Responding to claims that the 11C/29C runway has been extended
in length since 1996, Airport Managers and aviation lobby groups
have claimed in local media that the runway was 1460 meters long in
1961. This is immaterial in
deciding the truth of answers to a question relating to what has
happened "since 1996". As well as being
immaterial, it is factually wrong. Here are the 1962 facts:
1962 Runway Length
The best evidence comes from the 1965 Aerial Photo, the first
taken after 1962 by the NSW Surveyor General.
Photos: Copyright © New South Wales
Surveyor-General's Department, published by permission.
- In 1961, there was only one runway in the East-West direction
(roughly East-West, strictly compass bearing 110 deg). It's the
topmost (northerly) runway in the aerial photo. It was designated
11/29, and there was only one other shorter runway (05/23) at
Bankstown (over near the DeHavilland factory, with alignment
pointing roughly North East to South East).
In 1962, the original 11/29 became 11L/29R when a shorter
parallel runway was added. The original unsealed 11/29 was
eventually replaced by the sealed K2/K3/K4/K5 taxiway, and no
longer exists as a runway. As 11L/29R, it had an apparent length of
1263 m (based on runway lettering position; the claimed 1460 m
ridiculously needs to include the taxiway distance to the boundary
fence as runway length, includes no runway end safety area, and
probably doesn't allow proper clearance to obstacles, like the
fences, nearby trees and houses.). A new 11L/29R was later
constructed parallel to and south of the original unsealed 11L/29R
(which became the K taxiway).
- The new runway for 1962 was the 11R/29L runway. It became
11C/29C when a third parallel runway was later added (to the south,
now 11R/29L). The 1962 version of 11C/29C was only 790 m.
Considerably less than today's 1415 m. This runway has never been
longer than it now is, and it has never been 1460 m.
The third runway in 1962 was the 1015 m 05/23 runway which no
- The 1982 Master Plan gives the
11C/29C strip length as 1231 m and runway length as 1111 m. Isn't
the 1962 claim garbage ?
When questioned as to the weight limit of the runway in 1962,
BAL managers claimed it hadn't changed - it could handle WWII B17
Flying Fortress Bombers. This is yet more horse-*!@$ from BAL. The
B17's maximum take-off weight was 26 tons, well under today's 50 to
63 ton limit (see council
briefing for weight limit claims, or summary).
Permission to reproduce the aerial photographs must be sought
from the copyright holder, NSW Surveyor General.
Last Revised , First Published, July 1998
Changes: vdeck mod
since Sat 21-Feb-2004.