Brisbane Airport is the third busiest Australian airport, which is in keeping with Brisbane’s status as third favorite Australian destination of international travelers. The airport handles more than 20 million passengers every year. It serves more than 45 domestic routes and is considered second only to Sydney in terms of domestic travel. It also serves more than 30 international routes, but most routes are limited to the Eastern hemisphere. The airport itself has two main terminals and a general aviation terminal. There are two runways. The airport’s abbreviation is BNE or YBBN.
Brisbane Airport History
Brisbane International Airport
The history of the Brisbane Airport goes back to the first trans-Pacific flight, which originated in the area. Charles Kingford Smith accomplished this milestone in June 1928. The original plane, a Fokker F. VIII, is located on the airport grounds. Smith and his crew flew from California to Hawaii to Fiji before finally landing in Brisbane. To see the Southern Cross, which was named for the star constellation, airport visitors can drive to the memorial in its special glass hangar near the International Terminal on Airport Drive.
The airport began in 1926. This coincides with the first operations of the airline Qantas, which began at the Brisbane airfield. In World War II, when the city was the SW Pacific headquarters for the Allied Forces, the field was upgraded for military use. When the war was over, it became the main civilian airport for the city, and its advanced facilities quickly made it the dominant airport of the region. The current commercial facility is actually adjacent to the original commercial terminals that now serve cargo traffic. In 1988, a new Domestic Terminal and two runways were constructed. To do this, the construction crews had to pump sand from Moreton Bay into the swampy land. The original International Terminal opened in 1995 with six gates and has since been expanded to 20 gates.
Airport Terminal Information
International travelers check in on Level 4 of the International Terminal and wait in the departure lounge on Level 3. Arrivals deplane to Level 2. Most parking bays are accessed by aerobridges. Four airlines offer lounges in the terminal. The Domestic Terminal is divided into three areas, each of which represents either a single carrier or several carriers. There are three Quantas lounges and a Virgin Australia lounge. Shopping and food services are widely available. An inter-terminal bus links the two terminals. Each terminal has a long-term garage and a ParkShort lot. This provides more than 4,000 spaces. In addition, one airline offers valet parking at the domestic terminal.
Statistics & Destinations
More than a million passengers travel these regular New Zealand routes: Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland, and Norfolk Island. Three-quarters of a million fly the Singapore route. More than 300,000 fly the Brisbane/Los Angeles route. The only other U.S. destination is Hawaii. With more than 200,000 passengers per route, the next three major destinations are Hong Kong, Fiji, and Dubai, UAE. Other major international destinations include Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. In addition, Brisbane offers flights to most major destinations in Asia and the Pacific.
There are more than two million passengers yearly on most domestic routes, comprising the lion’s share of the airport’s travelers. These include New South Wales, Sydney; Melbourne, Victoria; Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, and MacKay, Queenland; Perth, Western Australia; Newcastle, New South Wales; Adelaide, South Australia; Darwin, Northern Territory; and Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. Numerous smaller towns are served as well. Charters offer flights to beach destinations and other exotic locales in Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands and more.