Monday, 24 April 2017

1970: The 747 arrives in Sydney

Source: Anonymous. 1970. Untitled (photograph). The Sydney Morning Herald, October 5, 1. 

On October 4, 1970, the first 747 jumbo jet landed at Sydney Airport before a crowd of 10 000 people. In fact it was the first 747 jet to land in Australia.

The PAN-AM flight from Los Angeles, via Honolulu and Nadi arrived approximately 6:30pm, more than nine and a half hours late due to mechanical problems with the jet. It's arrival would inaugurate PAN-AM's twice weekly 747 service between Sydney and Los Angeles.

Source: Anonymous. 1970. Untitled (photograph). The Daily Telegraph, October 5, 1. 

Below is coverage of the arrival as seen by The Daily Telegraph on October 5, 1970. 

747 makes first appearance october 5 1970 daily telegraph 3

Qantas commenced 747 services the following year. The Boeing 747 jet like the Boeing 707's that came into operation just a decade earlier transformed the way that Sydneysiders travel around the world. While the objective by airlines like PAN-AM was to reduce congestion at airports, it had cost benefits for airlines. It could carry up twice the number of passengers that a 707 could carry. The cost of flying would fall opening up more opportunities for Sydneysiders to see the world, within their budgets.

Earlier in 1970, the International Terminal opened on its current location on the western side of the airport, and the design of the terminal accommodated for the new jets. It also led to the extension of the North-South Runway out into Botany Bay. 

Aircraft noise was already huge issue in suburbs surrounding the airport, especially in Rockdale. The 747's were noted as being much quieter than 707's. However the problem would not disappear but worsen as the airport grew in the decades to come and air traffic increased. Up to eighty planes land per hour at Sydney Airport today.