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    Essendon Airfield (Melbourne Essendon Airport) Victoria Australia

Mirkovic c1941

Location
Lat 37° 43' 41S Long 144° 54' 7E  Essendon Airfield is located at Essendon near Melbourne in Victoria in Australia.

Construction
During 1921-1923 built at site known as St. Johns located off the Bulla Road two miles from Essendon Station.

By August 1923, officially known as "Essendon Aerodrome" and used as a civil airfield. On October 15, 1933, a crowd welcome aviation pioneer Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith.

Hangar 4 constructed and opened by Prime Minister Joseph Lyons. Designed by architect Howard Garnet Alsop it was Australia’s largest hangar at the time. The building was the primary ANA (Australian National Airways Ltd) hangar and terminal in Australia.

During April 1936 Holyman’s Airways (later Australian National Airways) first Douglas DC-2, named Bungana (Registration VH-USY) arrived at Essendon Airport.

During 1937 Hangar 3 was built. This hangar was Ansett Airways Limited first hangar at Essendon Airport and the first building constructed by Ansett.

During December 1939 the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) instructs that a site at Tullamarine be examined for possible development as a second aerodrome. Postwar in 1958 this site was developed into Tullamarine Airfield.

Wartime History
In the 1940’s Essendon Airport was the busiest radio equipped aircraft aerodrome in Australia with 120 landings and take-offs each day. The first air traffic controllers are appointed to keep radio watch over aircraft in flight.

During March 1942, seventeen Brewster Buffalos were assembled at Essondon at Ansett Airways Hangar 3.

American units based at Essendon
22nd Troop Carrier Squadron (C-47) ? - October 11, 1942 Garbutt Field

During December 1942 the Australian War Cabinet approves acquisition of additional 266 acres (110 hectares) to expand Essendon Airport at an estimated cost of £110,000. This is in response to Cabinet approving a Master Plan for Essendon Aerodrome. During World War II, the airport continues to be used as an all-over grass field, with take-off’s and landings being permitted in any direction.

In 1944 Buildings 83 and 85 constructed to house the production of Beaufort Bombers by the Department of Aircraft Production. Building 83 has now been converted into a modern 3 storey office building whilst retaining the historical elements of the building.

In 1945 a Victory Airshow was held at Essendon Airport celebrating the end of World War II.

Postwar
During June 1946 two sealed taxiways, runways and aprons were built and Trans-Australian Airlines (TAA) established their base at Essendon Airport. A second control tower erected.

Today
Still in use today as "Melbourne Essendon Airport". Airport Codes: ICAO: YMEN IATA: MEB. The first runway is oriented 26/08 and measures 6,302' x 148' surfaced with asphalt. The second runway is oriented 35/17 and measures 4,311' x 148' surfaced with asphalt.

Essendon Fields has extensive plans for the future development of the Essendon Airport and is currently developing 96 hectares and has plans to develop another 74 hectares over the next 10 to 20 years.

References
Essendon Airport - Airport History

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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