Essendon Airport began life as guitarist Robert Goodge and electric pianist David Chesworth, along with a homemade drum machine bought from the Trading Post.

Both members lived in or near the suburb of Essendon and took the name of the nearby former international air terminal (replaced in 1971 by Tullamarine Airport). 

The duo lineup released Sonic Investigations Of the Trivial, a 7" EP of inquisitive lounge electronics in 1979, then collaborated with vocalist Anne Cessna for a single in 1980. They added drummer Paul Fletcher and saxophonist Ian Cox for 1981 album Palimpsest, and finally welcomed bassist Barbara Hogarth in 1982. The group disbanded in 1983.

Each of these three line-ups produced very different music. Essendon Airport performed around Melbourne's newly emerging post-punk inner-city venues such as The Crystal Ballroom, various galleries such as the George Paton and the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre (CHCMC), a venue for experimental music, performance and film during this time.