Cairns Airport (CNS/YBCS)

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Other major reasons to serve this airport

Cairns snorkelling

Serving the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns Airport is your airline’s gateway to the third most visited Australian destination.

  • Cairns Airport is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s iconic natural attractions.
  • It is the third most visited Australian destination for international holiday travellers.
  • Cairns is the largest airport in Northern Australia and its passenger throughput is higher than the combined totals of all other international airports in the region.
  • Cairns Airport’s strong passenger base and location make it an ideal gateway to Northern Australia, as most East Asia destinations are within eight hours flying time from Cairns.
  • 24/7 operations and uncongested airspace.
  • The Australian Government has an open skies policy for Cairns traffic rights.
  • The growth rate on Cairns domestic routes has been consistently one of the highest of Australia’s major airports.
  • It has a track record of being Australia’s top airport for satisfaction in the Airport Service Quality surveys.

Marketing and other support

Cairns virgin

Planning to start a new route to Cairns? The airport will ease the pain of start-up through its tailored marketing support packages.

  • Tailored support packages for new routes will be considered.
  • Effective PR activities for inaugural flights.
  • Comprehensive marketing strategies and campaigns may be developed for airlines for the local market.
  • Meaningful marketing statistics and insights available.
  • Growing social media presence to communicate with travellers actively considering travel to and from Cairns.

Airport Catchment area

  • The immediate catchment is 240,000 people.
  • Those living within a four-hour drive of the airport number 500,000.

Under-served freight opportunities and other economic impact factors

The region around Cairns specialises in the export of high-value produce, including live fish and seasonal fruit and vegetables.

The region around Cairns specialises in the export of high-value produce, including live fish and seasonal fruit and vegetables.

  • The region exports high-value food produce, including live fish and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
  • There is a growing market for crocodile skins used in high fashion.
  • The region is home to two universities which specialise in tropical studies like medicine. 


Cairns aerial runway

3,200 metres of strip at Cairns is long enough for new routes to Abu Dhabi, Doha or Dubai to be considered from the Australian airport.

  • The airport is a 10-minute drive from the CBD.

Infrastructure & Operations

  • Runway(s): One asphalt runway 3,200m.
  • Slot Coordinated: Unrestricted.
  • Operating hours: 24/7.
  • Terminals: Terminal 1 (International) & Terminal 2 (Domestic).
  • Minimum connect times: 30-minutes domestic to domestic; 60-minutes domestic to international and international to international; 75-minutes international to domestic.
  • 24/7 operations without curfew
  • Choice of ground handling agents
  • Rated Australia’s best in ASQ

Important infrastructure developments and/or other news

  • The airport has the space and approvals for significant airside aeronautical services development.

Vital statistics

  • Passenger numbers: Over 4.5 million passengers in 2014.
  • Freight: International freight averages 3,000 tonnes per year.

Fees and charges

  • Contact us for details on aviation charges