|IATA: LEA – ICAO: YPLM|
|Operator||RAAF/Shire of Exmouth|
|Serves||Exmouth, Western Australia|
|Elevation AMSL||19 ft / 6 m|
Lua error in Module:Location_map at line 510: Unable to find the specified location map definition: "Module:Location map/data/Western Australia" does not exist.Location in Western Australia
|Sources: Australian AIP and aerodrome chart|
Passenger and aircraft movements from the BITRE
RAAF Learmonth, also known as Learmonth Airport (IATA: LEA, ICAO: YPLM), is a joint use Royal Australian Air Force base and civil airport. It is located near the town of Exmouth on the north-west coast of Western Australia. As an RAAF base, Learmonth is one of the RAAF's three 'bare bases'. No Air Force units are currently based at Learmonth and it is maintained by a small caretaker staff during peacetime.
The RAAF also operates the Learmonth Air Weapons Range which covers about 18,954 ha (46,840 acres) and is located 30 km (19 mi) south-west of the airbase.
During World War II a little-known landing field was constructed on the western shore of Exmouth Gulf. It was code-named "Potshot" and maintained by No. 76 Operational Base Unit. In the 1950s the landing field was further developed as a military base and named RAAF Learmonth in honour of Wing Commander Charles Learmonth DFC and Bar, who, while leading No. 14 Squadron, was killed in a flying accident off Rottnest Island, Western Australia on 6 January 1944.
In the mid-1960s, the Federal Government gave its support to plans by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Val Hancock, to redevelop Learmonth as a 'bare base', due to its proximity to Indonesia. Though F-111C's could have made a round-trip to Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, from RAAF Base Darwin, the route they took would have been very much limited by range. Learmonth's proximity added flexibility to the routes in and out, enhancing the likelihood of a successful strike. The major work was undertaken by No. 5 Airfield Construction Squadron between 1971 and 1973.
On 7 October 2008, Qantas Flight 72 made an emergency landing at RAAF Learmonth. On 1 June 2012, an AirAsia X flight to Perth made an emergency landing at RAAF Learmonth for fuel refilling. Learmonth is designated an emergency alternative airport in the case of fog or bad weather affecting Perth Airport.
Airlines and destinations
|Qantas operated by QantasLink||Perth|
|Virgin Australia Regional Airlines||Broome, Paraburdoo, Perth|
|Year||Revenue passengers||Aircraft movements|
- List of airports in Western Australia
- Fiscal year 1 July - 30 June
- Aeronautical Chart (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 29 May 2014,
- "Airport Traffic Data 1985-86 to 2010-11". Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE). May 2012. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. http://web.archive.org/web/20120227111041/http://www.bitre.gov.au/publications/ongoing/files/WebAirport_FY_1986-2011.xls. Retrieved 27 June 2012. Refers to "Regular Public Transport (RPT) operations only"
- "Commonwealth heritage places in Western Australia". Commonwealth heritage places. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/commonwealth/wa.html#learmonth. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
- Sunday Times - 18 January 1954, p.3 Retrieved 2011-11-02
- Carlo Kopp (May 2003). "Three decades of the F-111". DefenceTODAY. Archived from the original on 2005-07-15. http://web.archive.org/web/20050715202440/http://www.ausairpower.net/DT-F111-MAY03.pdf.
- Stephens, The Royal Australian Air Force, pp.283-286
- Learmonth at RAAF Museum
- Stephens, Alan (2006) . The Royal Australian Air Force: A History. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-555541-4.
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