Townsville Airport (IATA: TSV, ICAO: YBTL) is a major Australian regional airport that services the city of Townsville. The airport is also known as Townsville International Airport, and Garbutt Airport, a reference to its location in the Townsville suburb of Garbutt. Townsville Airport is serviced by major Australian domestic and regional airlines, and in 2011/12 handled 1.7 million passengers making it the 11th busiest airport in Australia.
Townsville International Airport is a common-use civilian and defence facility, sharing access with RAAF Base Townsville. It is used as a staging point for Australian Defence Force (ADF) operations within Australia and internationally. The aerodrome has also been used for co-ordination of relief efforts following Tropical Cyclones and other natural disasters, notably Cyclone Larry in 2006.
Townsville Airport was the first Australian regional city airport to be granted international airport status commencing in 1980. International traffic grew substantially through the early 1980s then receded however as a result of airline market restructuring, and significant competition with Cairns Airport for regional tourism. The airport then suffered an extended hiatus from handling direct civil international flights with the final Qantas international service in 2002, between Townsville and Singapore via Brisbane using a Boeing 767. From December 2010, the city again handled direct international flights, flown by Strategic Airlines to Bali Denpasar Airport. These flights ceased with the insolvency of Strategic Airlines, but resumed with Jetstar on 2 September 2015
The airport is located 2 nautical miles (3.7 km; 2.3 mi) west of the Townsville CBD.
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