State plans as­sess­ments of air­ports

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Perth Airport - Jaime Shurmer

THE State’s first Avi­a­tion Strat­egy has set its sights on Perth Air­port and re­gional air­ports to boost ca­pac­ity and in­vest­ment.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Dean Nalder said it was “es­sen­tial” the State Gov­ern­ment play a more ac­tive role in the avi­a­tion sec­tor to en­sure it kept up with WA’s eco­nomic and so­cial devel­op­ment.

The Strat­egy at­tempted to fore­cast WA avi­a­tion ac­tiv­ity, say­ing it had con­sis­tently un­der­es­ti­mated ac­tual growth.

The gov­ern­ment plans to in­de­pen­dently as­sess ac­tiv­ity fore­casts for Perth Air­port and ma­jor re­gional air­ports.

Perth Air­port chief ex­ec­u­tive Brad Geatches said fore­casts were up­dated each year but ac­cu­racy was de­pen­dent on fore­casts by other par­ties, in­clud­ing the State Gov­ern­ment.

“Perth Air­port bases its fore­casts on a long stand­ing eco­nomic model used through­out Australia that in­volves the anal­y­sis of low, medium and high growth sce­nar­ios to en­sure that plans can be adapted in the event of growth in ex­cess of fore­casts,” he said.

“The ac­cu­racy of Perth Air­port’s long-range ac­tiv­ity fore­casts are a func­tion of the ac­cu­racy of in­for­ma­tion made avail­able by air­lines, State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments, and in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tions,” he said.

“State Gross, State Prod­uct and pop­u­la­tion fore­casts by the State Gov­ern­ment are par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant,” Mr Geatches said.

He said a third run­way was sched­uled for com­ple­tion within the decade, sub­ject to ac­tual de­mand dur­ing the pe­riod, and will be de­liv­ered in three phases.

The State Avi­a­tion Strat­egy ac­knowl­edged Perth Air­port could meet pro­jected de­mand for the next 40 years at least but the air­port agreed pre­serv­ing land for a sec­ond air­port was an ap­pro­pri- ate State Gov­ern­ment re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Mr Nalder said the State would also look at air­fare costs to des­ti­na­tions within WA, which were some of the high­est in the coun­try. Hol­i­day packages would be de­vel­oped with air­lines to en­cour­age travel to re­gional WA.

Bel­mont chief ex­ec­u­tive Stu­art Cole said the City was reg­u­larly briefed about the Strat­egy as a mem­ber of the Perth Air­port Plan­ning Co­or­di­na­tion Fo­rum.

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