About Onslow Airport

Airport Location

The Onslow Airport is located approximately three kilometres south of the Onslow town site. Onslow Road forms the western boundary of the airport and provides direct access to the Onslow Townsite, ANSIA and connection to the North West Coastal Highway approximately 75 kilometres to the south.

The Onslow Airport is owned and operated by the Shire of Ashburton and is fully licensed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Onslow Airport is a Security Controlled Airport.

In addition to daily flight services to Perth, Onslow Airport also caters to General Aviation Private Charter flights and Royal Flying Doctor Services.

History of Onslow Aviation

Since the 1920’s, planes have been flying into Onslow. Over that time, Onslow Aerodrome has changed locations, been the target of bombing raids and been submerged under water from cyclonic weather.

From 1942 to the end of WWII, Onslow was the site of a fair amount of military activity. There was an existing airfield at Onslow that was upgraded in early 1942 to support fighter and bomber aircraft. The main military presence in the vicinity of Onslow however was centred on the operations and supporting activities at the Onslow Airfield. The original March 1942 contingent of approximately 30 personnel, comprising 18 soldiers of the 11th Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC) and RAAF personnel at the airfield was increased in early March 1943 with the arrival of 7 Battery, 2/3 LAA Regiment to defend the newly constructed fuel tanks, airfield and the RAAF fighter and torpedo-bomber squadrons which had commenced operations there.

There were at least two Japanese air raids on Onslow during WWII. On the night of 15 May 1943, a single enemy aircraft dropped at least three bombs of unknown size on the airstrip. There was no record of any damage to the runway, or to any of the RAAF aircraft parked nearby. Later that year in the early morning of 15 September, at least eight high explosive and eight incendiary bombs were reportedly dropped, again within the vicinity of the airfield. Rumour has it though that most of these bombs fell wide of their intended target, impacting just beyond the airfield boundary along the salt lake, again without damage to the airstrip or parked aircraft 

From the 1950’s to around 1973 a regular passenger transport service used to operate in and out of Onslow. The airport had a terminal, toilet and phone to call a taxi.

The Shire of Ashburton acquired the Onslow Airport in 1985, when the land was transferred from the Commonwealth Government to the Shire.

In 1993 Onslow Aerodrome became a licensed facility with significant modifications to the location of the runway and hangars occurring over the ensuing years until the latest upgrades triggered by the Chevron Wheatstone development.

Due to the commencement of both the Macedon and Wheatstone Projects at the ANSIA, air transport to Onslow has increased significantly with a mix of closed and open charter flights operating daily out of the Onslow Airport. Upgrades were required for airport facilities to serve the projected needs of industry and expected community growth.

The Onslow Aerodrome Redevelopment included in the main;

  • Construction of a new 1900m runway, taxiway, and apron (to cater to code C aircraft)
  • Installation of a new and upgraded runway and apron lighting
  • Provision of new radio and navigational aids
  • Construction of a new terminal, complete with passenger and baggage screening facilities
  • Installation of refueling facilities
  • Construction of new access road and parking facilities.

The SoA commenced the Onslow Aerodrome Redevelopment in June 2012 and the facilities were completed and fully operational in August 2015. On 24 August 2015, these works were completed and the redeveloped Onslow Airport was officially opened after taking about four years to complete. The redevelopment was funded by the SoA, Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project and the State Government through Royalties for Regions.

MMA ,  courtesty of Pearse Herbert
MMA , courtesy of Pearse Herbert
1964, courtesty of Dawn McAullay
1964, courtesy of Dawn McAullay
Onslow Aerodome Opening 2003
Onslow Aerodrome Opening 2003
Aerodrome Redevelopment 2013
Aerodrome Redevelopment 2013
Airport opening 2014
Airport opening 2014