1920 – First flight for Mackay
Pioneer aviators Lieut. AW Murphy and Corporal RG Simpson landed their “flying machine” at the Ooralea racecourse after a 130km, 1.25 hour flight from Proserpine made at 2,500’.
1927 –Mackay Aerodrome Site Selected:
Captain Ron Adair lands his Avro Biplane on the town common and chooses this site for the aerodrome – where Mackay Airport is located today.
1930 - Commercial Aviation Services Commence
Triggered by the arrival of the three-engine Fokker “Star of Cairns”.
1931 – Airport License Issued and Mayor Ian Wood officially opens Mackay Airport
During these early years when only grass strips existed, aircraft such as Dragon Rapides, Dragon Flies, Gypsy Moths, Puss Moths, Avro Abins and Stinsons were among the types of aircraft commonly seen at the aerodrome.
1932 – Mackay Pioneer Airman Jack Connor lands at Mackay Aerodrome
Mr Connor was flying a syndicate owned Avro Avian
1938 – Mackay’s First Flying School
Jack Connor bought his own De Havilland 60 bi-plane and opened a flying school. Later, in 1945, he added two Tiger Moths to the school fleet.
1940 – First Airport development project
Footprint expanded and unsealed gravel runways constructed for war-time use, first as an advanced operational base and later as an aerodrome on the line of communication to New Guinea.
1941 – Federal Government took over airport ownership from Mackay City Council
1948 – Main Runway Extended
1953 – First Passenger Terminal Built
1958 – Runway Reconstructed and Strengthened
1984 – Mackay Port Authority invited to Take on Port Ownership
1988 – Federal Government Announced Airport would become part of Federal Airports Corporation
This sparked outrage among the Mackay leaders and people. The Mackay Airport Action Group was formed and MPA Chairman Edgar Cliffe and Mayor Peter Jardine convinced the government to transfer the airport to MPA.
1989 – Federal Government Transfers Ownership to Mackay Port Authority
1991 – New Passenger Terminal Built (in current location)
MPA states aspiration for international services for Mackay
2008 – North Queensland Airports purchase Mackay Airport from the Queensland Government
2011 – Mackay Airport reached one million passengers in a year
2011 - $20M upgrades undertaken
Including terminal, runway, lighting, car parks, road network
2015 - $30M ibis Mackay On-Airport Hotel and Surrounding Infrastructure Completed
2015 – LED Apron Lighting installed
Mackay Airport becomes the first in Australia to go to 100% LED Apron Lighting
& Beyond – Front of Terminal Roadway Upgrade Completed
- Focus on securing international services (New Zealand)