Orange Aerodrome

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The landing of an East-West Airlines DC-3 in Orange in 1961 marked the first regular flight between Sydney and Orange. Pictured are Mr Frank Hang Sing and Mrs A McKenzie
The refurbished Orange Airport in 1999 with a Hazeltons Plane

World War II revolutionised aircraft design and there was a growing recognition of the implications for Orange. There was a feeling that even with the new hangers built in 1946 the Bloomfield Aerodrome would not meet future needs and that it was destined for use solely by short intra regional flights by light aircraft and by trainers. The Orange Chamber of Commerce began pushing for the building of an A class aerodrome and a site was chosen near Spring Hill. This site had been selected by the Air Force for a base in 1939.

In November 1958 the Minister for Civil Aviation's decision to approve the financial arrangements between the Department and Orange City Council was made public and on June 17 1961 2,000 people attended the official opening by Senator Shane Paltridge minister for Civil Aviation. That afternoon 4 residents of Orange arrived on the first Sydney-Orange flight by East West Airlines: Frank Hang-Sing, Mrs A Mackenzie, Mrs A Smyth and Miss Elizabeth Dalton.

Since that time the aerodrome has been continuously developed. Today the main runway, which was reconstructed in 2005 is a chip sealed surface measuring 30 metres in width by 1670 metres in length. Last financial year 53,320 passengers came through the port. Currently a $170,000 upgrade to the airport is underway which will give commuters 50 per cent more car spaces and pilots an extended area to house their planes.

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