The State Government wants a please explain from Perth Airport operators over delays to plans for a third runway to handle demand from the resources industry.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell said undertakings and a time line for building a third runway made last November had not been adhered to.

Perth Airport had said that discussions with airlines over construction of the runway would start in December and be concluded by this month, with lessees of the land advised to vacate by 2017.

"It is disappointing to hear one of the first milestones for the development of a third runway has been missed, as we had every indication these discussions would be completed by April," Mr Buswell said.

With an environmental impact study and various approvals still needed, a new runway would not be commissioned until late 2017.

Perth Airport chief executive Brad Geatches said discussions with airlines were continuing.

But according to Qantas, there has been only one meeting with the airport about the issue.

Perth Airport has two runways but they cross and cannot be used simultaneously, though they are used - in the right wind condition - on an alternating basis.

To increase the capacity of the airport to meet early morning weekday demand a third runway needs to be built parallel to the existing main 21/03 runway.

It has been estimated delays at Perth Airport are costing the State's economy $72 million a year but that does not include the indirect costs nor the loss of production time for the resources industry, which is put at $100,000 an hour.

The airport estimates the runway would cost almost $600 million.

Perth Airport has also given assurances that shortcomings at its new regional Terminal 2 will be rectified.

Passengers are critical of the terminal's lack of parking, single-lane access, seating capacity and the long walk to planes. "This airport looks to have been designed by someone who doesn't have to use it," one fly-in, fly-out worker said.

Mr Geatches said not all the elements of T2 had been completed. A new lounge for Alliance Airlines opened two weeks ago and a Sky- west Airlines lounge will open soon with a combined capacity of 400 passengers.

A new short-term carpark for Terminal 2 will open in July.

On the long walk to planes, Mr Geatches said there were plans to maximise the efficiency of bays, gates and parking to use those closest to the terminal in non-peak periods.

The West Australian

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