Perth Airport

Perth Airport
Perth Airport
Perth Airport logo.png
Entry signage per.JPG
PER is located in Western Australia
Location of airport in Western Australia
Airport type Public
Owner Westralia Airports Corporation
Serves Perth, Western Australia
Location Perth Airport, Western Australia
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 67 ft / 20 m
Direction Length Surface
m ft
03/21 3,444 11,299 Asphalt
06/24 2,163 7,096 Asphalt
Statistics (FY 2010/11)
Domestic passengers 8,185,872
International passengers 3,265,581
Total passengers 11,451,453
Statistics from Westralia Airports Corp.[1]

Perth Airport (IATA: PERICAO: YPPH) is an Australian domestic and international airport serving Perth, the capital and largest city of Western Australia. The airport itself is located in the suburb of Perth Airport.

It is the fourth busiest airport in Australia and plays a strategic role due to its location – servicing many Australian, Asian, and Indian Ocean destinations as well as Johannesburg, South Africa and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The airport has seen strong passenger growth in the last few years, primarily due to the prolonged mining boom and the increase in services from international budget carriers. In the first half of the financial year 2007/2008 passenger numbers increased by 13.34%[2]

The two domestic terminals are side by side and about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from the Perth CBD, whilst the international terminal is 17 kilometres (10.6 mi) from the CBD. The international terminal is on the opposite side of the main runway from the domestic terminals. The road distance between the international terminal and the domestic terminals is 11 kilometres.

The airport is located near major arterial roads, Great Eastern Highway and Tonkin Highway. The domestic terminal is also accessible from the city by public transport buses, and transfers between terminals are available by use of an hourly inter-terminal transfer bus or taxi. Only passengers with proof on an ongoing ticket are allowed to use the inter-terminal transfer bus and bus fares may apply.

Perth Airport has recently announced a redevelopment plan that will facilitate the recent growth in passenger numbers. However, Perth Airport CEO Brad Geatches, has confirmed that this redevelopment would only provide "C" class facilities, as defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). For example, initially Perth Airport announced the installation of 45 aero-bridges, but have scaled this back to 25. The State Government has refused to enter into a funding agreement with Perth Airport, despite the former Premier of Western Australia, Alan Carpenter, openly criticising the airport's chronic over crowding and sub-standard facilities.[3]



Early days

Perth Airport with city centre behind, image taken from the Darling Scarp looking west

Prior to the opening of the Perth Airport, civilian air services for the city were provided from airfields located in Maylands (in operation since 1924), as well as on the city's foreshore at Langley Park.[4] By the end of the 1930s, it became clear that the Maylands Aerodrome was limited in the size and speed of aircraft it was able to handle thus causing them to seek an alternative site for a future airport.[4]

Site selection and preparation of the original plans was undertaken by Mr N M Fricker of the Department of Civil Aviation.[5] In 1938, land was selected and purchased for the new aerodrome. The site selected in what was at the time Guildford, was an area of land granted by Governor James Stirling to local man John Scott, which later became the long disused Dunreath Golf Course.[4][5]

A plaque located on a roadside wall of the old International terminal remains in permanent memory of Scott:[5]

Perth Airport stands on part of an area granted originally by Governor James Stirling to John Scott. A yeoman farmer from Lanarkshire, Scotland who arrived in Western Australia in March 1831, after a voyage of about 90 days in the schooner Eliza of 343 tons. He came at the invitation of the governor, to establish and maintain a bloodstock farm for the colony. He made his home near Guildford, using the Swan River to reach the farm in this area.

In recognition of his services Governor Stirling granted him lease of an area at Bunbury, where he became the first settler in 1838.

Remember him as one who helped to bring prosperity to this land.

—Text of roadside plaque in memory of John Scott.

Military operations

Even before civil aviation operations could commence at the new site, the onset of World War II saw the facility being redesigned for military purposes as a temporary base for the Royal Australian Air Force and United States Navy, known as "RAAF Station Guildford", primarily to supplement RAAF Base Pearce.[4] Royal Australian Air Force No. 85 Squadron was based there from February 1943.

