Adelaide Airport is the fifth-busiest in Australia, and handles approximately 7 million passengers annually. The airport was established in 1955, and the updated international and domestic terminal was opened in 2005. The airport has received numerous awards, including world’s second-best international airport, in the five to 15 million passengers category, in 2006; and in the same year, it was crowned Capital City Airport of the Year at the Australian Aviation Industry Awards in Cairns.
The expansive new terminal building can cope with up to 27 aircraft, including an A380 Airbus, at the same time. There are airline lounges, 14 aerobridges, 42 desks for check-ins and 34 shops. The airport will also receive a brand-new road network and a multi-story car park, which will more than double its current parking capacity.
The improvements are more than cosmetic - the control tower will almost double in height. Due to these improvements, more major international airlines will undoubtedly make use of the airport. Currently, these include Thai Airways International, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.
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Brisbane International Airport (BNE) has a big job to do, since it’s the only airport serving this city, a key portal to Australia’s famed Gold Coast. The sprawling airport – 9 miles (15km) from Brisbane - is laid out in a line stretching several miles from the Domestic Terminal to the Airport Village complex, with all terminal buildings connected by indispensable shuttle and rail services.
Flights to Brisbane International Airport are available from cities all over Australia, New Zealand and Asia, with additional service to several cities in the US, including Los Angeles. The most popular routes though, are the near-daily flights to Sydney, Melbourne, and Cairns.
Passengers flying into Brisbane will find it a welcoming introduction to Queensland, and a convenient gateway to the sunny beaches and sparkling waves of the Gold Coast.
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Sydney Airport (SYD), also referred to as Kingsford-Smith Airport, is situated in the suburb of Mascot, near Botany Bay, approximately 6 miles (9km) from Sydney, Australia’s largest city and main commercial and tourist hub. It is one of the oldest continuously running airports in the world and, having handled just over 35.9 million passengers in 2010, it is Australia’s busiest aerial hub.
Comprising three passenger terminals, namely International Terminal T1 and Domestic Terminals T2 and T3, Sydney Airport is home to a vast array of world-class shopping and dining venues, as well as a host of facilities and amenities for both tourists and business travelers. Check-in, baggage claims, immigrations, customs and security are generally smooth and painless; however, like most international airports, standard airport processes can slow down during peak times.
In essence, Sydney Airport is clean, efficient and well maintained. Better yet, transport to and from the airport is abundant and therefore makes this airport an ideal gateway for those traveling to Sydney and surrounds.
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Melbourne – Tullamarine
Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport (MEL) is one of the biggest and busiest in Australia, handling more than 28 million passengers each year and servicing the greater Melbourne area of Victoria.
The airport has four terminals: Terminal 1 services domestic flights from Qantas and its affiliates, Terminal 2 handles international flights, Terminal 3 is devoted to Virgin Australia and Regional Express Airlines (Rex), and Terminal 4 is for Tiger Airways.
The airport has modern (if modest) facilities for such a high-volume hub, but generally handles the crowds with style. The only hiccups come at Australia’s notoriously strict customs points, where queues can sometimes be long and frustrating.
Flights to Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport come in from all over Asia and Oceania, with select routes from further abroad, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Seoul, Shanghai, Auckland, Singapore, Sydney, Manila, Los Angeles, London, Cairns, Canberra, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Honolulu, Bali, Mauritius, Doha, Phuket, Perth and Hanoi.
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Perth Airport has two domestic terminals side by side about 7.5 miles (12km) from the Perth CBD, while the International Terminal is about 11 miles (17km) away from town. The airport has seen a huge increase in passengers in recent years, so if you're traveling at peak times, be prepared for crowds and queues.
Although the airport's facilities have been criticized for being outdated and run-down, there is more than enough by way of restaurants, shops, baby-changing facilities, prayer rooms and other standard facilities so that your stay at the airport should be fairly enjoyable and uneventful.
Perth itself is isolated in a vast and empty stretch of Western Australia. The city is quiet and safe, with miles of spectacular, uncrowded beaches close by. If you have time, head for the zoo in the CBD, where kangaroos are allowed to hop right up to visitors.
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