Melbourne Tullamarine Airport
The Melbourne Airport is the principal airport in Melbourne, the southernmost big city in Australia. Home to about four million people, the area has been growing rapidly, and the airport has grown in response. About 28 million passengers use the airport annually. More than 200,000 jet landings and takeoffs keep the airport tower very busy every year.
History of the Melbourne Airport
When Melbourne was built in 1967, the airport was proud to serve over 155,000 people and to handle six international airlines. Melbourne business and civic leaders wanted a “jetport” to encourage more travel. A 13,000-acre site was chosen in the countryside near the town of Tullamarine. The town is no longer rural but is part of the greater Melbourne area. Melbourne residents still tend to call the airport by its original name, Tullamarine Airport. The airport’s two runways are now the second busiest in Australia. Instead of a single terminal, there are now four.
Drop-offs for Terminals 1, 2 and 3 can be made at the main departures entrance. Drivers should be aware that only one minute is permitted for drop-offs. There are also disabled drop-off areas, which permit five minute stopping times. Ticketing counters for Terminal 1, 2 and 3 are located in this main area. Terminal 1 includes Gates 1 through 30. Terminal 2 numbers its Gates 2 through 20. Terminal 3 numbers its gates 1 through 20. The identical number system for the gates makes it important to know which Terminal is the right one for your flight.
In center of the loop, there is a multi-level long term parking garage and a large short-term lot. The closest building is a hotel located across from terminal 2. It has its own parking. A budget long-term parking lot is located before the main loop. A Business Executive Carpark is located inside the loop, just across from Terminal 1.
Outside the loop, an Express Business Carpark is located between Terminal 4 and Terminal 3. To reach the Carpark and Terminal 4, drivers turn left on Depot Road before the main airport loop. Then they take a right on a service road. Drop-offs are limited to one minute, except in the handicapped area. If you park in a distant parking area, you can take an airport bus to Terminal 4.
Terminal 1 offers domestic flights. There are airline-specific clubs and many amenities available in the terminal before the gates, which are divided into two sections. Gates 1-12 share one corridor. Gates 21 through Gate 30 share another corridor. Terminal 2 is the International Terminal. It has several airline-specific lounges, Internet kiosks, and a large Customs processing area. You can even pay for a shower in one of the restrooms. Gates 2, 3 and 4 are located in the corridor which leads to Gates 5 -11, where there is also a kid’s play area. This is about a five-minute walk. For flights leaving from Terminal 2 Gates 12-20, walk or take the travelator, a moving sidewalk. Internet wireless access is available on a pay-as-you-go basis.
After baggage check-in at Terminal 3, visitors proceed to the security screening that leads to either Gates 1-10 Corridor or Gates 11-20 Corridor. Several airlines operate lounges, and there is an Internet kiosk. Terminal 4 is separate from the other terminals, and it has its own ticketing and baggage areas. It is considered a budget terminal. There are no jet bridges and fewer amenities for traveling passengers, but there are restrooms, of course. The terminal has ticketing, security, and three gates in the main building with baggage claim in an adjacent area.