Perth Airport Welcomes Release of Capacity Study

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Monday, 19 November 2012

Perth Airport has welcomed Airservices Australias release of a jointly funded study, undertaken by the United Kingdoms air navigation service provider, UK NATS.

The study was completed in July 2012 to determine what measures could be put in place to enhance the existing airfield and airspace capacity at Perth Airport.

The report makes 45 recommendations to maximise the efficiency of the existing infrastructure.

Perth Airport is well advanced in implementing the 13 recommendations relating to our operations, said Brad Geatches, Chief Executive Officer, Perth Airport. We are confident that if Airservices Australia implement the 25 recommendations relating to their procedures and airlines cooperate with the remaining seven recommendations, significant improvements can be made at Perth Airport.

At the moment, we have a significant peak morning departures period, from 6am to 8am every Tuesday to Thursday. For the remainder of the time, there is more than sufficient airfield capacity to meet demand, however, the practices of some airlines and Airservices Australia have not seen optimal usage of the infrastructure, Mr Geatches added.

Some of the procedural observations made by UK NATS are:

Reduced arrival spacing was identified as a key opportunity to increase capacity and reduce delay in all runway configurations.

Opportunities were identified to reduce average pilot reaction time through engagement with turboprop operators to deliver a more resilient high-intensity operation.

Perth Airport is working with airlines and Airservices Australia to implement the recommendations, and is expected to go live with a schedule coordination system in early 2013, one of the UK NATS key recommendations.

The schedule coordination system will allocate landing and take-off slots at the airport, to give certainty to airlines and passengers about their departure and arrival times, and help manage the peak periods caused by the increase in fly-in, fly-out demand for services.

The UK NATS benchmarking highlights there are substantial opportunities to reduce current delays through adopting better practice, particularly in relation to afternoon arrivals delays, said Mr Geatches. However, the report also highlights that the mid-week morning congestion, driven by FIFO departures, can only be addressed by continuing to spread airline schedules, or by constructing a third runway.

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