Despite military use of the airfield, civil services operated by Qantas Empire Airways and Australian National Airways (ANA) commenced from the location in 1944.[4] This was despite bitter protest from military authorities who felt civilian operations would undermine the defence and camouflage needs of the location.[4]

The move was agreed to by the government of the day, as the larger types of aircraft of the day being operated by the two airlines could simply not be handled at Maylands, notwithstanding the small grass airfield, lack of passenger facilities, and approaches being difficult due to surrounding industrial infrastructure.[4] Using Douglas DC-3 aircraft, ANA flew the first commercial service from the aerodrome to Adelaide.[4] On 17 June 1944, Qantas made its inaugural flight to Ceylon via Exmouth using a modified Liberator bomber, arriving in Perth on 3 June 1944 having been released to the airline by the British Government.[4]

Early civilian operations

An ANA DC-4 refueling at Perth Airport in 1955.

Full civilian operations at the Guildford Aerodrome commenced in 1944.[5] Civil operations at Maylands continued albeit reduced until 30 June 1963, when the airport closed and its function as a secondary airport was taken over by Jandakot Airport the very next day.[4]

The Guildford Aerodrome as it was then known was at best only a basic airfield.[4] On a large open airfield with plenty of space, an unobtrusive control tower was hidden away amongst a collection of buildings inherited from the wartime operations at the site.[4] The then Department of Civil Aviation inherited a large number of operating vehicles from the former military occupants, including an assortment of vehicles including "Blitz" wagons, Dodge command cars and weapon carriers, large trucks and various makes of fire tenders, jeeps and ambulances.[4] Boarding aircraft at Guildford was described as being a bit like boarding a bus given the lack of passenger facilities at the time.[4]

In 1948, the Horrie Miller owned MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co. (MMA) relocated from Maylands to Guildford.[4] followed by newly-formed government airline Trans Australia Airlines (TAA) on 2 December of that same year, operating Douglas C-54 Skymasters on its Perth — Melbourne — Sydney route.[4] Due to the lack of road transportation across the Nullarbor Plain, it was at this time that Guildford became the scene of very busy cargo operations.[4] Fresh fruits, vegetables, and manufactured goods were being flown from east to west and back again.

The airport only received international status and was renamed to Perth International Airport in 1952.[4] Officiated by the then Federal Minister for Civil Aviation, Hubert Anthony, the official ceremony for the renaming took place on the main apron in front of a converted Bellman hangar used by TAA as their passenger terminal.[4] At the time, a new international terminal building was under construction but had not been completed in time for the ceremony.[4] This new terminal was being constructed using steel and cladding recycled from American-built military quonset buildings being dismantled and shipped over from Manus Island.[4]

It was also on this day that Qantas commenced its Wallaby service using the Constellation Charles Kingsford Smith" (VH-EAD) from Sydney to South Africa via Western Australia, the Cocos Islands, and Mauritius.[4]

The jet age

Towards the mid-1950s, airline travel was still only being used by a small percentage of the population. At that time, only 8% of the population had ever flown, but as the marketplace evolved, so did the types of people and their reasons for flying.[4]

It was at this time the airport began to experience the full effects of the jet age. Although both Air India and Qantas commenced operating Boeing 707s in the mid to late 50s from Perth to Singapore and the sub continent[4] the aircraft of the day grew faster and more demanding due to their sophistication, facilities at the airport continued to improve to accommodate them.[4] By the mid 1960s the airport commenced seeing its first domestic pure jet engine aircraft, commencing with a Boeing 727 in 1964, and the Douglas DC-9 in 1967, both types operated by TAA and Ansett ANA.[4] It was at this time that the airport was one of the few major airports in the country which operated without curfews, and due to the increased number and frequency of flights operating from the airport it gave birth to what was then referred to as the midnight horror or red-eye special, known in more recent history as the red-eye flight.[4]

Demise of the hangar terminals

In 1960, the current international terminal previously constructed from steel and cladding from Manus Island was dismantled and then re-erected in the suburb of Cannington.[4] Known as 'The Alco Building, it was re-designed for use as a commercial facility.[4]

The removal of the steel structure made way for the construction of an entirely new combined domestic and international passenger terminal, constructed on the Northern side of the airfield.[4] It was in 1962 that airlines were able to move from their hangars into a new combined passenger terminal, designed by the Commonwealth Department of Works and opened just in time to handle 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games traffic increases.[4][5] The new combined terminal was opened that same year by then Minister for Civil Aviation, Senator Shane Paldridge; it was located in an area positioned between Terminals 2 and 3 and is currently used as the crew base for both Qantas and Skywest, and offices for airlines and support firms.[4][6]

International terminal development

The airport control tower, built in 1986.

