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Parafield Airport

History Parafield Airport

Parafield Aviation Heritage Centre

Located in the old fire station building at 8 Kings Road Parafield, the Parafield Aviation Centre houses historical accounts and memorabilia from South Australia’s early aviation pioneers and the Parafield Airport. The Parafield Aviation Centre is a key visitor attraction for the northern suburbs and an ideal outing for school groups. The centre showcases events and themes that happened over the past 90 years at the Parafield Airport. Aviation and heritage experts have made significant contributions to support the Parafield Aviation Centre project. Available for group bookings from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 3 pm, with two weeks notice. To make a booking, please contact the Parafield Airport Management Centre on (08) 8307 5700 or email them at

History of the Parafield Airport

Parafield Aerodrome was opened on 1 October 1927. The official opening as the Adelaide Airport was on 5 August 1928 by the then Governor of South Australia, Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven. Prior to the opening of the aerodrome, fields, paddocks and racecourses were used as airfields or emergency landing areas. An airfield at Dry Creek was often used by aviators until the Parafield Aerodrome was built. Many aviators used the aerodrome such as Sir Keith Smith, Bert Hinkler, Captain Hans Bertram, Charles James 'Jimmy' Melrose, R.M. 'Reg' Ansett and Horace Clive 'Horrie' Miller to name a few. The range of businesses conducted included the delivery of goods, mail, passengers as well as aerial photography and joy rides. Many air racing events were part of the history of the aerodrome such as the South Australian Centenary Celebrations in 1936. Many people went to watch aerobatic displays and parachute jumping on Sundays. In March 1928 the first fatality occurred when the Aero Club's first instructor, Lieutenant I.E. McIntyre nose-dived his plane from 200 feet. On 28 August 1928, the Southern Cross plane piloted by Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm landed at the Parafield Airport after their initial flight over the Pacific, flying non-stop from Tammin in Western Australia.

Parafield continued to develop and the first control tower was built in 1937. In 1954 HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh landed at Parafield as part of their Coronation tour. Major passenger airlines used Parafield Aerodrome until 1955 when the new Adelaide Airport at West Beach was opened. Smaller air charter and taxi services, air spraying services, private plane use and aircraft maintenance services continued and grew at Parafield.

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