Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Planespotting - Ballina Byron Gateway Airport (pt.1)

Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is located at Ballina on the north coast of New South Wales, and services the townships of Ballina, Byron Bay, Lennox Heads and surrounding region. To a lesser extent, the airport also provides the population of Lismore more variety of air services than it's own airport.

At present, four airlines operate regular RPT flights to Ballina Byron Gateway Airport with Jetstar Airways (Sydney and Melbourne / Tullamarine), Virgin Australia (Sydney), Regional Express Airlines (Sydney), and Fly Pelican (Newcastle / Williamtown) being those operators.

Predominately operating on the route are the following aircraft types :

Jetstar Airways - Airbus A320-200.

Virgin Australia - Embraer E190-100 / Boeing 737-800.

Regional Express Airlines (REX) - SAAB 340B. 

Fly Pelican - BAe Jetstream 32.

Utilising Fairchild SA227-AC Metroliner VH-OZV, Sharp Airlines provides a weekday freight service connecting Sydney / Bankstown - Coffs Harbour - Ballina / Byron - Gold Coast / Coolangatta.

Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is also the home to a number of General Aviation aircraft including a modest collection of classic aeroplanes. Interesting, Howard Hughes Engineering / Australian LightWing is based at Ballina Airport, and their small recreational aircraft are manufactured onsite from a dedicated hangar. 

Providing ample real estate for aircraft to arrive and depart is a single asphalt runway aligned 06/24, and measures 1900m (6234ft) in length. In a bid to attract more tourism to the area, Ballina Airport was renamed Ballina Byron Gateway Airport in 2005.