Sydney Changes

Runway 16L/34R opened about 1994.

Glenfield NDB changed from 317 to 428 about 1997. Glenfield is an important beacon for Mascot RW07.

West Pymble NDB [254] decommissioned about 1997. It was the main beacon for Mascot RW 16. Aircraft tracking for RW16 now use various GPS locations such as Berow Intersection which is 19 nm 338' NW of Mascot. West Pymble was 11nm 336' NW of Mascot.

Sydney's runway before the mid 1950's was very different to today.

Melbourne Changes

In 1946 Essendon was out of action while the runway and taxiway system was laid in concrete. During this time operations were switched to the RAAF base at Laverton. [Job 1992 P.120]

Essendon was Melbourne's airport until Tullamarine was built. TAA operations began at Tullamarine 20 June 1971. [Wilson J. 1984 P.76]


The earlier Sydney Melbourne route for non-pressurised aircraft such as the DC3 was via the Holbrook radio range. This would take the route clear of the Snowy Mountains.

The 1959 Sydney/Melbourne route

This route was issued 14 September 1959


Sydney VAR 111.5 DME CH5 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 to Dead Reckoning [D/R] position 244' / 50nm from Sydney until the Katoomba NDB 364 was bearing 359'. Track 244' was along the centre of the RW 07 Blue / Yellow [B/Y] VAR. This D/R point 244' 50nm from Sydney is near the present day Bindook navaid location which is 243' 56 nm from Mascot.

From this D/R position track 226' 76nm to Yass

Yass NDB 240 DME CH 12. Yass was also in the center of the 142' Morse A / N leg of the Canberra VAR. Present day Yass to Canberra is 152' 28nm. This is a 10' shift from 1959!

From Yass track 227' 85nm to Holbrook. Track along the 227' B / Y legs of the Holbrook VAR

Holbrook VAR 109.1 DME CH8 NDB 300

From Holbrook track 226' to Mangalore

Mangalore VAR 111.7 NDB 336 DME CH11

From Mangalore track to Essendon as per selected RW

Essendon VAR 110.3 NDB 308 DME CH 5 ILS 109.9. Which end of the RW in 1959 had the ILS is unknown but present day ILS 109.9 is for RW 26.

Essendon VAR legs; 258' Blue / Yellow [B/Y], 317' B/Y, 037' Morse A/N, 078' B/Y, 107' B/Y,


From Essendon track 037' to 50 DME than 048' until 80 DME Melbourne, than 048' for another 95nm to "Murray River" waypoint.

Present day Eildon Weir VOR is 43' 54nm from Essendon.

"Murray River" waypoint. This waypoint also marked as within the 316' Morse A/N leg of the Holbrook VAR 37nm to the west. The waypoint was also defined as 81nm from the Canberra DME. "Murray River" is near the present day Corryong NDB that is 39' 83nm from Canberra.

Than track 047' for 81nm to Canberra.

Canberra VAR 110.9 NDB 344 DME CH4

From Canberra track 049' for 53nm to abeam Marulan NDB than 049' for 38nm to Wollongong NDB 292

Marulan NDB 272 in 1959. The Marulan NDB was later called the Shellys NDB although both locations are still close to the township of Marulan. Marulan's details were; MRU, 230KC, S34 42.5 E150 00.5, range 70nm day, 65nm night. Note the change from 272 in 1959 to 230 in 1969. [1969 Visual Flight Guide P.182]

Wollongong NDB 292

From Wollongong track 049' for 8nm to center of the Blue / Yellow leg of the Sydney 010' VAR. This was also 37 DME Mascot. Than to Mascot.

Also noted on the 1959 map was; Avalon NDB 328, Benalla NDB 400, although Benalla has no present day beacon, Wagga NDB 260 DME CH1.

"Abeam" means the radio compass / ADF is bearing 90' to the beacon. An aircraft heading west and is north of the beacon can be abeam as can an aircraft heading south-east and is west of the beacon.

2001 route


Sydney, Wollongong, Tanta [S35 52.8 E148 31.9], Tarex [S37 18.4 E145 54.9], Lizzy [S37 32.8 E145 27.2], Melbourne. Expect radar vectors from Lizzy which is 30nm Melbourne.


Melbourne, Dosel [40 nm Melbourne S37 09.9 E145 23.7], Ebony [S36 10.9 E147 04.2], Culin [S34 44.4 E149 23.4], Rivet [43 nm Sydney S34 16.8 E150 25.8], Sydney. Culin appeared in July 1998 as the renamed GPS waypoint Cullerin, in the same location. This GPS waypoint is located in the Cullerin Ranges between Yass and Goulburn.



Page last updated on 31/12/03

Air Routes
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