Ayers Rock Airport (also known as Connellan Airport) (IATA: AYQ, ICAO: YAYE) is situated near Yulara, around 463 km (288 mi) (5 hrs drive) away from Alice Springs, Northern Territory, and 20 minutes drive from Uluru (Ayers Rock) itself. An average of just under 300,000 passengers per year pass through this airport in the middle of Australia. The original Connellan Airport at Uluru was provided by Edward Connellan, who started Connellan Airways in 1942, providing passenger transport, chartered Royal Flying Doctor Service flights and mail runs. The planes were usually "Butterflies", which were given to the company by Qantas, and Douglas DC3s.
The development of tourism infrastructure adjacent to the base of Uluru that began in the 1950s soon created adverse environmental impacts. It was decided in the early 1970s to remove all accommodation-related tourist facilities near the base of Uluru and re-establish them outside the park. In 1975, a reservation of 104 km² (40 sq mi) of land beyond the park's northern boundary, 15 km (9.3 mi) from Uluru, was approved for the development of a tourist facility, to be known as Yulara, along with a new airport. The new facilities became fully operational in late 1984. Ayers Rock Airport has one main terminal for scheduled flights. The runway at Ayers Rock Airport is 2,599 m × 30 m (8,527 ft × 98 ft).
It has a simple, single stage lighting system and T-VASIS. The largest aircraft that Ayers Rock Airport caters for is Boeing 737-800s operated by Virgin Australia from Sydney. QantasLink operate with Boeing 717-200 to Alice Springs and Cairns. Jetstar has from the 4th of June 2013 operated flights to and from Sydney and Melbourne using Airbus A320 aircraft.