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Wollongong Airport

History of airline services.

Wollongong Airport Southbank

South Coast Airways - to Sydney & southern NSW - 1952

Southbank Cessna 320 Skynight - to Canberra - 1980

Wollongong Airport Wollongong Airport

Flight Facilities Airline - to Canberra - 1990s

Impulse 1900D - to Melbourne & Newcastle - 1998 to 2000

Wollongong Airport Wollongong Airport

Qantaslink Dash 8-100 - to Melbourne - 2005 to 2008

Jetgo ERJ135 - to Melbourne & Brisbane - From October 2017

The airstrip at Albion Park that eventually became Wollongong Airport was built in 1942 by the Civil Construction Corps as a wartime emergency strip to the training of RAAF pilots.

Airline services from Wollongong Airport have been been started on many occasions, but have struggled to achieve sustainabity. Over the years many airline names have come and gone.

During 1946 Wollongong & South Coast Aviation Service Pty Ltd, was founded in Wollongong by pioneering Illawarra aviator Walter E. James. Following the war, Trans Australia Airlines and Australian National Airways linked the airport with Canberra and Melbourne until 1950.

From 1952, South Coast Airways operated a milk run between Sydney and Melbourne with intermediate stops in Wollongong, Bairnsdale and Sale. During the 1970s, Southbank Aviation introduced commuter services from Albion Park to Newcastle and Canberra. Flight Facilities, Impulse and Qantaslink followed.

From 2008 the airport was without any regular airline service for nearly 10 years when Qantaslink withdrew its Dash 8 service to Melbourne.

During this period the development of the HARS Museum and facilities dominated developments at the Airport, much as the museum's centrepiece, a Qantas 747, now dominates the terminal area.

The launch of Jetgo services to Melbourne and Brisbane in October 2017 are likely to be game changers. Using the most modern regional jets, this venture is operating at a level previously unseen.

Wollongong Airport
Image source: Shellharbour City Libraries