DUBBO residents turned out in droves on Christmas Eve to greet family and friends at Dubbo City Regional Airport.
On one of the busiest days of the year, plane delays were minimal on the hot summer's day as families embraced for the first time in years for some, and a short time for others.
Dubbo woman Judy Jakins was very excited on the day before Christmas because not one but two of her sons were coming home.
The return of her son Andrew was highly-anticipated because it was the second time he had come home to Dubbo this year.
"I always tell Andrew to come home more often but insist that he and his brother Bob come home for Christmas," Mrs Jakins said.
"I'm getting on a bit and it's very important for my boys to be with me on Christmas Day."
She said her son was a living example that a university degree wasn't always needed to find success in a career, and was proud of his achievements overseas.
When Mr Jakins arrived from his Sydney flight, his mother ran to his side, clearly ecstatic that her son had come home if only for a week.
Mr Jakins has lived 15 of the last 22 years overseas, working in construction.
Throughout his career he has lived in Leeds (England), Taiwan, Beijing and now Singapore and each and every year he always books a flight home to Dubbo to see his mother.
"I first moved overseas in 1991 and loved it so much I stayed," Mr Jakins said.
"I love the lifestyle, the challenges and the benefits of my work with Lend Lease (construction company).
"I think one day I'll move back home, but until then I'll keep doing what I'm doing and come home when I can."
He said he looked forward to his annual Christmas visit, as well as his mid-year trips. He was looking forward to catching up with his brother, who was driving to Dubbo from Goondiwindi.
There were up to seven flights to touch down in Dubbo on Christmas Eve with the same number flying out to Sydney with both Regional Express (REX) and QantasLink.
At Sydney Airport, there were 177 arriving and departing international flights and 463 domestic flights. About 120,000 passengers arrived and departed from their flights.