The State Government wants Perth Airport to build a third runway by 2019 to eliminate bottlenecks affecting WA's economic development and is urging it to fast-track upgrading its landing system to beat fog delays and diversions.
Transport Minister Dean Nalder yesterday warned that the Government would play a far more active role in airport infrastructure to ensure air services and airports kept up with the State's economic and social development.
"Effective and efficient air services are crucial to WA's economic and social development and play an integral role in catering to the needs of a range of sectors, including mining and resources, corporate, tourism and leisure - while also providing vital air services to communities across WA," Mr Nalder told _The Weekend West _.
"The timely provision of aviation infrastructure at Perth Airport, including the development of a third runway, is essential to keep up with our State's growth."
Mr Nalder said the Government had not been as proactive with airport leaseholders Perth Airport Pty Ltd but would now work with its board and the Commonwealth, which owned the land, constructively to get better outcomes for the State.
Former transport minister Troy Buswell warned in 2012 that building a third runway was critical to WA's development.
Mr Nalder said he recognised that air traffic movements had slowed recently but the State wanted to ensure the airport was ready for the next upswing.
Even in the current downturn Perth Airport is at capacity, or near capacity, 66 per cent of the time during three of the four major peak times on Tuesday to Thursday.
This is critical for the WA-based resources industry - the engine room of Australia.
Over the past 50 years - and despite six major downturns - Perth Airport traffic on average has increased 9 per cent a year. Global air traffic increases about 5 per cent a year due in large part to increased affordability of flying.
Mr Nalder also urged the airport to install a CAT 111a auto-land capability, which would virtually fog-proof the airport, as soon as possible.
The State Aviation Strategy will also identify a suitable site for a second Perth metropolitan airport and a second general aviation airport.