From 1962 onwards, both the domestic and international passenger operations at the airport were provided by a single terminal.[6] However, by the arrival of the Boeing 747 on 3 September 1971, the existing terminal had reached its capacity, and modeling of future passenger numbers showed it would be unable to handle any further increases in passenger demand.[4][6]

In November 1980, the Federal Transport Minister, Ralph Hunt, announced that a new international terminal would be built in Perth at a cost of A$26 million (1980).[4] Design of the new International Terminal commenced in 1982, with one of the key principles of the design being the allowance for easy future expansion as the needs of the airport dictated.[6] The project called for the construction of a new terminal, apron, airside roads, access roads, car parks and other passenger facilities.[6]

Construction of the new International Terminal and control tower commenced in March 1984 on the south-eastern side of the airfield.[6] In 1984, the road leading to the new terminal, Horrie Miller Drive was named in honour of local aviation pioneer Horrie Miller.[7] The terminal was officially opened on 25 October 1986 by then Prime Minister Bob Hawke, with the new terminal receiving passengers just days after.[4][6] The newly built control tower was the tallest in Australia at its time of construction, and remained so for a number of years.[8]

Upon completion, the terminal was able to process up to five Boeing 747 aircraft per hour and accommodated a peak passenger volume of 6,000 passengers per hour.[6] twenty years later, in the 12 months to June 2006 the terminal processed over 2.027 million passengers, surpassing a 1996 projection of 1.016 million passengers in that period.[6]

1988 onwards

In the late 1980s the Federal Government, as a prelude to eventual privatisation, formed the Federal Airports Corporation (FAC). In 1988, FAC took over as manager of Perth Airport (and many other Australian airports).[4]

At this time also, airline operators Qantas and Ansett set about on ambitious capital works programs to construct new domestic terminals for their respective airlines on the northern side of the terminal, where they still stand to this day.[4]

In 2001, after the financial collapse of Ansett Airlines, the Ansett terminal became a multi-user terminal, catering for flights from former Ansett-subsidiary Skywest, as well as Virgin Australia and now charter airlines Alliance Airlines and Strategic Airlines (soon to be Air Australia).

From 2003 to 2004, the International terminal underwent major internal refurbishments to provide an increased array of passenger services, including increased space for duty free stores and food and beverage concession stands.[6] Further upgrades valued at $25 million (2006) were made to the terminal across 2005 and 2006 which added an additional 2,500 m² of floor space, additional check-in counters, and an improved baggage handling and screening system.[6]

The airport commemorated its 60th anniversary in 2004, with an event that opened the new Taxiway Sierra, a new taxiway supporting larger aircraft such as the Boeing B747, Airbus A340, and potentially the Airbus A380 to operate at the airport.[9]

On 11 October 2007, Perth International Airport received the first test flight out of Terminal 3 at Changi International Airport, Singapore. The test flight was a Singapore Airlines flight that departed Changi Airport at 5:30 pm, landing in Perth at 11:30 pm.

Airlines and destinations

As of July 2011, Perth Airport is served by 37 scheduled airlines flying directly to 77 destinations. The following carriers operate to the following destinations:[10][11][12][13]

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Air Australia Derby 3
Air Mauritius Port Louis 1
Air New Zealand Auckland 1
AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur 1
Airnorth Darwin, Kununurra 2
Alliance Airlines Karratha, Leinster, Mount Keith, Port Hedland, Telfer 3
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong 1
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou 1
Cobham Area C, Barrow Island, Brockman, Kambalda, Learmonth, Murrin Murrin, Ravensthorpe, Yandi 2
Emirates Dubai 1
Garuda Indonesia Denpasar/Bali, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta 1
Indonesia AirAsia Denpasar/Bali 1
Jetstar Airways Denpasar/Bali, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Singapore 1
Jetstar Airways Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney 2
Jetstar Asia Airways Singapore 1
Malaysia Airlines Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur 1
Maroomba Airlines Mount Magnet 3
Network Aviation Bellevue, Busselton, Coyote, Leinster, Morawa, Mount Hale, Sinclair, Woodie Woodie 3
Qantas Hong Kong, Singapore 1
Qantas Adelaide, Brisbane, Broome, Canberra, Darwin, Exmouth, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Melbourne, Newman, Port Hedland, Sydney 2
QantasLink operated by Cobham Alice Springs, Ayers Rock/Uluru, Broome, Geraldton [begins 21 November], Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Newman, Paraburdoo, Port Hedland 2
Qatar Airways Doha [begins 3 July 2012][14] 1
Singapore Airlines Singapore 1
Skippers Aviation Burnakura, Darlot-Centenary, Carnarvon, Jundee, Kalbarri, Laverton, Lawlers, Leinster, Leonora, Meekatharra, Monkey Mia, Mount Magnet, Plutonic, Smith, Sunrise Dam, Wiluna 3
Skywest Airlines Denpasar/Bali 1
Skywest Airlines Albany, Argyle, Barimunya, Brockman, Broome, Busselton, Cloud Break, Darwin, Esperance, Exmouth, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Kununurra, Melbourne, Newman, Paraburdoo, Port Hedland, Ravensthorpe, The Granites, West Angelas, Windarling 3
South African Airways Johannesburg 1
Thai Airways International Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Phuket 1
Tiger Airways Singapore 1
Tiger Airways Australia Melbourne[15] 3
Virgin Australia Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands 1
Virgin Australia Adelaide, Brisbane, Broome, Darwin, Karratha, Newman, Melbourne, Port Hedland, Sydney 3
Virgin Australia operated by Pacific Blue Denpasar/Bali, Phuket 1


