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
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
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
|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,
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
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
|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.
BIG END OF TOWN
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
|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,
|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
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 was a standard lens shot against a nice sunset, before walking across the ramp behind the inbound B747.