The West

Perth Airport inefficient
The runway at Perth Airport. Picture: Geoffrey Thomas

Hurry up and stop dawdling on the runway are key messages from a report on the efficiency of Perth Airport and its surrounding airspace.

The report, commissioned by service provider Airservices Australia and conducted by the British air navigation provider NATS, found Perth Airport was not up to global standards in efficiency.

It found that as many as 45 initiatives - big and small - could lift the number of movements at the airport by up to 18 per cent depending on the runways and mix of landing and take-offs. But for the critical early-morning departures, the gain is small - only 7 per cent or three more take-offs.

The report indicated by its analysis that to meet the demand for morning take-off slots, a third runway was required.

Major items on the report include pilots needing to react quicker to take-off clearances, exiting the runway much faster, the installation of high speed taxiways angled off the runway to provide a speedier exit and the closer sequencing of planes.

Of the recommendations, 13 relate to Perth Airport and infrastructure, 25 to Airservices for procedures and airspace management and seven for airlines.

Airservices chief executive Margaret Staib said the company has been working closely with Perth Airport and airlines to deal more cohesively with the challenges of growth in air traffic.

"Growth at Perth Airport, fuelled largely by the success of the resources industry and demand for fly-in, fly-out services, has been phenomenal," Ms Staib said.

"This was a proactive study initiated by Airservices to look at the issues of congestion and delay and what action can be taken by airlines, the airport and Airservices to ease congestion and make better use of existing infrastructure.

"Some of the improvements will be realised in the short-term, while others are more incremental and will take time to realise."

Perth Airport chief executive Brad Geatches welcomed the report and said the airport was well- advanced in implementing the recommendations relating to its operations.

But Mr Geatches admitted "the report highlighted that the mid-week morning congestion, driven by FIFO departures, could only be addressed by continuing to spread airline schedules, or by constructing a third runway." Spreading the departures in the mornings is not an option, according to airlines servicing FIFO workers.

The West Australian

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