Airlines Destinations
Australian air Express Melbourne
Toll Priority Brisbane, Melbourne

Charter and mining airlines

These airlines provide regular charters for mining companies in Western Australia.

Codeshare airlines

The following airlines have codeshare agreements to Perth Airport:[16]

Facilities and services

A Qantas A330-300 docked at Terminal 1. Terminals 2 & 3 are visible in the background.
International Terminal 1 arrivals area in the early morning.

Perth Airport has three main terminals and one minor terminal:[17]

  • Terminal 1, the eastern international terminal caters for flights originating or departing outside Australia, with five jetways and a total of seven gates. It has also supported upstart domestic airlines such as Compass Airlines in the 1990s, and Virgin Australia from 2001–2002.
  • The western domestic terminal is divided into two structures,
    • Terminal 2, the Qantas terminal primarily dedicated to Qantas domestic operations, with four jetways and a total of nine gates. Domestic flights for Jetstar, and QantasLink as well as selected charter airlines operate from this terminal. It has one member lounge, The Qantas Club.
    • Terminal 3, a Multi-user Domestic Terminal (MUDT), formerly the Ansett terminal, now used by Skywest, Virgin Australia, Alliance Airlines and Tiger Airways Australia domestic services, with two jetways and a total of seven gates. It currently has one lounge for Virgin Australia called The Lounge which utilises the former Ansett Golden Wing Club / Alliance Airlines Lounge.
  • A northern general aviation terminal, used primarily by charter aircraft, mainly for mining companies as fly-in fly-out services to remote operations.

Flights are serviced by two runways – the main 03/21 runway, 3444 m long and 06/24, 2163 m long.

Airfield and airside services

Perth Airport provides the following on-field services:[17]

  • Air freight;
  • Aviation fuel;
  • In-flight catering facilities;
  • Air traffic control facilities; and[8]
  • 24-hour rescue and fire fighting facilities.[18]

Meteorological services

Meteorological services for Perth Airport commenced in May 1944, provided by the Guildford Meteorological Office situated at Ivy St, Redcliffe.[19]

In March 1988, surface observations were moved to the recently-vacated old airport tower on the northern side of the airfield (near what is now Terminal 3).[19] The Ivy Street location was retained for a time for radar services and the launching and tracking of weather balloons.[19] In October 1997, all operations from the Ivy Street Office and Old Control Tower were transferred to a newly constructed office on the Northern Perimeter Road in Belmont, in the north-eastern corner of the airfield.[19]

Other services

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has its Perth regional office on Level 2 of the Hkew Alpha Building on the property of Perth Domestic Airport.[20]

Operations and statistics

Qantas Boeing 737 in Yanani Dreaming colours being prepared for departure from Terminal 2.
QantasLink serves many smaller cities in Western Australia and Northern Territory with its Boeing 717s from Terminal 2.


Total passengers using the airport has increased on average by 5.8% annually since 1998–99, with 70% of passenger traffic at the airport attributed to Domestic travel.[1]

Annual passenger statistics for Perth Airport[1]
Year Domestic Passengers International Passengers Total Passengers
1998–99 3,264,459 1,537,325 4,801,784
1999–00 3,385,825 1,599,485 4,985,310
2000–01 3,560,565 1,660,275 5,220,840
2001–02 3,160,085 1,651,069 4,811,154
2002–03 3,720,237 1,612,508 5,332,745
2003–04 4,272,187 1,766,617 6,038,804
2004–05 4,678,976 1,977,163 6,656,139
2005–06 5,107,657 2,027,223 7,134,880
2006–07 5,868,219 2,221,204 8,089,423
2007–08 6,650,000 2,510,000 9,160,000
2008–09 7,116,194 2,618,923 9,735,117
2009–10 7,469,926 2,993,874 10,463,800
2010–11 8,185,872 3,265,581 11,451,453


