The Mount Gambier Airport has had a long connection with aviation in the South East of South Australia. The first airport was opened across the Riddoch Highway from the current location, in 1930. In 1939, the airport was purchased from the owners May and Davis by the Federal Government for the formation of a Royal Australian Airforce Training Base, soon to be known as the No.2 Air Observers School, RAAF Mount Gambier (2AOS). It was officially formed on 6 February 1941 and the first intake of trainees began on 6 March 1941.
The school had its own ambulance, hospital, butcher, gymnasium and even cinema and at its peak was home to over 1000 personnel. It was eventually disbanded in January 1946 after training over 4000 Air Observers, Navigators and Wireless Operators, of which many served with RAF Bomber Command over Germany, Atlantic Ocean, the Middle East and South East Asia. 2AOS also conducted coastal surveillance operations in the South East of South Australia, reporting a number of submarine sightings.
On 29 May 1947 the airport was handed over to the Department of Civil Aviation and this saw the return of regular public transport flights to the region with Ansett Airways announcing that a daily service would operate between Mount Gambier and Melbourne. Over the next 40 years, the airport continued to be serviced by a number of carriers including Ansett Airlines, Kendall Airlines, O’Connor Airlines and Regional Express for flights to and from Adelaide and Melbourne.
Today there are a number of daily flights between Adelaide and Melbourne offered by Regional Express. The airport also has a strong general aviation community, with a number of local aircraft based here. Mount Gambier also regularly receives visits from a range of private, charter, commercial and defence aircraft.