The West

Air traffic control provider Air- Services Australia says only an extra runway will solve Perth Airport's growth problems.

AirServices manager corporate communications Rob Walker said though an operational efficiency program under way would help increase capacity, it was "not the silver bullet".

"Only a new third runway will give us the 50 per cent increase in capacity the airport needs," Mr Walker said.

AirServices, in conjunction with Perth Airport and airlines, has been conducting an airport capacity enhancement with the help of British air traffic control provider NATS.

The report has identified about 25 ways to improve runway capacity, with a potential improvement of up to 20 per cent over two years, though that translates into only six to seven extra movements an hour at key times.

Perth Airport believes that in the afternoon traffic pattern it will achieve a 30 per cent gain, but that will meet only current demand with no provision for growth.

The improvements include pilots exiting runways faster or taking off without delay, installing more high-speed taxiway exits and the way planes are controlled.

Under the new system, pilots must be ready to roll the moment they are given line-up clearance. They will be asked for maximum braking and thrust reverse to leave the runway as fast as possible.

Perth Airport will build high-speed taxiways that are angled off - rather than at right angles - to the runway.

Geoffrey Thomas

The West Australian

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