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Darwin International Airport

Darwin International Airport (DIA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Airport Development Group (ADG). The three Northe

Start Year


Project Type

New passenger terminal and commercial precinct


Northern Australia

Development Plans

Early 2009


Darwin International Airport (DIA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Airport Development Group (ADG). The three Northern Territory airports were leased by ADG from the Commonwealth Government for $110m in 1998.

As part of the privatisation of Australia’s airports, the Airport Development Group (ADG) purchased a 50-year lease with a 49-year option in the year 1998. DIA is a joint user airport with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base on the south side of the main runway and civil facilities to the north.

DAI development plan

Anthony Albanese, federal minister for infrastructure, transport, regional development and local government, unveiled the new terminal expansion – major development plan (MDP). The MDP envisaged in 2004 is considered to be relevant to 2024, which is a maximum 20-year period specified under the act. The plan has been prepared in accordance with the Airports Act 1996.

“Chief among the proposed terminal plans is the expansion of the passenger terminal floor space by
around 65%.”

This is one of the first major capital investments since the airport’s inception, 16 years ago. The airport intends to develop its commercial precinct in line with its master plan. This would increase operational efficiency and passenger facilities catering for the airport’s projected growth by 2015 – delivering an improved passenger experience while contributing to DIA’s security, safety and sustainability.

The airport environment strategy (AES) helps manage operations while minimising the impact on environment.

Darwin’s proposed terminal expansion plan

Chief among the proposed terminal plans is the expansion of the passenger terminal floor space by around 65%. A modern three-storey building to the east of the current terminal will be built. The overall investment of the terminal is about $60m. This provides an additional 11,000m² of floor space and includes a new goods delivery area.

New check-in facilities, and domestic and international security screening will be part of the new ground floor plan. The second floor will have airline lounges while the first floor will have expanded retail outlets with domestic and international departure facilities.

The new design will minimise connection times, and make passenger flows more efficient with improved baggage handling efficiency and increased customer satisfaction. Also proposed was the plan to build new aprons to increase parking space for planes and to relocate staff car-parking facilities. There are plans to expand public car-parking facilities by 160 spaces.

Airport amenities and operations

The current facilities at DIA include: a two-runway system that handles all existing and planned aircraft types, including the A380 Airbus. It has 12 aircraft parking stands on the main apron, four or which are serviced by air bridges. It has a general aviation area that includes an apron with parking for about 100 aircraft.

“Darwin International Airport operates 24 hours a day.”

The airport also features refuelling and other aeronautical services with comprehensive air navigation systems and aviation firefighting services.

Darwin International Airport operates 24 hours a day. It has the capacity to accommodate the largest aircraft in operation.

The length of the main runway (11/29) is 3,354m and it is 60m wide. The second runway (18/36) is 1,524m long by 30m wide. Both runways have a parallel taxiway.

Airport Development Group

The ADG is owned by major superannuation funds, with profits shared by thousands of Australians. Of ADG’s shareholders, most of the 60,000 accounts are held by the territorians. The 311ha site comprises aviation facilities with about 127ha of prime land in the centre of Darwin available for commercial development.

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