Kingsford Smith International Airport
Located in the suburb of Mascot, Sydney, the Kingsford Smith International Airport is Sydney’s main airport. Also known simply as the Sydney International Airport, the airport serves as a major hub for Qantas airways. Sydney Airport has the distinction of being the largest and busiest commercial airport in Australia and as such, is the most likely point of arrival for most international aircraft. Sydney Airport handles more than 26 million passengers in a year and this number is rising steadily. Thus the airport is often upgraded and remodeled to cater to the ever-increasing numbers. It should also be noted that Sydney Airport is the oldest continually operated commercial airport in the world.
The Kingsford Smith International Airport was officially opened in 1920 and it was then known simply as Sydney Airport. It had an low elevation of 19 ft (6m) and its runway, which was only built a few years later, only had a gravel surface. In 1953 the airport was renamed as the Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport after Charles Kingsford Smith who was an Australian aviator. Not long afterwards, the need for expansion was seen and before long a new terminal was opened. The north-south runway was also expanded, making it one of the longest runways in the southern hemisphere. Today the airport has two terminal buildings and three paved runways. The longest runway is 13 018 ft (3 968 m) in length. The other runways are 8 297 ft (2 529 m) and 7 998 ft (2 438 m) in length.
The Sydney Kingsford International Airport is a public airport and is operated by the Sydney Airport Corporation Limited. It mainly serves the surrounding area of Sydney, though it is also Australia’s premier airport for international flights. Though comparatively small, the airport is designed to cater to the needs of those using it. Both terminals offer great shopping experiences and restaurants. Some of the services and amenities available include ATMs, public toilets, showers, baby change rooms, children’s play areas, a chemist, internet facilities, a smoking area, trolleys, wheelchairs and parking for the disabled.