Busiest Domestic Routes out of Perth Airport
(Year Ending October 2010)[21]
Rank Airport Passengers (Thousands)  % Change
1 Melbourne Airport 1,702.0 decrease2.4
2 Sydney Airport 1,591.4 increase9.8
3 Brisbane Airport 744.6 increase3.8
4 Adelaide Airport 595.3 decrease4.8
5 Karratha Airport * 578.5 increaseN/A
6 Broome Airport 326.1 increase1.7
7 Port Hedland Airport * 322.9 increaseN/A
8 Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport 221.8 increase8.2
9 Newman Airport * 192.0 increaseN/A
10 Darwin International Airport * 149.3 increaseN/A
Busiest Domestic Routes out of Perth Airport
(Month of September 2010)[21]
Rank Airport Passengers handled  % Change
1 Melbourne Airport 145,400 increase1.8
2 Sydney Airport 139,600 increase19.0
3 Brisbane Airport 65,000 increase3.2
4 Karratha Airport 50,500 increase4.1
5 Adelaide Airport 48,500 decrease10.5
6 Broome Airport 30,800 decrease1.1
7 Port Hedland Airport 29,200 increase27.1
8 Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport 20,200 increase14.4
9 Newman Airport 18,200 increase18.5
10 Darwin International Airport 13,700 decrease3.4

* Darwin route became competitive from May 2009, Port Hedland route included from August 2009, Karratha route included from October 2008, Newman route included from October 2008


Busiest International Routes out of Perth Airport (YE June 2010)[22]
Rank Airport Passengers handled  % Change
1 Singapore Changi Airport 921,585 decrease1.6
2 Ngurah Rai International Airport 633,978 increase96.1
3 Kuala Lumpur International Airport 402,044 increase41.0
4 Dubai International Airport 303,359 increase1.6
5 Hong Kong International Airport 202,072 increase6.2
6 Johannesburg International Airport 123,131 increase8.7
7 Auckland Airport 118,013 decrease5.1
8 Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok) 109,342 increase7.8
9 Brunei International Airport 52,381 decrease13.8
10 Tokyo Narita Airport 39,064 decrease100.0
Busiest International Routes out of Perth Airport (October 2010)[22]
Rank Airport Passengers handled  % Change
1. Singapore Changi Airport 77,863 decrease2.0
2. Ngurah Rai International Airport 69,295 increase21.5
3. Kuala Lumpur International Airport 40,195 increase10.1
4. Dubai International Airport 27,683 increase4.1
5. Hong Kong International Airport 17,686 decrease0.1
6. Auckland Airport 12,214 increase28.3
7. OR Tambo International Airport 10,840 increase15.5
8. Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) 10,399 increase6.5
9. Phuket Airport 4,086 increase104.1
10. Tokyo Narita Airport 3,976 decrease100.0|}

Landing patterns and approach

Perth Airport resides within the Melbourne FIR, which is managed by Melbourne Centre and operated by Airservices Australia.[23]

Perth Approach Control then guides the aircraft to their final approach. Once an aircraft is established on its final approach, control is handed over to Perth Tower.

Future plans

Introduction of the Airbus A380

Perth Airport hosted its first Airbus A380 on 14 October 2008, when Qantas flew the aircraft into the airport.

It has been suggested that with the introduction of the Airbus A380 aircraft, Perth Airport would be ideally positioned to serve as a hub for Europe-Australia flights – the so called Kangaroo route. Due to the ability for increased flight distances, carriers would be able to bypass historical stopovers in locations such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, instead flying directly from Perth to major European airports. The state government and airport administrators have stated it as a goal to make Perth attractive for this, and have plans to upgrade the airport to accommodate the larger aircraft and passenger numbers. The currently used Airbus A340-500 and Boeing 777-200LR both have a range long enough to go from London to Perth.[24] However, neither British Airways nor Qantas appears to have an interest in such a direct route at this time.

After a 10-month project, a reconstructed cross runway was opened on 21 October 2005.[25] The upgrades involved significant strengthening works and enlargement of turning nodes to accommodate regular operations by wide bodied aircraft, including the Airbus A380.[25]

On 14 October 2008, the Airbus A380 made its first visit to the airport as a part of the Qantas A380 promotional tour around Australia. The second A380 to visit the airport was an Emirates aircraft which made an emergency landing on 15 August 2009, after a passenger on the Dubai to Sydney flight suffered a stroke.[26] This event demonstrated the airport's capability to handle a full A380.

