Aero Espresso

 

The Mount Gambier Airport began when Mr H.S. (Stan) May and Mr S.C. Davis purchased land directly opposite the present airport on the Riddoch Highway.  An aerodrome was established and basic infrastructure provided with the aerodrome was officially opened on May 21st 1930.

 

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May & Davis then purchased 82 hectares of land that was part of 'Croyle Estate' and then another 66 hectares of the same property on 2 June 1936.  This site is where the airport is today.  A licence was granted by the Civil Aviation Department on 1 July 1936 and the new airport began hosting

regular public transport flights.  In fact airlines have been flying to Mount Gambier from both Adelaide and Melbourne since April 1930.

 

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In July 1939 the Federal Government purchased the Aerodrome from its civilian owners and commenced the construction of a Royal Australian Air Force base which was to house the No. 2 Air Observers School or 2AOS.  It was officially formed on 6 February 1941 and the first intake of trainees began on 6 March 1941.

 

The school had its own ambulance, hospital, butcher, gymnasium and even cinema and at it's peak was home to over 1000 personnel. It was eventually disbanded in January 1946 after training over 4000 Air Observers, Navigators and Wireless Operators, of which many served with Bomber Command over

Germany, Atlantic Ocean, the Middle East and South East Asia.  2AOS also conducted coastal surveillance operations in the South East of South Australia reporting a number of submarine sightings.

 

History

 

On 29 May 1947 the airport was handed over to the Department of Civil Aviation and this saw the return of regular public transport flights to the region with Ansett Airways announcing that a daily service would operate between Mount Gambier and Melbourne. In July 1947 the Mount Gambier Gliding Club was formed and over the next 40 years the airport continued to prosper as a critical port for flights from Adelaide and Melbourne.  

 

The Mount Gambier District Council (now the District Council of Grant) set the benchmark for local ownership when in 1989 they successfully negotiated ownership of the Mount Gambier Airport.  The District Council of Grant still own and operate the airport today and are continuing to improve and grow the facility with thanks to a visionary council and forward thinking airport management committee.

 

The airport currently serves approximately 100,000 passengers annually.

Scheduled Flights

REXLOGO

 

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