Military Wiki
Parafield Airport
Airport type Public
Owner Government of Australia
Operator Parafield Airport Ltd.
Serves Adelaide
Location Parafield, South Australia
Elevation AMSL 57 ft / 17 m
Coordinates 34°47′36″S 138°37′59″E / 34.79333°S 138.63306°E / -34.79333; 138.63306Coordinates: 34°47′36″S 138°37′59″E / 34.79333°S 138.63306°E / -34.79333; 138.63306

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Direction Length Surface
m ft
03L/21R 1,350 4,429 Asphalt
03R/21L 1,279 4,196 Asphalt
08L/26R 958 3,143 Asphalt
08R/26L 992 3,255 Asphalt
Statistics (2010/11)
Aircraft movements 212,862
Sources: Australian AIP and aerodrome chart,[1] Movements from Airservices Australia[2]

Parafield Airport (ICAO: YPPF) is on the edge of the residential suburb of Parafield, South Australia, 18 km (11 mi) north of the Adelaide city centre and adjacent to the Mawson Lakes campus of the University of South Australia. It is Adelaide's second airport and the fifth busiest airport in Australia by aircraft movements.[2] Although owned by the Government of Australia, the airport is leased to and managed independently by Parafield Airport Ltd.

Parafield was Adelaide's only civil airport until Adelaide Airport was opened in February 1955 and is currently used for small aircraft, pilot training and recreational aviation. The airport is home to the Parafield Aviation campus of TAFE South Australia (TAFE SA) and to the University of South Australia Aviation Academy. The airport hosts a jet fighter museum and historic aircraft displays. The museum now houses an authentic flight worthy Wirraway. There are also multiple flight training schools like the University of South Australia Aviation Academy, FTA (Flight Training Adelaide) formerly known as Australian Aviation College, Bruce Hartwig Flying School, AFTC (Adelaide Flight Training Centre) and Forsyth Aviation, which is the only school that offers training for the Recreational Aviation Australia pilot certificate at Parafield. Parafield Squadron[3] of the Australian Air League, a national uniformed cadet organisation promoting and encouraging the interest of aviation and flying training in the youth of Australia, is also located at Parafield Airport.


The first powered flight in South Australia was of a Blériot Aéronautique monoplane in 1910, south-west of Salisbury. In the 1920s investigations began into construction of an airport in Adelaide. Land was initially purchased in Albert Park with the aerodrome site becoming the new suburb of Hendon; but within a few years the cost of acquiring sufficient land, neighbouring residential development and the erection of power transmission lines all interfered with airport plans and the Hendon site was effectively abandoned.[4] In 1927, the Commonwealth government purchased 318 acres (129 ha) of land at Parafield from a family owned farming company for £17,000. The area had been used for fattening sheep on lucerne and other fodder plants. The new airport was expanded in 1942, with the boundary extending west to the Gawler railway line.[5]

On 1 October 1927, H. C. "Horrie" Miller was the first to land on the Parafield site, ground preparation was completed on the 17th and flights began on 26 November by the Aero Club of South Australia. The site was officially opened as an airport in August 1929 by Governor-General of Australia Alexander Hore-Ruthven.[6] The control tower opened shortly prior to World War II. Prior to the war Guinea Airways was the main company flying out of the airport using:[7]

During World War II, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) occupied the airfield as a station for basic flight training and was home to No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School (No. 1 EFTS) between 1939 and 1944 until it moved to Tamworth, New South Wales. A relief landing ground was located near Virginia. No. 34 Squadron utilised Parafield to deliver supplies to operational bases and aerodromes in the Northern Territory and Western Australia between 1943 and February 1945. In addition, No. 238 Squadron RAF was based at Parafield from June to December 1945, from where it flew Dakota aircraft in support of the British Pacific Fleet as part of No. 300 Group RAF.[8][9]

After the war ended, transport was also handled by Australian National Airways and Trans Australia Airlines both moving to Adelaide Airport in 1955 which now handles all regular passenger transport.

In 1983 a group of trees was planted by local high school students. When fully grown, from the air they clearly spell out the word "PARAFIELD". As of 2007 the trees had been removed.

Classic Jets Fighter Museum

Parafield airport houses the Classic Jets Fighter Museum. Founded in the 1980s, the collection includes a Lockheed P-38 Lightning and a Bell P-39 Airacobra.[10]

Classic Jets Airshow accident

On 17 March 2013, a Supermarine Spitfire Mk 26, an 80% scale home-build replica of the Supermarine Spitfire, crashed into a fence between two businesses in a commercial area on Frost Road in the nearby suburb of Salisbury, whilst completing a routine at the airshow, killing the pilot.[11][12]

Triumph In The Skies

Hong Kong TVB filmed flight training scenes for their series Triumph in the Skies at the Parafield Airport.

See also

  • List of airports in South Australia
  • Transport in Australia


  1. YPPF – Parafield (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 29 May 2014, Aeronautical Chart
  2. 2.0 2.1 212,862 total aircraft movements reported for July 2010 to June 2011 placing it behind Sydney, Jandakot, Moorabbin and Bankstown airports
    "Movements at Australian Airports - Financial YTD 2011 Financial Year Totals". Airservices Australia. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  3. Australian Air League – Parafield Squadron
  4. Marsden, Susan (1977): A history of Woodville. Corporation of the City of Woodville. P. 173. ISBN 0 9599828 4 1
  5. Lewis, H. John (1980). Salisbury South Australia, a history of town and district. Hawthorndene, South Australia: Investigator Press. pp. 201–204. ISBN 0-85864-049-X. 
  6. Lataan, Damien (1992). Parafield: From paddock to airport. Hahndorf, South Australia: D&S Publications. p. 5. ISBN 0-646-11023-3. 
  7. Varley, G (1976). A study of Para Hills. Unpublished manuscript stored in the local history room, Len Beadell library Salisbury, South Australia. 
  8. "RAF Squadron at Parafield". National Library of Australia. 12 July 1945. p. 4. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  9. "1,000 Airmen Here Today". National Library of Australia. 24 October 1945. p. 8. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  10. "Classic Jets Fighter Museum Collection", Classic Jets Fighter Museum. Accessed 5 October 2012.
  11. "Pilot killed in air show plane crash". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  12. "Pilot killed in replica Spitfire plane crash at Salisbury in Adelaide's northern suburbs". AdelaideNow. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 

External links

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