About the Airways Museum & Civil Aviation Historical Society

Mildura Flight Service console - click here to learn moreBirght Display dual radar console - click here to learn moreVAR transmitter
The Airways Museum

The Airways Museum is an aviation museum, but with one difference - there are no aircraft! Instead, the Museum houses a collection of national importance that traces the development of Australia's civil aviation airways system through innovation and technical development from it's beginnings in the 1920s to today. The story is told through artefacts and photographs, and illustrates how Australia has often played a leading role internationally in aviation development.

Major areas covered in the museum include:

  • Air Traffic Services:
    • Tower Control
    • Approach Control
    • En-route Control
    • Aeradio/Flight Service
  • air/ground & ground/ground communications equipment
  • radio navigation beacons & radar
  • airport lighting & visual approach guidance
  • flight calibration of navigation aids

Tours of the Airways Museum
are available on Tuesdays 9am-3pm and at other times by appointment. Groups are welcome and a meeting room is available. Entry is by gold coin donation for individuals, $4 per head for group tours (including tea/coffee & bikkies, and a guided tour).

Where Are We?

The Museum is located at Essendon Airport, Melbourne, Victoria, at the rear of Building 44. Enter via Edgar Johnston Lane. Melway Map Ref 16 C7. Click here for a map

Disabled Access

The Museum itself is accessible by ramp. However, toilet facilities require the ability to climb stairs. The nearest ramp-accessible toilets are at the Passenger Terminal.


Parking around the Airways Museum is subject to various restrictions. In addition to permit parking zones, there are ticketed places in the carpark immediately to the north of the Museum (free on weekends). There are also a number of free 2h and 12h places in Wirraway Rd adjacent to the the northern carpark.

Pedestrian/Public Transport Access

The Museum is accessible by public transport from tram stop 57 on Matthews Avenue, Airport West route. Access via this route requires the climbing of a footbridge over the Tullamarine Freeway opposite Vaughan Rd.

Click here for our Virtual Tour of the Airways Museum

Special Exhibitions

The CAHS stages regular Special Exhibitions at the Airways Museum using material from our extensive archives. These Exhibitions have included:


The Civil Aviation Historical Society

The Civil Aviation Historical Society exists to preserve the history of the Department of Civil Aviation, its predecessors and successors. The Society holds bi-monthly meetings with guest speakers at the Museum and visitors are welcome. Film Nights, featuring films from the CAHS archives, plus an annual Open Day are featured on the year's programme.

The Society also maintains an archive of photographs, documents, publications and films. The archive is open to researchers by appointment.

Full membership of the Society is open to current and former employees of the DCA, its predecessors and successors. Associate membership is open to all other people with an interest in aviation history.

Society Membership

CAHS membership is currently A$25 per year for Full Members and A$20 for Associate Members. Download and print a membership application form here.

Airways Museum Volunteers

The CAHS operates the Airways Museum on behalf of Airservices Australia. It is staffed entirely by volunteers. To read about our Museum volunteers, or about becoming one yourself, click here.

Research Fellow at the CAHS & Airways Museum

The honorary position of Research Fellow at the CAHS & Airways Museum has been created to recognise individuals who are conducting research into a specific topic in the history of civil aviation and who intend to use the Society’s archives as a principal reference source. You can download the full description and rules for this position here (.pdf document).

Research Fellows to date are:

Charitable Donations

The Civil Aviation Historical Society’s Gift Fund is endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a deductible gift recipient. Donations of $2 or more to the CAHS Gift Fund can be accepted in cash or by cheque and are claimable as a tax deduction (cheques need to be made out to the CAHS Gift Fund).

Civil Aviation Historical Society/Airways Museum contacts:

Telephone: (03) 9374 3905 or +61 3 9374 3905 (international)

Email: cahs@optusnet.com.au

Postal address: Box 6, 20 English St, Essendon Airport, Victoria 3041

President: Roger Meyer. Ph: (03) 9818 4950 (h)

'Webmaster': Phil Vabre or (03) 9432 9287 (h)

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Site Design

This site was designed by David Williams with assistance from Phil Vabre.

In addition to material from the Museum and CAHS archives, contributions have been gratefully received from many people including Roger Meyer, Brian Wise, John Waldron, Geoff Goodall, John Hopton, John M. Smith, Mac Job, Roger McDonald, Dr Leigh Edmonds, Richard Hitchins, Ern Mainka, Ed Coates, Ron Cuskelly, Fred Niven, David Eyre, George Canciani, Richard and Barry Maclean, Gordon Reid, Ben Dannecker and Dietrich Eggert.

Any errors on this site are the responsibility of Phil Vabre. Contributions and/or corrections from visitors are very welcome.

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