Winton Aerodrome Winton Aerodrome

As far as can be learnt, the very first site where planes landed in Winton was near the present Football Ground. There was no road, no strip, just flat open country.

On April 13th, 1921, an officer of the Federal Aviation Department addressed the local Council following which it was decided to request that 50 acres of the Police Reserve be set aside for an aerodrome and the Council became the first Local Authority in Queensland to financially support an aerodrome, allocating $100 to improving it. This strip was on a crest north of Winton, just east of the Meatworks and the Hughenden Road. The gulleys that radiate from this crest were marked with railway sleepers painted white. Included amongst the people who landed at this spot were Hudson Fysh, McGinness, Hinkler, Scott and Bonney.

On 4th July, 1934, Council requested the Department of Aviation to change the site to permit the landing of the largest planes and to have Winton included as a stopping place in the Australia to England Air Service. The Aerodrome was relocated on the western side of the Meatworks and Council allocated a further $400. By June the 13th, 1935, cost became a burden and Council asked the Government to take over control, and finance the Aerodrome and construct runways to make an all weather landing ground for overseas planes. The Government duly took over and in 1936, Council requested the Defence Department to make an immediate start on the runways.

In 1942, the site was moved to its present position north east of the town out along the Longreach Road (Landsborough Highway) as a low hill near the strip made landing dangerous for fighter planes in World War II.

In 1960, the Department of Civil Aviation asked Council to take over the aerodrome under the Local Ownership Plan. Council advised its agreement, provided an all weather runway and taxiway, electricity supply and a flare path, plus building and plant improvements were implemented. After much discussion, Council decided to take over the aerodrome in November 1962, provided the pavement surfaces were designed suitable for future sealing and a sealed access road was constructed.

On July 1st, 1963, Council Officially took over the aerodrome and on May 22nd, 1965, Civil Aviation Minister, Senator Henty, officially opened the terminal building. A feature of the building is the display of district photographs taken by Photographer, Peter Knowles, producer of two successful Photographic Books on Winton and District. Overall cost of reconstruction was $196,648 of which Council's share was $26,050.

The same building is still used today.