A selection of my photographs at Cairns International Airport during the 1990s
Cairns Airport June 1991 showing the main Runway 15/33, shorter sealed light aircraft runway 12/30 (since closed) and the outline of a
decommissioned wartime runway. The domestic airline terminal is to the left, GA parking and original hangars in the centre of this view.
February 1990, Ansett Airlines' leased Boeing 737 G-PATE lands on RWY 33. Behind is the new airline terminal opened in 1984 on
reclaimed mangrove swamp on the seawards side of the airport. A new ATC centre and Control Tower is under construction.
1992 view shows the newly-constructed International Terminal a short stroll
from the domestic terminal
Photo courtesy Civil Aviation Historical Society collection
airport is operated by the Cairns Port Authority which enjoyed
a strong bond with the Far North Queensland community.
To recognise the area's aviation history, this Bush Pilots Airways DC-3 memorial was erected at the new domestic terminal building.
The brave new world of hand-wringing OH&S put an end to the monument, declaring it unsafe and having it removed and chopped up.
View from the old Tower on the original side of the airport along the Cook Highway February 1990. Resident BAC-111 PK-PJQ is towed
from the hangar after maintenance, passing Flight West Airlines aircraft at their terminal.
Cairns Airport resident aircraft during the 1990s including John Jones' Grumman G-44A Widgeon VH-WET operated as Coral Wings.
As well as delivering supplies to the prawn trawler fleet along Cape York, the amphibian flew charters to New Guinea.
in October 1990, freshly repainted from its former Sea Bee Air (NZ) scheme.
It was sold to Rabaul in 1994.
Tiger Moth Scenic Flights operated DH.82 Tiger Moths on tourist flights
on a choice of routes, with or without aerobatics.
Because they used sealed runways and taxiways, the Tigers had the tailwheel modification with raked-forward undercarriage..
Because there was no alternate airfield, Tiger Moths and aero club training was handled among the heavy jets.
Cairns was the last Australian bastion of freighter DC-3s, with DC-3 Qeensland
carrying cargo to remote towns, particularly
when inland roads were cut each year durung The Wet
was a Coastwatch base, operated by Skywest Airlines, Perth using a large
fleet of Aero Commanders. VH-ACL February 1990
at Customs gained his KPIs by rebadging Coastwatch as Customs, with the
essential repainting of the entire fleet,
every document, new signs on buildings. Good move Minister. Aero Commander 500S Shrike VH-EXF in October 1993
built GAF Nomad Searchmaster VH-CEI with chin radome, photographed in September
Police based Cessna 208A Caravan VH-PSQ at Cairns for transport to Far North
is a Royal Flying Doctor Service base. Resident Beech 65-80 Queen Air VH-FDS
seen in January 1990
Queen Air 80s were being replaced with Beech 200 King Airs. 200C model VH-FDB
seen at Cairns in February 1990
was end-of-the-line for
the nightly parcel express delivery runs as far south as Sydney.
aircraft arrived at dawn and spent
spent the day at Cairns often having routine maintenance. Security Express Swearingen Metro VH-UZY has an engine run in June 1990.
Express Swearingen Metro VH-UZW at Cairns in May 1996
Pacific Metro VH-EPQ rests during the day in February 1990
turboprop freighters were anonymous, like Metro VH-WGV seen in July 1997,
which operated a regular nightly run south.
Air Express operated Israeli Aircraft Industres 1124 Westwind freighters.
VH-AJQ seen in June 1990
Post Express Courier Cessna 550 Citation VH-TFQ in June 1993
Dash 7 VH-UUM, seen in May 1996 was operated by JetCraft on daily FIFO flights
from Cairns to the Kidstone goldmine.
geographic location made it a convenient stop for ferry flights.
was this BN-2A Islander
B-12222 being delivered
from Taiwan, ex Formosa Airlines, to New Guinea in May 1996. A few weeks later it was repainted as P2-MCA and departed.
228 VH-URU ferried via Cairns to
Honiara in July 1996
delivery to Trans Pacific Airlines
Kamov KA-36s CCCP-31029,-31031,-31036 appeared overnight at Cairns on 28
shipped from Papua New Guinea
following lease by Hevilift PNG. CCCP-31031 & 31036 were made operational at Cairns and repainted before all three moved on.
helicopter operator Carson Helicopters Sikorsky S-61N N4240S was stored
in January 1990 between local contracts.
Typical General Aviation ferries were three Cessna 402Cs formerly with Air North at Darwin, which had auxiliary fuel tanks installed at
Cairns in July 1991 for the ferry to USA by Southern Cross Aviation. VH-UCE, UCL,-TFD became N372R, N373R, N374R respectively.
of Cairns' geographic location, Papua New Guinea aircraft were regular visitors.
Air Manudada PA-31 P2-BDL in April 1993.
Beech King Air 200 P2-VIC photographed in July 1993 was a regular Cairns visitor during the decade.