Archerfield was Brisbane's main airport from the early 1930's to the late 1940's when the traffic returned to the WW11 rebuilt Eagle Farm.

In June 1953, Redland Bay Flying Boat Base replaced the Brisbane River landing area. It is assumed the Redland Bay NDB was installed for these services.

September 1948 Route [Non Stop]

Reporting points were at Kyogle [if visual], Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Wingham, and Williamtown.

Radio Homers [early NDB type of aid] were at Archerfield, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Williamtown and Mascot.

The 4 Course ranges were at Archerfield, Kempsey and Sydney.

Grafton was plotted via the radio compass using the broadcast stations of 2NR [700 Kcs] and 2GF [1210Kcs]. 2NR was at Lawrence S29 29.5 E153 07 and 2GF was at S29 40.5 E152 56 near Grafton.

Kyogle was about the limit of reception of the radio range. [Job 1992 P.80] [Visual Flight Guide 1969 P.177]

1960 Brisbane / Sydney route

This chart was issued 3 June 1960.

Sydney VAR 111.5 DME Channel [CH] 5 NDB 384

Mascot ILS; for RW 16 109.5 and RW 07 109.9.

Sydney VAR legs; 244' Blue /Yellow [B/Y], 275' Morse [A/N], 338' B/Y, 010' B/Y, 064' B/Y, 095' A/N, 158' B/Y, 172' B/Y


From Mascot track 016' until 30 DME than 352' for 45 nm to West Maitland

West Maitland NDB 264 DME CH3

Track direct to Point Lookout

Point Lookout VAR 111.9 NDB 340 DME CH 1

Track direct to Casino

Casino NDB 296 DME CH12

From Casino 352' for 43nm to reporting position abeam Coolangatta NDB 268 than 350' for 45nm to Brisbane.

The reporting point abeam Coolangatta on the Casino / Brisbane sector is similar to present day Bromelton NDB and Laravale VOR.

Brisbane VAR 110.9 NDB 216 DME CH5

Brisbane VAR legs; 261' Morse A/N, 170í Blue / Yellow [B/Y], 081' A/N, 155' B/Y

The Sydney to Brisbane route had an alternative marked as; from West Maitland fly 018' for 166nm to Coffs Harbour.

Coffs Harbourís navaids were; VAR 109.1 NDB 356 DME CH6.

From Coffs Harbour track either 348' for 88nm to Casino or 358' for 76nm to Evans Head than 359' for 56nm to Coolangatta NDB 268 than to Brisbane.


The southbound was from Brisbane 197' for 78nm to Tooloom reporting point which was also 38 DME from Casino.

From Tooloom 197' for 116nm to intercept the outer western end of the Point Lookout 098' VAR leg. This position was also 55 DME Tamworth VAR 110.3 NDB 248 DME CH8.

From position 098' to Point Lookout / 55DME Tamworth track 173' for 55nm to reporting point 80 DME Singleton. Present day southbound jet aircrews use Mt Sandon VOR that is 174' 70nm to Singleton.

Than 172' for 80 nm to Singleton VAR 111.1 NDB 396 DME CH 7.

From Singleton track to Sydney.

Also marked was the southbound Brisbane / Casino / Pt Lookout / Singleton sectors and the Coffs Harbour to Singleton sector. The southbound coastal route was also shown as; Brisbane south to Coolangatta than to Coffs Harbour.

The Brisbane to Tamworth than Singleton route was also marked, as was the Coolangatta / Casino sector.

Early 1980s Routes

About 1980 British Airways 747-136 G-AWNM flew the Sydney / Brisbane sector. The route was; Sydney, West Maitland, Point Lookout, Casino, Beechmont than Brisbane. [Vogel J. June 1981 P.63]

Beechmont was a turning point, not a navaid, 49nm / 358' north of Casino and 40nm /160' south of Brisbane [BNE]. Its purpose was to move northbound Regular Passenger Traffic [RPT] traffic tracking from the Casino NDB over to the east onto the Brisbane 160 radial and thus produce traffic separation with southbound RPT traffic which was flying on the 189 Brisbane radial. The artillery range at the Army's Canungra Land Warfare Training Centre had and still has a danger area of up to 8500 ft just to the north of the Beechmont turning point. Aircraft flying below 8500ft could have tracked coastal via Coolangatta

The Eagle Farm VOR was 113.9 located at S27 25.2 E153 05.2  which was just to the north of the intersection of the old RW22 and RW31. The present day Brisbane International VOR is 113.2 located at S27 22.0 E153 08.4 which is just east of the RW19 Middle Marker.

The old Eagle Farm airport also used the Myrtle [L] beacon MTL 227 S27 24.5 E153 06.5 range 30nm. This lined traffic up on the old Eagle Farm RW22. The Myrtle beacon was closed down when the new airport was opened in 1988. The International Terminal, which was opened in 1995, now occupies Myrtle's location.

The main 1980's southbound route was Brisbane direct to Gibraltar NDB / Mt Sandon / Singleton / Mt McQuoid / Hawkes [turning point 30 DME / 156' SYD] / Sydney. 

 Bonalbo [BBO] was marked as 83nm / 189' BNE and 27DME Casino. It was the first position reporting point on the Gibraltar track. Its purpose as a reporting point was to assist traffic flow as well as SAR [Search and Rescue]. Southbound ATC departures from the time period included "22 Bonalbo departures" and "04 Bonalbo 5 departures". Bonalbo is in the same general area as the earlier Tooloom reporting point that was 38nm NNW of Casino and the 1999 Apagi waypoint, which was 25nm west of Casino.

Until 27 NOV 1980, Gibraltar GBA NDB 245 [S29 35.8 E152 10.7 range 35nm ] was called Glen Elgin GGN 245 [S29 36 E152 11.5 range 55nm in 1969].  Glen Elgin was changed to Gibraltar because of the close proximity to and possible confusion with Glen Innes NDB. The new Gibraltar NDB was less than a mile to the west of the old Glen Elgin NDB.  

Brisbane's International Airport at Eagle Farm shifted to its present site about 2nm NE in March 1988.  The new runway alignments caused new approach tracks.

After the new Brisbane International opened in March1988, southbound RPT traffic tracked via a new VOR at Laravale [LAV 117.8 S28 05.4 E152 55.5] which is 45nm 183' south of the new Brisbane International. Laravale is 8nm to the south east of the Bromelton NDB.

At a same time Laravale VOR commenced operation, north bound RPT flights changed from the Beechmont turning point to the new Jacobs Well VOR [JCW 116.5 S27 45.7 E153 20.1]

1999 route


Sydney, Williamtown, Coolangatta, Jacobs Well, Brisbane.


Brisbane, Laravale, Apagi, Mt Sandon, Corky, Sydney.

Apagi [S28 50.9 E152 35.1] is a GPS waypoint 25nm west of Casino. Corky [S32 29.9 E150 54.7] is a GPS waypoint 18nm west of Singleton.



Page last updated on 31/12/03

Air Routes
1939 Map