2024 Airport Masterplan

The 2024 Airport Master Plan[27] aims for the domestic and international terminals to be consolidated into a single terminal on the south-eastern side of the airfield sometime between 2021 to 2024.[28] At present, the international and domestic terminals are on opposite sides of the airfield and are not directly connected through a regular public transport passenger service. While it is possible to travel by road between the two terminals, it is approximately an 11 kilometre (7 mi) distance between the two locations by public roads.

The 2024 masterplan calls for the completion of a rail link[29] that will connect with the Midland Line between Bayswater Station and Ashfield Station at the Tonkin Highway. The proposed rail link will continue above ground along Tonkin Highway to Great Eastern Highway where it is believed to go underground along Brearley Avenue and to the terminals in operation at completion of the line. A rail link to the airport was originally proposed in the 1990s by nearby local government bodies, however the proposal was not followed through at the time.

As of May 2007, Airport Management have increased discussion about bringing forward the timelines for completion of the master plan objectives[citation needed]. Primary reasons for this are the significant increases in domestic passenger traffic, brought about by increased mining activities in the state's north west region[citation needed]. Current statements by the Airport's management suggest that a majority of the master plan objectives including the consolidation of the domestic and international terminals on the southern side of the airfield may be planned as early as 2011[citation needed].

In August 2007, Qantas announced that it was preparing to commit $50 million for upgrades to its domestic terminal.[citation needed] These plans would include the addition of three check in desks, one additional jetway, general renovations and security improvements.[citation needed] Airport owner Westralia Airports Corporation also announced their intent to undertake works valued at $20 million, that would include the delivery of 1300 new parking bays, as well as improved road access to terminals two and three.[citation needed] These upgrades are planned for a life of five years, by which both Qantas and the airport owner hope to have completed construction of new terminal facilities identified within the master plan.[citation needed]

In 2008, Westralia Airports has announced their intention to complete a A$1 billion upgrade project which addresses key elements of the masterplan.[30] The announced plans will see the domestic and international terminal merge, as flagged within the original plans for the construction of the international terminal, a project likely to be completed within 7 years.[30]

The first phase involves the delivery of a facility known as Terminal WA, scheduled to be completed by 2011.[30] This terminal is designed to serve as a facility for Intrastate flights servicing regional Western Australia. Earthworks are already well underway, with Perth Airport releasing its final draft plan in November 2008. The facility will be equipped with 20 gates, some of which may be aerobridges if the need warrants them. Other features include 4 baggage carousels, a cafe, numerous retailers, and a concourse to the future consolidated Domestic and International terminal. Terminal WA will relieve pressure on the existing Terminals 2 and 3. Already to assist this, improved road links between the international (T1) and domestic terminals (T2, T3, General aviation) are already under construction.[30]

Phases two and three of the works will see the merger of the domestic terminals into the international terminals. A proposed 40 additional aerobridges will be constructed, delivering capabilities to service larger airframes including the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Terminal WA

Construction of an additional Domestic Terminal has been proposed, for establishment on the Southern side of the terminal area, east of the existing International Terminal.[31] It is considered to be the first phase in meeting the terminal consolidation goals envisioned in the 2024 master plan.

The new single story terminal has been designed to provide;[31]

  • At-grade access to terminal building,
  • 16 check-in counters, including space for installation of future self service technologies,
  • Centralised passenger security screening zone,
  • 14 aircraft bays, accessible from enclosed walkways,
  • 36 additional aircraft paking bays, and
  • Three baggage reclaim belts.

Consideration of environmental needs has been planned into the building design, with systems including rainwater harvesting and re-use, and establishment of ventilation systems delivered below ground to reduce energy costs.[31]

Construction is planned to commence during the last week of August 2011, with combined works to deliver the new terminal valued at AUD 120 million (2010).[31] Completion of the new terminal is expected during December 2012.[31] and Skywest, Alliance Airlines, Strategic and Tiger Airways will relocate to the new terminal in early 2013. This will significantly reduce activity in the domestic precinct, further improving the experience for Qantas and Virgin customers and facilitating continued growth for these airlines.


