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Adelaide Airport South Australia

Adelaide International Airport (IATA: ADL, ICAO: YPAD) is located next to West Beach, South Australia. It serves Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. Although owned by the Commonwealth Government, the airport is managed independently by Adelaide Airport Limited (AAL). Adelaide International Airport processes in excess of 5.4 million passengers annually, which is set to grow by 6 percent for the first year since the opening of the new terminal.

First opened on 16 February 1955 the airport is built on land once used for market gardens. The construction also bisected an arterial road to West Beach. The airport took over from Parafield Airport as the main airport for Adelaide. Parafield is now a smaller airport now mainly used for small aircraft, pilot training and recreational aviation. The first aircraft to land at Adelaide Airport was a DC-3 registration VH-CAO on 16 December 1954 flown by the Department of Civil Aviation (now the Civil Aviation Safety Authority) to ensure that the airport was ready to use.

The airport operates under a curfew from 2300-0600 which limits (but does not totally prohibit) aircraft movements.[1] Adelaide Metro operates a frequent bus service, JetBus, from the terminal via Adelaide CBD out to the suburbs of Modbury and Elizabeth along the O-Bahn.

The largest remaining component of the Patawalonga Creek wetlands lies within an area that had previously been planned to become a third runway at the airport. These plans were abandoned as the result of environmental concerns.

Adelaide had no international terminal until the original International Terminal opened in 1984. The airport is seldom referred to by its official name, the Thomas Playford International Airport, named after South Australia's longest-serving Premier. Proposed as an election "sweetener" in the early 1980s, this terminal was under-sized and within a few years proved unable to handle more than one international arrival at a time; due to the airport's curfew, international flights were forced to arrive after 0600. This regularly entailed three fully-laden Boeing 747s landing within a few minutes of each other. Chaos ensued as 1000-plus passengers attempted to disembark and pass through a facility designed to handle a fraction of that.

Main concourse terminal one, 2006The airport was redeveloped in 2005 at a cost of $260 million. The redevelopment was managed by builders Hansen Yuncken. Before the redevelopment, the old airport terminal was criticised for its limited capacity and lack of aerobridges.

Proposals were developed for an upgraded terminal of true international standard. The final proposal, released in 1997, called for a large, unified terminal in which both domestic and international flights would use the same terminal. A combination of factors, the most notable of which was the collapse of Ansett Australia, then a duopoly domestic carrier with Qantas, and the resultant loss of funds for its share of the construction cost, saw the new terminal plans shelved until an agreement was reached in 2002.

The new terminal was opened by the Prime Minister John Howard and Premier of South Australia Mike Rann on 7 October 2005. However a few days after the opening ceremony it was announced only international flights would use the new facility immediately. There were problems with the fuel pumps and underground pipes. These problems related initially to the anti-rusting agent applied to the insides of the fuel pumps, then to construction debris in the pipes. International and regional (from December 2005) aircraft could continue to use fuel tankers however this was not suitable for the domestic jet aircraft due to a lack of space. With the re-fueling system finally cleared of all debris, the new terminal was used for all flights from 17 February 2006 [2].

The new airport terminal is approximately 850 metres end to end and is capable of handling 27 aircraft simultaneously and processing 3,000 passengers per hour.

One regional airline operator, Rex, has complained that its passengers were having to walk long distances to board and disembark their planes. Rex threatened AAL that they would move back to the old terminal if an agreement could not be met. AAL has responded to these concerns with additional travelators and possibly a shuttle bus[3]. However, after further discussions, AAL has said a shuttle bus would be financially inviable.

The airport is capable of accommodating the enormous Airbus A380, although there are no plans for the airport to be served by this aircraft by any airline.

In November 2005, Jetstar Airways announced it would be basing two aircraft at the airport. This will provide jobs and add four new routes to Adelaide with Jetstar, notably the Sunshine Coast and Hamilton Island.

Adelaide Airport combined with Internode Systems offer free wireless Internet access throughout the terminal via the Internode Wireless Hotspot network. Customers are able to log in as a guest for web-based access or using their existing Internode account details for full Internet access. Adelaide's domestic and international airport terminal was the first airport precinct in Australia to feature free wireless web access.


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