Kingscote Airport

Tonkin Consulting has a long and successful history with the Kingscote Airport on Kangaroo Island dating back to the original upgrade in 1984. Based on the findings of our infrastructure study in 2012, The Kangaroo Island Council successfully secured federal and state funding to undertake the current airside and landside upgrades. The potential for increased visitation, particularly by overseas and interstate tourists, was recognised as a major component of future local economic activity.

The project brief and initial airside design requirements were based on the findings of the Tonkin Consulting Infrastructure Study (2012), which identified that the preferred development scenario was to upgrade the main runway, taxiway and apron to cater for Code 3C aircraft to and from destinations such as Sydney and Melbourne.

There were a number of design challenges presented by the remote nature of the site and the requirement to source construction materials locally. The team visited a number of quarries on Kangaroo Island and identified a suitable material source within 6km of the airport. Material testing was undertaken to ensure the available rock was able to be crushed to produce the ‘heavy duty’ rubble required for runways.

Ultimately, our team developed a safe and compliant design solution which:

  • Facilitated construction in a live airport environment;
  • Incorporated optimised and cost-saving design features which provided Kangaroo Island Council with the desired functionality and outcomes;
  • Addressed the requirements of the design brief and key stakeholders;
  • Provided innovative design solutions;
  • Incorporated the constraints of the site;
  • Minimised the environmental impacts of its construction.

The first QantasLink direct flight from Melbourne to Kangaroo Island landed on Sunday 17 December 2017, the Dash-8 Q400 turboprop arrived around lunch time carrying 48 passengers. Kangaroo Island is the first Qantas destination in Australia to be carbon neutral, through South Australia’s first accredited carbon offset project. 

Project Summary


Kangaroo Island Council


Kingscote, Kangaroo Island



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