Road access to the domestic terminals from the CBD is via Great Eastern Highway and Brearley Ave. The International terminal access is via Tonkin Highway and Horrie Miller Drive. Both the domestic and international terminals are serviced by a number of private charter bus operators that can be normally accessed through most major CBD hotels.[32] The domestic terminal can be accessed by multiple regular public bus services operated by Transperth.[32] The airport is not currently serviced by Rail, however the current airport master plan calls for the construction of rail services prior to 2024.[29]

Accidents and incidents

During construction

On 13 April 1987, a Hiller 12E helicopter was being used for the installation of a rotating beacon atop the control tower, then under construction. The beacon was attached to the helicopter for lifting by an external chain sling load.[33]

After the beacon was successfully lifted into place, the pilot then cleared the immediate area to enable workers to safely disconnect the chain sling before it could depart. Whilst disconnecting the beacon from the chain sling, a worker involved in the process slung the chain two horizontal bars of the safety railing instead of placing it over the top railing .

It was when the chain sling was finally disconnected and the helicopter given permission to depart that this fatal mistake was discovered. When departing, the chain sling was now between two bars of the safety rail and as the helicopter gained lift, the chain link locked onto the safety railing effectively chaining the helicopter to the tower structure.

As a result, the chain jerked violently resulting in the helicopter pitching forward and losing control.[33] Whilst falling towards the ground, the roter blades connected with the eastern face of the tower structure, before impacting with the ground and bursting into flames.

The accident resulted in the death of the helicopter pilot, and subsequent loss of the airframe which was incinerated in the resulting fire,[33] fueled by ruptured fuel tanks.

In the subsequent investigation conducted by the Australian Transport Safety Board, it was found that:[33]

  • the pilot of the helicopter was inexperienced,
  • the operations performed by the aircraft were not adequately planned, and
  • the pilot was not adequately current on the aircraft type flown.

Both the tower structure and surrounding bitumen bear the marks of the accident even today. Despite a memorial plaque being previously approved in memory of the incident, this has not as yet taken place.

1999 runway strike

On 2 September 1999, the number one engine of a Qantas Boeing 747, en route from Sydney Airport coming into land on Runway 06/24, struck the runway surface upon landing.[34] Originally, the plane had been destined to land on Runway 03/21. However, the pilot in command opted for a missed approach procedure after experiencing turbulence that rendered the aircraft unstable.[34]

After discussion with ATC and changes in wind conditions, the aircraft was then offered the use of Runway 06/24.[34] However, on commencement of touchdown, it experienced a roll to the right. This was corrected by the pilot, but the aircraft still touched down with a left-wing-low attitude causing the engine to strike the runway surface for a length of 30 m that commenced at 490 m from the runway threshold.[34]

The cause was determined to be prevailing weather conditions which often result in low-level turbulence, also known as wind shear, largely due to local geography, with rolling winds caused by the nearby Darling Scarp.[34] The incident has resulted in efforts to improve weather monitoring systems around the airport.[34]

Accidents en route

On 2 July 1949 a Douglas DC-3, named Fitzroy, departed from Perth Airport for Carnarvon. Moments after takeoff it crashed about a mile north of the airport, killing all 18 people on board. It was Western Australia's worst civil aviation accident.

On 26 June 1950 a Douglas DC-4 Skymaster, named Amana, departed from Perth Airport for Adelaide, South Australia. It crashed 22 minutes later, near York, Western Australia, killing 28 of the 29 occupants. The sole survivor died in a Perth hospital five days later. This accident and the TAA Fokker Friendship disaster remain Australia's worst civil aviation accidents.

From September 1968 Vickers Viscount VH-RMQ was operated out of Perth Airport by MacRobertson Miller Airlines. On 31 December 1968 VH-RMQ conducted Flight 1750 from Perth to Port Hedland. The aircraft broke up in flight and crashed 28 nautical miles short of its destination, killing all 26 people on board. This accident remains Australia's third worst civil aviation accident.

There have been two separate and unrelated significant incidents where airliners en route to the airport have suffered accidents, and two recent emergency landings.

The first was British Airways Flight 9 which was en route to the airport on 24 June 1982, had volcanic ash sucked into its engines and sustained engine fires. The aircraft was diverted and landed safely in Jakarta, Indonesia. No one was injured, but the aircraft was significantly damaged.

