Melbourne International Airport, MEL

Airport Name: Melbourne International Airport
Airport Type: Large Airport
Elevation: 132 metres.
Municipiality: Melbourne, Region: Victoria, Country: Australia
Wikipedia link: MEL Airport on Wikipedia

Melbourne Airport, otherwise known as Tullamarine Airport, is Australia's second busiest airport. With its 42 years of operation since 1970, it has received several awards and acknowledgements, including being one of the top five internationally operating airports in the International Air Transport Association's list for the years 1997 and 1998.

Like the Sydney airport, this airport is also the major hub of Australia's flag carrier Qantas, and the second largest airline, the Virgin Airlines. It also serves as the home base of two low-cost airlines - the Tiger Airways Australia and the Jetstar Airways. Domestically, it handles the most freight in the nation. It is also the only airport that serves international flight in the metropolitan area of Melbourne.


Before, the Essendon Airport was Melbourne's main airport. However, the increasing demand for air travel in the 1950's was not met by the insufficient facilities of Essendon. The overflow was tried to be remedied by expanding the airport; however, due to the surrounding residential houses, the plan did not commence.

Since the expansion is no longer viable, in 1958, a panel that was tasked to assess this growing need for civil aviation decided to search for a replacement instead. A year after, 5,300 hectares of grassland in the then rural area of Tullamarine was acquired.

The announcement of building a new airport in Tullamarine in 1959 was followed by the announcement of Prime Minister Robert Menzies that with the five-year development plan, a A$45 million 'jetport' will be provided for Melbourne in 1967. Three years later, the Melbourne Airport was opened.


Two-intersecting runways consist this airport - the 3,657 meters north-south runway, and the 2, 286 meters east-west runway. To address the increasing traffic, plans for runways expansion was announced. Among the important plans are the creation of a third runway and making it a 'fog-proof' airport through the installation of the Category III landing system. This is a system that can allow plane landings even in low visibility conditions, a first in Australia's airport history.


From the original plan of three terminals, Melbourne Airport now has four - one international terminal, two terminals for domestic use, and a budget domestic terminal. Conveniently, the domestic terminals are located on either side of the international terminal to ensure that international transfers are just walk-in. Over-all, the airport has 56 gates consisting of 40 domestic and 16 international gates.

Terminal 1 (T1) is located on the airport's northern end. This is exclusively used for the domestic services of Qantas, Jetstar and QantasLink which are all under the Qantas Group of Airlines. Series of food outlets and shops are situated at the end of this terminal, near Terminal 2. Terminal 1 also houses the Qantas Club, Chairman's Lounge, and the Business Class.

Terminal 2 (T2), on the other hand, handles all the departures and arrival of international flights. It accommodates Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand/ United Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Emirate Airlines and Qantas Airlines. In 2007, a $330 million expansion project for this terminal was announced. This project, which aimed to create new facilities (such as a satellite terminal) and improve the existing ones, was finished in 2011.

Terminal 3 (T3) was originally build for the Ansett Australia, but is now being used by the Regional Express and Virgin Blue Airlines. In 1989, an expansion project for this terminal was approved, and a second pier was built for the use of the regional airline Kendell.

Terminal 4 (T4), once known as the Domestic Express or the South Terminal, is exclusively used by the budget airlines that operate on the airport. Being the first of its kind, this terminal lacks basic facilities that conventional terminals have. Because of that the airport charges lower landing and handling fees. This terminal is currently the main hub of Tiger Airways Australia.

Plans for expansion are being discussed, which if gets approved, will cost millions a dollars and around five years to complete.

Flights and Destinations

Currently, there are 30 international and domestic airlines operating in Melbourne Airport. Destinations include various places in Australia, Asia, and United States.

Transport To and From the Airport

To go to Melbourne Airport, one can choose the convenience of using a private or public vehicle. Using a car, it would be an approximately 25-minute ride from the City Centre to the airport via the Tullamarine Freeway. Such transportation is convenient since the airport has a 24/7 car parks.

Trains are also an option. To get to the airport, ride a train to Broadmeadows (Craigieburn line) then choose a 500 or 901 bus. There's also the Skybus Super Shuttle, an airport bus service.

Information for getting to and from the airport can also be asked in the Traveller's information desk located in T2 arrivals.

Melbourne International Airport Arrivals

Melbourne International Airport Departures

Flight information is provided by FlightStats, and is subject to the FlightStats Terms of Use.

Routes To and From Melbourne International Airport

Schedules for Flights From Melbourne International Airport:

Schedules for Flights To Melbourne International Airport: