates will be used by the Qantas Airlines only. All other airlines will use the departure area in the existing Common User Terminal until the Western Concourse terminal is finished.

Aside from the passenger terminals, the airport also has the General Aviation Terminal, which can be found on the Terminal Precinct's Far West Side. This terminal is used for social services flights of Royal Flying Doctors Service, Australian Federal Force Air Wing and such. It also houses the maintenance facilities for the aircrafts.

Flights and Destinations

Five airlines are currently servicing the airport - Brindabella Airlines, Qantas, QantasLink, Virgin Australia and SkyWest Airlines. All these airlines offer flights to 12 different local destinations.

Transport To and From the Airport

Cars and taxis are the primary means of getting to and from Canberra Airport. There are different taxi companies that operate on the airport, with taxis lining up when flights arrive.

Airport Express daytime mini-buses that travel from the airport to the city of Canberra are also available. ACTION, the city's public bus service, offers rides to the different parts of the airport's site, though it doesn't actually stop on the terminal itself. The closest stop of this bus is at the Brindabella Business Park which is a 5-minute walk from the airport.

Canberra International Airport Arrivals

Canberra International Airport Departures

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