Ballarat Airport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ballarat Airport
YBLT.jpg
IATA: N/AICAO: YBLT
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator City of Ballarat
Location Mitchell Park, Ballarat, Victoria
Elevation AMSL 1,433 ft / 437 m
Coordinates 37°30′42″S 143°47′28″E / 37.51167°S 143.79111°E / -37.51167; 143.79111
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
05/23 1,265 4,150 Asphalt
13/31 568 1,864 Grass
18/36 1,245 4,085 Asphalt
Ballarat Airport terminal

Ballarat Airport (ICAO: YBLT) or Ballarat Aerodrome, is at Mitchell Park an outer suburb of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

History[change | change source]

Pilots were first trained on the Ballarat Common in 1914-15. In 1934 a tin hangar was built.

World War II[change | change source]

In 1940, in World War II, the site was taken over by the Australian government and a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) airfield known as Empire Air Training Scheme No 1 Wireless Air Gunners School was begun (EATS 1 WAGS) at the Ballarat Showgrounds on 22 April 1940.

The hangar was moved to the Commonwealth Flax Mill, and four Bellman Hangars and numerous "P"-type hut buildings were erected. In mid-1940 the Wireless Air Gunners School moved to the aerodrome. At first the wireless operators were mainly trained in panel vans, but from mid 1941, they used CAC Wackett trainer aircraft.

No 1 WAGS was disbanded on 31 December 1945.

Post War[change | change source]

The RAAF continued to use the airfield as its Radio School until 1961. The Shire of Ballarat took over the airport as a civil airport and kept many of the hangars and other structures. Most of the P Huts were sold by the Australian government.[1]

The site was listed on the Victorian Heritage Register in 2007 because of its history with the Empire Air Training Scheme in Victoria.[2]

The airport still has an important role in emergency services operation, civil operation, and flight training. Many community groups and organisations use the old buildings.

Ballarat
Location Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Time zone UTC +10
Operator Light Car Club of Australia
Victorian Sporting Car Club
Opened 26 January 1947
Closed 12 February 1961
Major Events Victoria Cup, Victoria Trophy
Circuit Length 5.1 km (3.2 mi)
Turns 6
Lap Record 1:51 (Dan Gurney, BRM P48, 1961, Formula Libre)

Motorsport[change | change source]

The airfield was also used for motor sport, starting on Australia Day in 1947 when it held its first motor race meeting. In February there was an International Formula Libre race, which was attended by some European Formula 1 teams. BRM factory drivers Dan Gurney and Graham Hill finished first and second in the major race, the Victoria Trophy with Ron Flockhart third in a Cooper. On the night before the race Gurney's car was stolen from its hangar and driven into or hidden with, hay bales out on the track.[3][4]

References[change | change source]

  1. Ballarat Airport - City of Ballarat
  2. "Former Ballarat RAAF Base". Victorian Heritage Database. 2012. http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/#detail_places;14247. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
  3. "This Week in Racing History (February 11–17)". motorsport.com. 11 February 2007. http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=243187&FS=History. Retrieved 26 July 2008.
  4. Walker, Terry (1995). Fast Tracks. Turton & Armstrong Pty Ltd Publishers. pp. 22 & 23. ISBN 0 908031 55 6.
  • Shire of Ballarat History

Other websites[change | change source]