A selection of my photographs taken at Perth Airport, Western Australia during the 1980s.
Many from the balcony at my workplace, the old Control Tower, which provided a perfect vantage point.

This aerial view courtesy of the Civil Aviation Historical Society shows the single Perth Airport terminal building as at 1980,
with the International section to the the left.  The 1961 Control Tower and Airport Fire Service are in the foreground.
Positioned so close to taxying aircraft, Tower life included engine noise and jet fumes, waves from crews of
passing airliners and the wafting smell of fried food from the exhaust fans of the Orbit Inn cafe in the terminal.

In 1987 a new International Terminal was opened on the other side of the airfield, where a modern high-rise Tower was built.
By contrast it felt remote, the only noise the hiss of airconditioning and the only discomfort the building's swaying in high winds.

One of Alan Bond's fleet of Perth-based corporate jets departs runway 21 in 1987, with the new high-rise Tower behind

The Perth Airport domestic parking bays at dawn during my last night shift in the old Tower in April 1987.
The Boeings on the left show the transition from TAA to Australian Airlines paint schemes, Ansett Airlines B727s behind.
Ansett WA (formerly MMA) F.28s and BAe.146 are in between, ready for their 6AM departures to the north of WA

I took this shot of the Skywest Airlines parking area of the General Aviation ramp in September 1980.
The building complex across the road included the Perth ATC Area Control Centre and Flight Service Centre

Perth-based Ansett subsidiary MacRobertson Miller Airlines opened the decade with a fleet of Fokker F.28 Fellowships.
Here's VH-FKF RMA Greenough, which had ten years use in Europe before being delivered to Perth in December 1980

In July 1981 Ansett changed the name MMA to Airlines of Western Australia.  VH-FKD RMA Goldfields

During 1984 much management effort and expense was wasted creating and advertising a distinctive new colour scheme for
Airlines of WA, as seen on VH-FKC RMA Arnhem Land.

However the men in suits at Ansett HQ in Melbourne could not help themselves and in October 1984 "re-badged" the name of
Airlines of WA to Ansett W.A., adopting the Ansett white scheme with no aircraft names.
F.28-4000 series VH-FKJ was the former Airlines of WA RMA Goldfields

In 1985 Ansett WA was the Australian launch operator of the British Aerospace BAe146. Using the VH-JJ series, for the
type's early promotional epithet Junior Jumbo, VH-JJQ was the second delivered to Perth, arriving in June 1985.

Ansett Airlines of Australia used Boeing 727-200 series for its services from the Eastern states during the 1980s, with
Boeing 767s and 737s introduced later in the decade.  Here's 727-277LR VH-ANA in August 1982.

VH-TBI in February 1987 displays TAA's final colour scheme prior to the change of name to Australian Airlines that year.
The early post-war MMA hangar row in the background was still in use by Ansett WA

Although the unique duck pond in the passenger terminal atrium was lost to development in the 1980s, the airport retained some
of its earlier pleasantries. TAA Airbus A.300s are seen in 1987 through shrubs along the edge of the domestic parking ramp.

A welcome newcomer in July 1987 was East West Airlines, which introduced a Sydney-Yulara (Ayers Rock)-Perth service
with F.28-3000 Fellowships. The convenient route was discontinued in April 1988 when Ansett took over East West.

Flightways was among the new charter operators based at Perth Airport during the 1980s. Cessna 441 Conquest VH-FWA
photographed in May 1988 at their newly-built terminal on the GA ramp, next to the Ansett Air Freight hangar.

Flightways Dassault Falcon 20 VH-FWO in May 1988 has the company's black swan motif on the tail. 

In an abitious expansion, Flightways of Perth operated this leased BAC-111 from Singapore in 1987-1988 carrying
passengers to  the Christmas Island casino in the Indian Ocean.  Here it is at Singapore-Seletar in January 1988.

Skywest Airlines grew from the merger of Perth operators including Civil Flying Services and Trans West Air Charter.
British Aerospace Jetstream were introduced for their scheduled airline services. VH-JSW in May 1988.

A smaller Third Level Airline was Rottnest Airlines, flying three BN-2A Islanders on the short hop between Perth Airport and
Rottnest Island.  In 1986 the name changed to Rottnest Airbus and its own passenger terminal was built at Perth Airport. 
VH-IGT seen at Rottnest Island in June 1985.

Glory days. Perth Airport had a resident DC-3 again in 1986-87 when local agricultural pilot Rob Poynton established
Travair Western Australia to fly charters with VH-SBL, a freighter he refurbished himself at Essendon.

A happy group ready for a scenic trip to Rottnest Island in January 1987. Captain Rob Poynton centre in yellow shirt

Cathay Pacific Airways replaced their L1011 Tristars with Boeing 747s on the Hong Kong run.

