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Lightning rips ‘dinner-plate-sized’ holes in Mildura’s runway

written by Jake Nelson | November 28, 2023

Lightning strikes the runway at Mildura Airport in November 2023. (Image: Mach/Mildura Airport on Facebook)

Lightning strikes at Mildura Airport last week blew “dinner-plate-sized holes” in the tarmac, causing cancellations and delays.

The dramatic storm on Friday shut down Mildura’s main runway for several hours, though repairs were performed quickly and flights resumed from mid-afternoon.

“Lightning struck the main runway mid-morning and caused dinner-plate-sized holes to occur in an area of approximately 15 square metres,” Mildura Airport CEO Trevor Willcock told Australian Aviation.

“The area struck was slightly off-centre but well within the landing area of most commercial flights so the decision was taken to close the runway and effect immediate repairs.

“Fulton Hogan Mildura sent a crew out within 90 minutes and the repair was completed by 2pm. Flights resumed from 2.45 pm after allowing some time for the repairs to harden up, suitable for use again.”


Mildura is Victoria’s busiest regional airport, served by QantasLink, Rex and Bonza. The airport sees more than 50 flights per week to Melbourne alone, with other destinations including Sydney, Broken Hill, and the Sunshine Coast.

Bonza is set to launch a Gold Coast–Mildura service on 6 December.

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