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The Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport is the main airport serving the Melbourne area. It is considered the second busiest airport in Australia and is the sole international airport for the Melbourne ports. As the area's largest airport it sees over 28 million travellers each year and services the area of Victoria. Currently the Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport offers four terminals that include a domestic, international, Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways options. Overall the airport offers modest facilities to travellers from all over the world.
The Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport was designed to take over the overworked and small Essendon Airport. When the limitations of the Essendon became grossly apparent in 1950, the replacement commenced in 1958 and construction began in 1964. Melbourne Airport was not officially opened and put into use until July 1, 1970 and since then it has reached the flow of over 900 passengers per hour. In 2005 the airport was widened to accommodate larger airbuses in Terminals 2 through 4 and eventually a new outbound passenger security and customs processing checkpoint was also added to accommodate the additional passenger flow.
Melbourne Airport offers travellers:
Currently Melbourne Airport offers five car parks that include:
A common complaint by travellers that come into or depart from the Melbourne Airport is the customs process. Travellers are urged to arrive a minimum of two hours prior to departure and have all international documentation prepared and ready. Their rigorous checkpoints and screening processes can take upward of 20 minutes to over an hour. Travellers state that their policies are strict and queues can be very long.
Surrounding Attractions and Atmosphere
There are numerous ways to get around Melbourne after exiting the airport. Most travellers will take advantage of buses, trams and taxis, but during the summer months Melbourne is perfect for walking.
Travellers are encouraged to visit local attractions that include the National Gallery of Victoria or the Eureka Tower. The Melbourne Zoo that opened up in the year 1862 is still available to this day for tourists and those interested in the quaternary lava flows of Melbourne can schedule Lava Tours.
Hotel accommodations are located throughout the area, especially along the main city roads and within close proximity to the airport. Those traveling for a short time can stay at various hotels just outside the airport limits with daily shuttles for convenience.
Airport Contact Information
Airport IATA Code: MEL
Location: 15 miles NW of Melbourne
Telephone: +61 (0)3 9297 1600
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +10:00