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Busselton Margaret River Airport

Located less than 10 minutes’ drive from Busselton City Centre, Busselton Margaret River Airport is a critical piece of infrastructure for Busselton and the surrounding South West region.

Flights operating from the airport include Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) with Jetstar, FIFO (fly in fly out) services and private charters.

Passenger Growth

Over recent years, the airport has seen considerable growth in passenger numbers across both FIFO and RPT categories.

Total annual passenger throughput is tipped to reach 95,000 in 2022/23 – up from 26,496 in 2018/19. RPT and charter services are now operating 6 days per week, compared to 3 days per week in 2018/19.

In terms of the volume of services, the commencement of Jetstar RPT services from Melbourne in April 2022 added an additional three return flights per week. FIFO services have more than doubled in the last three years (10 return flights per week in 2018/19 compared to 28 return flights per week in 2021/22).

Melbourne-Busselton Flights

The first three years of Jetstar’s direct RPT service between Melbourne and Busselton are predicted to bring in 60,000 passengers to Busselton, and inject $40 million into the local economy.

Feedback following the launch of the service in April 2022 has been extremely positive, with 25,000 passengers using the service in the first 6 months of operation. Jetstar has indicated their intention to review the opportunity to increase the frequency of the service.

Service Expansion

Work continues to attract interstate and international RPT services to Busselton, with the next route secured likely to connect Busselton with Sydney. Attracting additional air services offers multiple benefits for the region and for the broader South West. With regards to leisure visitation alone, new flight routes offer significant potential to attract visitors from key interstate and international markets who have the potential to smooth the destination’s seasonality by travelling outside of peak periods and mid-week, as well as statistically staying longer and spending more than intrastate visitors.

Alongside leisure visitation, the Busselton Margaret River Airport Master Plan also includes future development for the facilitation of new trade opportunities, such as air freight.

Current Terminal: Not Fit For Future Purpose

There are numerous constraints at the Airport which can result in delayed departures, passengers having a crammed and uncomfortable experience, and risk causing reputational damage among both visitors and airline partners.

Terminal limitations include the fact that it is impossible to operate concurrent RPT services, which greatly limits the slots that are available for new routes to come in. There is also limited space to handle checked-in baggage and oversized baggage such as bicycles and surf boards. Apron bay parking constraints limit passenger and aircraft movements when there is simultaneous arrival of RPT and FIFO charter aircraft.

Thanks to funding from local, state and federal governments, there has been a sustained effort to address critical issues. The City of Busselton’s current Airport Development Project is progressing, with improvements such as the expansion of the departure lounge to be able to accommodate a full plane load of passengers, almost complete. However, while this will assist greatly in delivering the current RPT services, it does not provide for the anticipated growth in both RPT and FIFO flights into the future.

State Government Funding for Planning

In line with advocacy from MRBTA, the City of Busselton and our other partners, the state government has announced that funding has been committed to support the planning for the future of Busselton Margaret River Airport.

The news comes further to the success of the Jetstar Australia service from Melbourne, and demonstrates the state government’s recognition of the importance of the Airport for tourism and our greater community.

– Updated September 2023

Additional Information

  • Visit the City of Busselton’s Airport website.
  • The City of Busselton manages advertising opportunities at the Airport. See more information on advertising at the Busselton Margaret River Airport here.
  • South West Aviation Services (SWAS)is a professional aviation ground handling company contracted to deliver Passenger Experience and Ramp Handling services for several airlines at the Busselton Margaret River Airport. SWAS is operated by MRBTA. Servicing both Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) flights, as well as private and adhoc charter flights, SWAS brings together a team of highly trained staff which has established a strong reputation for delivering exceptional service over 15 years in the industry. View website.
  • State Government business case funding announcement