|Garbutt aerodrome was initially established as a lightly gravelled runway with a pavement 100 feet wide to carry service aircraft. |
When the RAAF base was established at Garbutt the runway was widened to 150 feet. In November 1941, the Commonwealth Works Department requested three runways to be extended to 5,000 feet by the Main Roads Commission (MRC). The Townsville City Council had built the early runway.
The longer runways were required for Lockheed Hudson bombers and B-17 Flying Fortresses. Both of these aircraft needed to reach a much higher speed before taking off.