South African Airways have flown their Johannesburg-Perth-Sydney route since Douglas DC-7 days

B747 G-AWNM City of Bristol operating a BA scheduled service lines up on runway 21 in December 1987

Boeing 757 V8-RBB arrives on the inaugural Royal Brunei service from Brunei to Perth on 19 December 1987

Qantas Boeing 747 VH-EBK in Air Pacific scheme was often used on Qantas international services through Perth 1987-88.
This shot was taken in October 1987 at the newly-opened International Terminal on the eastern side of the airport.

This former American Airlines Boeing 707-323 was leased by Ligne Aerienne Seychelles as S7-LAS for an unhappy year
from December 1986.  The start-up single-aircraft airline attempted Perth-Seychelles services but the Boeing went u/s
in Perth so often that the advertised Five day Seychelles Getaway packages were discontinued.  Perth January 1987

Air Niugini F.28s were regular visitors for major servicing by MMA.  P2-ANE departs for Port Moresby in September 1980.

Macchi MB-326 trainers from RAAF Pearce continued to have overhauls by Hawker Pacific at Perth Airport all decade.
The first of the Macchis, A7-001, was seen waiting its turn in July 1980

The decade's unexpected arrival award went to this US Navy disposals Lockheed SP-2H Neptune N54317, which arrived on
17 November 1988 for Perth company Aero Corp Pty Ltd.  Formerly US Navy Bu145921, code PJ-12

The Neptune comes over the fence for Runway 24 on the final leg of the ferry flight, direct from Townsville
The delivery was carried out by HARS President Bob De La Hunty and an Australian crew

Parked on the grass, showing the disposals auction markings from Davis Monthan AFB in Arizona. It became VH-NEP and
was tanked as a fire bomber, but Aero Corp's plan for a fleet of Neptune fire bombers in Australia was doomed to fail.


During the financial boom years of the 1980s, a number of Australia's high profile businessmen lived in Perth and based their
increasingly flamboyant private jets at Perth Airport. Each aircraft had dedicated aircrew and support services

Boeing 727-30 VR-BHK arrived for Alan Bond in July 1986. The Bond Group insignia is on the tail. 
It replaced a Falcon 50 deemed unsuitable because it required a refuelling stop at Brunei each direction on Alan's
regular flights from Perth to Hong Kong where Bond Group had purchased a Television Network

Bond Group's VR-BHK at Perth in August 1987, following a repaint in Geneva

Top of the range Falcon 900 VH-BGF arrives on delivery to the Bond Group on 11 April 1987

Falcon 200 N210FJ was delivered to Perth for Bond Group in February 1986 and registered VH-BGL in May that year

Falcon 200 VH-BGL was mainly used for domestic flights within Australia

An earlier Falcon owned by Bond Corp was Falcon 20 VH-FJZ, seen at Perth in August 1982

From May 1987 Robert Holmes-a-Court's Bell Resources leased this Boeing 727-76 N727RE, which was once TAA's VH-TJE

In July 1987 N727RE was changed to VR-CCB, a 'flag of convenience' registration from the Cayman Islands

Bell Resources' VR-CCB appeared in this new paint scheme at Perth in September 1988

Gulfstream 3 N333GA at Perth in March 1987 while leased by Robert Holmes-a-Court of Bell Resources, Perth

Former TWA Boeing 727-031 N505C was delivered to Perth in January 1987 for Ric Stowe's Griffin Group. It had been
purchased from Tenneco and arrived as N505T, soon changing to N505C. The 727 commuted between Mr. Stowe's
homes in Perth and Monaco, crewed and dispatched by Executive Air West of Perth.

Ric Stowe's Falcon 50 VH-SFJ at Perth in March 1985.
Among Mr Stowe's businesses were East West Airlines, Sydney and Skywest Airlines, Perth

Another of Ric Stowe's personal jets was IAI Westwind VH-SQH, photographed at Perth in May 1985

Perth businessman Kerry Stokes took delivery of Canadair Challenger N888KS in February 1988

WA iron ore mining magnate Lang Hancock owned 30 aircraft over the years, including a series of Learjets.
Learjet 55 Longhorn VH-LGH (Langley George Hancock) seen at Perth Airport in June 1984

Lang was unimpressed by the Longhorn, preferring this Learjet 35A which he used as VH-SDN before changing it to
VH-LGH in May 1985.

BAe 125 VH-LRH (Lang and Rose Hancock) was delivered to Perth in January 1986 as a gift from Lang to his new wife Rose

To finish this set:

Stepping out of the ground floor door of the old Tower at the end of a shift, ATCs had to watch for taxying airliners this close.
This was a standard lens shot against a nice sunset, before walking across the ramp behind the inbound B747.

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