State plans assessments of airports
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.