Is Canberra Airport Bigger Than Cairns Airport?

image of Canberra and Cairns Airport

Airports play a crucial role in connecting people, facilitating travel, and promoting economic growth. In this blog post, we will compare two prominent Australian airports: Cairns Airport and Canberra Airport. We will examine their size, passenger traffic, number of airlines, runway configurations, and the facilities they offer to travelers.

Is Canberra Airport Bigger Than Cairns Airport

No Canberra airport is not bigger than Cairns airport. Canberra airport has an total airport area of 1,111.97 acres while Cairns airport covers a land area of 1,730 acres.

Passenger Traffic

Cairns Airport has established itself as a significant gateway to tropical North Queensland, with a passenger traffic of over 5 million. On the other hand, Canberra Airport serves the nation’s capital and welcomes more than 3 million passengers annually.

Number of Airlines

Cairns Airport boasts a diverse range of connectivity, with 16 airlines operating flights to various domestic and international destinations. In contrast, Canberra Airport has a smaller number of airlines, with three carriers servicing its routes.

Runway Configurations

Cairns Airport operates with a single runway that spans an impressive 3,156 meters in length. This runway accommodates the takeoff and landing needs of numerous aircraft types, catering to both domestic and international flights. In contrast, Canberra Airport has two runways, measuring 3.283 kilometers and 1.679 kilometers in length respectively. This dual runway configuration enables smoother traffic flow and increased capacity.

Airport Area

When it comes to the area covered by the airports, Cairns Airport occupies a vast expanse of approximately 1,730 acres. This substantial land allocation supports the airport’s operations, including terminals, runways, and auxiliary facilities. In comparison, Canberra Airport covers a more compact area of 1,111.97 acres, strategically located within the city’s confines.


Both airports provide a range of amenities and services to enhance the passenger experience. Cairns Airport features modern terminals equipped with lounges, retail stores, dining options, and car rental facilities. The airport’s commitment to sustainability is evident through eco-friendly initiatives, such as energy-efficient infrastructure and waste management programs. Canberra Airport also offers convenient passenger services, including dining options, duty-free shopping, and car rental facilities. Additionally, the airport has dedicated facilities for business travelers, including meeting rooms and conference spaces.

Navigating the Skies: Comparing Canberra and Cairns Airports for Travelers

When it comes to air travel, choosing the right airport can significantly impact your journey. For travelers considering a visit to Australia, two popular entry points are Canberra Airport and Cairns Airport. Both airports offer unique experiences and advantages, making the decision between the two a matter of personal preference. In this article, we’ll conduct a thorough comparison of these two airports based on key factors such as location, facilities, accessibility, and overall travel experience.

Location and Accessibility

Canberra Airport is strategically located in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), making it an ideal choice for those planning to explore the nation’s capital. Its proximity to iconic landmarks like Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial is a notable advantage for history and culture enthusiasts. Additionally, the airport’s layout ensures easy navigation, with its domestic and international terminals located in close proximity.

On the other hand, Cairns Airport is nestled in tropical North Queensland, serving as a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Its location caters to travelers seeking adventure and natural beauty. The airport’s unique environment immerses visitors in the region’s vibrant flora and fauna, setting the tone for their tropical getaway.

Facilities and Services

Both airports offer a range of facilities and services to enhance the travel experience. Canberra Airport boasts modern terminals equipped with lounges, shopping outlets, and dining options that showcase local cuisine. The airport’s commitment to sustainability is evident through its eco-friendly initiatives, making it an appealing choice for environmentally conscious travelers.

Cairns Airport, in turn, provides a blend of modern amenities and a relaxed tropical atmosphere. Travelers can indulge in retail therapy at the airport’s shopping precinct, which features a mix of local products and international brands. The airport’s emphasis on regional culture is reflected in its art installations and Indigenous artwork, offering passengers a taste of the local heritage.


In terms of connectivity, both airports are well-connected domestically and internationally. Canberra Airport offers a variety of flights to major cities within Australia, making it convenient for business travelers and those exploring the country. Its international connections are steadily growing, providing more options for global travel.

Cairns Airport, as a popular tourist destination, offers a robust network of flights to various domestic locations and international hubs. Travelers seeking to explore the Great Barrier Reef and nearby attractions will find Cairns Airport to be a convenient choice.

Choosing between Canberra Airport and Cairns Airport ultimately depends on your travel preferences and priorities. Canberra Airport caters to those interested in history, politics, and a vibrant urban experience, while Cairns Airport offers a tropical paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

When making your decision, consider factors such as the destinations you plan to explore, the kind of experience you want to have, and the convenience of flight options. Both airports offer unique advantages that can enhance your journey to Australia. Whether you’re drawn to the political heart of the country or the natural wonders of the tropics, either choice is sure to provide a memorable and enjoyable travel experience.

In the end, the “better” airport is subjective and depends on what you value most in your travel adventure. So pack your bags, prepare for takeoff, and embark on a memorable journey through the skies of Australia, no matter which airport you choose.

In summary, Cairns Airport and Canberra Airport each have their unique characteristics and offerings. Cairns Airport stands out with its larger passenger traffic, greater number of airlines, and a single, longer runway. Its extensive land allocation allows for future growth and development. In contrast, Canberra Airport, as the gateway to the nation’s capital, offers a more compact and efficient operation with dual runways. While both airports prioritize passenger comfort and convenience through various facilities, Cairns Airport’s larger size and diverse connectivity give it an edge in terms of scale and scope.

Ultimately, the choice between these airports depends on travelers’ destinations, preferences, and specific travel requirements. Whether it’s exploring the tropical wonders of North Queensland or immersing oneself in the political and cultural heart of Australia, both airports strive to provide a positive and seamless travel experience.

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