RAAF Base Williamtown
RAAF Base Williamtown
Royal Australian Air Force's Base Williamtown is 30kms north of Newcastle. It is home to most of our Hornet and Hawk fighters and several headquarters
RAAF Base Williamtown

The Royal Australian Air Force is proud to have been a part of the Hunter since the late 1930s when the Defence Practice Area was first designated at Williamtown.  Defence looks forward to continuing its positive relationship with the local community.  It is Air Force's intent that RAAF Base Williamtown remain as the nation’s main fighter pilot training base, and it will house most of the planned F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning aircraft.

RAAF Base Williamtown is the home base for the tactical fighter element of the Air Combat Group (ACG) and the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) element of Surveillance and Response Group (SRG). The following squadrons are based at Williamtown:

  • Headquarters Air Combat Group
  • No 81 Wing
  • No 78 Wing
  • No 453 Squadron (453SQN) Williamtown Flight
  • No 3 Squadron (3SQN) operating F/A-18 Hornet aircraft
  • No 77 Squadron (77SQN) operating F/A-18 Hornet aircraft
  • No 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU) operating F/A-18 Hornet aircraft
  • No 76 Squadron (76SQN) operating Hawk Mk127 aircraft
  • No 4 Squadron (4SQN) operating PC-9/A Forward Air Control aircraft
  • No 2 Squadron (2SQN) operating AEW&C E-7A Wedgetail aircraft
  • No 2 Expeditionary Health Squadron, Headquarters
  • No 1 Combat Communication Squadron Flight Williamtown
  • No 453 Squadron (453SQN) Headquarters
  • No 26 (City of Newcastle) Squadron - Airbase Operations
  • No 381 Squadron - Contigency Response
  • No 1 Security Force Squadron, Headquarters
When flying, Air Force pilots and crews operate the aircraft in a way that minimises aircraft noise. Air Force has an honest and open approach about the noise experienced by residents living near our bases and training areas. Detailed information about aircraft noise, including Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) maps, is available at the Defence Aircraft Noise website or contact 1300 DEFENCE (1300 333 362).

F-35A Flying Operations Approval Decisions

Flying Area, Williamtown

Air Force is conducting a trial to better inform local communities of our fast jet flying activities. You can view the map of our Royal Australian Air Force Aircraft Flying Area, Williamtown


Property Development around Air Force Bases

Homeowners should be familiar with their local Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) maps , which provides the best information about aircraft noise. ANEF maps are based on the most common flight paths and are created for development purposes. Read more


Our Contribution:

RAAF Base Williamtown makes a considerable contribution to the local Hunter community.

Economic value to community

  • Employs 3500 people directly including support staff of including non permanent staff – 300; contract staff – 765
  • Salaries - $280m
  • Defence Housing 10/11 – 857 properties – annual rent bill $17.9m
  • Private Rental Assistance – 647 instances - $18.8m

Capital Works - last 10 years

  • Williamtown Redevelopment Stage 1 - (including Ordnance loading Area and Airborne Early Warning & Control Works) - $149m
  • Aircraft Clear Water Rinse facility - $3m

Future Capital Works – next 10 years

  • Williamtown Redevelopment Stage 2 (2014 – 2019 timeframe) - $219m
  • New Air Combat Capability Works $679m
  • Runway Extension $200m

Social value to the local community

  • our 2000 families live here within the community
  • our children go to local schools
  • our families play in local sporting teams
  • our families contribute to local volunteer organisations and community groups

Williamtown Consultative Forum

The Williamtown Consultative Forum is an important information sharing and co-ordination forum for the three levels of government and elected community representatives to raise strategic issues associated with RAAF Base Williamtown and the Salt Ash Air Weapons Range.

Follow this link for minutes of meetings of the Williamtown Consultative Forum:



Williamtown Advisory Group

RAAF Base Williamtown has established the Williamtown Advisory Group to facilitate links with local residents.

The Williamtown Advisory Group will meet on a six monthly basis, just prior to the Williamtown Consultative Forum meetings.
Terms of Reference and Minutes of meetings can be found here.

To view major training exercises and flying activities see www.airforce.gov.au/flyingoperations