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Old 7th Nov 2012, 21:07
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geoffrey thomas
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Perth Australia
Posts: 111
Perth Airport

Dear Icarus2001:
In actual fact we raised the issue of the third runway in December 2009 when it is clear to anyone that cared to look at the window at Perth Airport that the glum traffic forecasts were a joke and the GFC was passing us by.
We continued to raise the issue in the paper, on radio etc ever since.
Buswell has taken up the issue big time and its now finally front and centre.
Here is the article from 2009.
Best GT

Edition: METRO
Publication Date: 31/12/2009
Page Number: 21
Section: FEATURES
Column:
Keywords:
Biography:
Photo Captions: At max: Three days a week from 5.30am to 7am the airport is at capacity, with virtually no take-off or landing slots available.
Rejects criticism: Brad Geatches
Fastracking wanted: Don Randall
Byline: GEOFFREY THOMAS
Source Tagline:
Headline: Second runway pressure grows
Classification:
Subhead: The burgeoning army of fly in, fly out resource industry workers is overtaxing Perth Airport
Text: In the late 1950s the former aviation director for the US State of Ohio, the late Norm Crabtree, uttered the famous and oft-quoted words that an “airport runway is the most important main street in any town”.
For WA’s resource industry, which is the economic engine of Australia, that main street is indeed the runway at Perth Airport, which mid-week is becoming over-taxed.
But a second parallel runway is not planned till at least 2029.
While it is true that the average aircraft movements at Perth are not forecast to reach the tipping point for a second parallel runway for at least another 20 years, nothing about Perth Airport’s operations is average.
From Tuesday to Thursday between 5.30am and 7am the airport is at peak capacity, with virtually no take-off or landing slots available, as fly in, fly out flights uplift an army of resource industry workers.
On those days the movements at Perth Airport are close to 450 a day or - 164,000 movements a year - with air-traffic controllers striving to get aircraft off the ground as quickly as technically possible.
While the simple solution would be to spread the fly in, fly out flights more evenly through the week, or the day, it isn’t that easy.
Mining executives explain that the Tuesday to Thursday rostering of workers is sacred. Resource workers do not want to be flying on Mondays or Fridays because these are often public holidays or a rostered day off and they want that time - if on their week off - with their loved ones, who are typically in the Perth workforce. “Time with their families is precious and the last thing they want is to be flying on a Monday holiday, ” one mining executive said.
And from a rostering perspective, the resource companies want workers on site early in the morning. For Perth Airport and the airlines, that demand peak creates headaches.
The airport leaseholder, Westralia Airports Corporation, may be forced to build an additional runway, which would be idle for much of the week, while airlines need to acquire additional aircraft that would likewise be parked for half a week.
There are some solutions but they may only delay the need for an additional runway by a few years.
Resource companies are now building longer runways - or extending runways- at mine sites to handle higher-capacity aircraft such as the 180-seat A320 and operators such as Skywest Airlines are planning to introduce that aircraft type from July next year to eventually replace its fleet of 100-seat Fokker 100 jets.
Perth Airport is also committed to building high-speed taxiways off the airport’s main and secondary cross runways.
While the airport’s current two crossing runway configuration allows for some additional slots, when the wind is from the north-east for take-offs and south-west for landings that ability depends on the winds and cannot be scheduled.
High-speed taxiways will certainly help increase the number of aircraft the airport can handle, although that depends on a variety of factors.
According to airport critics such as Federal Canning MP Don Randall, the airport needs an additional runway by 2019, not 2029.

Perth Airport CEO Brad Geatches rejects the criticism, saying that he is concerned that Mr Randall may not have the forecasting resources or the airline projections to which the airport is privy. However, Mr Randall has spent many years studying the airport, first with the City of Belmont, before entering politics.
Adding fuel to Mr Randall’s claims, it would appear that Perth Airport’s latest forecasts that were used in its 2009 master plan, recently approved by the Federal Government, are too conservative.
In the master plan the airport suggests a growth of just 0.1 per cent for 2010 because of the economic downturn, with recovery not occurring till 2011.
However, in the past three months, Perth Airport’s passenger figures are up almost 3 per cent on last year’s, while aircraft movements for aircraft over 20,000kg in weight are up 7.8 per cent.
Clearly all interested stakeholders, including the Federal Government which needs to fund significant road works around the airport, need to work more closely to find solutions to the logistic problems while not wasting precious resources.
There is nothing quite as expensive and wasteful as a disused runway, while it would be an economic travesty if WA’s future was hobbled for the want of just 3000m of asphalt.
geoffrey thomas is offline