Perth gets a revamp, Brisbane next?

(3 votes)

The mining boom has put a lot of pressure on Perth Airport, leading to the construction of a new domestic terminal to deal with the increased flow of passengers. In the past six years the number of passengers through the airport has doubled making the need for expansion crucial.

Due to the strength of the Western Australian economy Perth’s airport has been the country’s fastest growing capital city airport for seven straight years.

On 2 March of this year Terminal 2 (T2) was opened and the first commercial flight departed for Esperance. The new domestic terminal came with a price tag of $120 million with an additional $80 million to upgrade the international arrivals terminal. The total expansion bill is estimated to cost $750 million to ensure the airport is well-equipped to handle further growth.

Out of the top 20 Australian domestic routes, four are regional flights within WA. Each week over 1250 domestic and regional flights depart and arrive at Perth Airport carrying approximately 60,000 FIFO workers. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Australia has just launched the Virgin Australia Regional Airline to compete with heavyweight Qantas in regional flights, adding 32 planes to their fleet.

During the 2011/2012 year 12.6 million passengers passed through Perth Airport, a figure 10.3 percent higher than the previous year, and set to double to 20 million by 2029.

It’s a similar story in Brisbane, also a popular transport hub for FIFO workers.

Brisbane Airport has recently had similar problems controlling flight congestion causing many mining companies to seek alternative arrangements to avoid it all together.

Eighty extra flights per day in the past year has been the result of “unprecedented resource industry activity,” according to Brisbane Airport Corporation.

Due to continued delays resulting in damaged productivity and additional costs for mining companies, many clients have requested earlier flights or have gone to smaller airports such as Sunshine Coast, Archerfield or Townsville.

Alliance Airlines is the largest FIFO charter operator from Brisbane but says until the operators commit to completing a new parallel runway, it is reluctant to invest more at Brisbane Airport. Time will tell how long the airport can survive at its current size.

The design for Perth Airport’s new T2 terminal was based around the customer experience, most of which are FIFO workers. The new terminal is double the size of the existing T3, they’ve constructed a gas fired power station, natural light has been maximised to reduce power consumption and overall greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced by 55 percent.

Long overdue, T2 is the first new terminal for Perth Airport in 26 years. The new terminal features:

• 16 check-in counters and space for self-serve check-in and bag drop
• A large central passenger screening zone to minimise queuing times
• A large, open departures area with retail, dining and views across the airfield
• 14 aircraft gates connected by covered walkways to the terminal
• Strategically designed taxiways for quick turn-around of multiple aircraft in rush hour
• Three large baggage claim belts to reduce wait times

Terminal 2 is located next to Terminal 1 and is home to Alliance Airlines, Virgin Australia, and Tiger Airways.

The completion of T2 is a critical milestone in a large expansion to transform the Perth Airport. The new domestic terminal and regional hub will no doubt help to make the journey for FIFO workers a little less stressful and Perth will be ready for increased growth well into the future.

Whether Brisbane follows suit remains to be seen.

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Minetalk Poll

Is the mining boom in Australia over?

Is the mining boom in Australia over?

No, it's just media hype.
Yes as a result of lower demand.
Still plenty of resources.
There will be a second boom.
1 Votes left

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