The second was Qantas Flight 72, an Airbus A330-300 inbound from Singapore on 7 October 2008. The aircraft rapidly lost altitude causing 74 passengers and crew to sustain injuries after being thrown up towards the cabin ceiling.[34] The pilots made an emergency landing at Learmonth Airport in northern Western Australia with the aircraft sustaining no damage to the airframe.[34]

See also


Alternative Airports to Perth International


  1. ^ a b c "Airport Statistics" (in en-au). Westrailia Airports Corporation. Retrieved 7 July 2007. 
  2. ^ WAC
  3. ^ . 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak Perth Airport 1944–1994, 50 Years of civil aviation. Mascot, New South Wales: Federal Airports Corporation. 1994. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Flamer, Gabriel (November 1962). My big brother — A First History of Perth Airport. Graylands, Western Australia: Graylands Teachers College. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "20 Year Anniversary of Terminal 1 (International) – 1986 to 2006". Westralian Airports Corporation. 2006. p. 2. Retrieved 12 May 2007. 
  7. ^ "Access road to new International Airport to be named Horrie Miller Drive in honour of WA pioneer aviator". The West Australian. 1 December 1984. p. 40. 
  8. ^ a b "Perth Tower" (in en-au). Airservices Australia, Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 3 July 2007. 
  9. ^ "Perth Airport celebrates 60th anniversary of first international service" (in en-au) (PDF). Westralian Airports Corporation. 16 June 2006. p. 1. Retrieved 12 May 2007. 
  10. ^ "Domestic & Regional" (in en-au). Westralian Airports Corporation. Retrieved 7 July 2007. 
  11. ^ "International" (in en-au). Westralian Airports Corporation. Retrieved 7 July 2007. 
  12. ^ "Freight & Cargo" (in en-au). Westralian Airports Corporation. Retrieved 7 July 2007. 
  13. ^ Paige Taylor (November 09). "Flight marks first direct link between Perth and China". The Australian. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "International". Perth Airport. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  17. ^ a b "About Perth Airport" (in en-au). Westralian Airports Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2007. 
  18. ^ "Perth ARFF Station" (in en-au). Airservices Australia, Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 3 July 2007. 
  19. ^ a b c d "About Perth Airport Meteorological Office" (in en-au). Bureau of Meteorology, Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 12 May 2007. 
  20. ^ "Contact Us." Australian Transport Safety Bureau. Retrieved 20 May 2011. "Perth Regional Office Level 2, Hkew Alpha Building, 2 George Wiencke Drive, Perth Domestic Airport, WA 6105"
  21. ^ a b "Domestic airline activity". 17 September 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  22. ^ a b "International airline activity". 14 January 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  23. ^ "Melbourne Centre" (in en-au). Airservices Australia, Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 3 July 2007. 
  24. ^ "Record Longest Flight Flies in the Face of Its Critics". The Guardian (UK). 29 June 2004. Retrieved 7 July 2007. 
  25. ^ a b "Cross-runway at Perth Airport re-opens, A380 ready!" (PDF) (Press release). Westralian Airports Corporation. 21 October 2005. Retrieved 7 September 2007. 
  26. ^ "A380 in emergency Perth landing". WAtoday. 15 August 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  27. ^ "2024 Airport Masterplan, Perth Airport" (in en-au). Westrailia Airports Corporation. p. 1. Retrieved 12 May 2007. 
  28. ^ "2024 Passenger Facilities Development Plan, 2024 Masterplan, Perth Airport" (in en-au) (PDF). Westrailia Airports Corporation. p. 1. Retrieved 12 May 2007. 
  29. ^ a b "Public Transport Link Option, 2024 Masterplan, Perth Airport" (in en-au) (PDF). Westrailia Airports Corporation. p. 1. Retrieved 12 May 2007. 
  30. ^ a b c d Creedy, Steve (2 May 2008). "Westralia cash flow to fund terminals". The Australian.,25197,23630304-23349,00.html. Retrieved 3 May 2008. 
  31. ^ a b c d e "Airport redevelopment". Westralian Airports Corporation. Retrieved 7 April 2011. [dead link]
  32. ^ a b "Bus Services" (in en-au). Transperth, Public Transport Authority, Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 12 May 2007. [dead link]
  33. ^ a b c d "Aviation Safety Investigation Report 00097 - Brief Print (Public), UH12-E Accident, Perth Airport". Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Department of Transport and Regional Services, Government of Australia. Retrieved 2 June 2009. 
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h "Aviation Safety Investigation Report 199904384 - Boeing Co 747-238B, VH-EBS". Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Department of Transport and Regional Services, Government of Australia. Retrieved 9 June 2007. 
  35. ^ "Airport Perth International (PER)". Retrieved 30 May 2011. 

External links

Coordinates: 31°56′36″S 115°57′22″E / 31.94335°S 115.956071°E / -31.94335; 115.956071

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