16 February 1955 Parafield Airport
The opening of the new West Beach Airport for commercial aircraft on 16 February 1955 meant the end of an era for the Parafield Airport.
Parafield had been the main airport since 1927 when Miller Aviation and Australian Aerial Services moved from the old aerodrome at Albert Park. On Sundays thousands of people went there to watch displays of aerobatics and parachute jumping. One afternoon in March 1928 the first fatality happened when Flight Lieutenant I.E. McIntyre, the Aero Club's first instructor, was killed when his plane nose-dived from 200 feet.
Big events there included the visit of Bert Hinkler, after his famous flight from London to Darwin in 16 days, and on 28 August 1928 the arrival of Kingsford Smith and Ulm in the Southern Cross who, after their initial flight over the Pacific, had flown non-stop from Tammin in Western Australia. This was the prelude to the opening of a service to Perth in May 1929 by two ten passenger de Havilland Hercules aircraft, the journey taking two days. During the war Parafield was used as an RAAF training base until it was closed in 1947. The airport remains a busy base for light aircraft.
The Advertiser, 15 February 1955