THE federal government has given Perth Airport its tick of approval for the $500 million-plus expansion of the international terminal.
Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese made the announcement late last week, endorsing the plan to re-vamp the international terminal and combine domestic and international services in the one building.
Perth Airport chief executive Brad Geatches said works would start by the end of February 2012, and by 2014 both domestic and international flights would operate out of Terminal 1.
The first stage of the expansion comprises: expanded check-in areas; larger passport control and quarantine zones; redeveloped baggage claim areas; larger duty free stores; new aerobridges to cater for Airbus A380 aircraft; a new domestic check-in area; 12 new gates with associated aerobridges; a new lounge for Virgin Australia; and upgraded aircraft aprons.
Floor space at Perth Airport will be increased by 80 per cent, resulting in major upgrades to passenger processing, visitor services and ground transport, Mr Albanese said.
All submissions received during the consultation period were supportive of the proposal, he said.
A contractor for the $500-million-plus redevelopment is yet to be announced, but a spokesperson for Perth Airport said the tender process would be complete by Christmas, and a contractor announced early in the new year.
The news is good timing for Perth Airport, which welcomed direct flights from China for the first time earlier this month.
China Southern Airlines will fly three return flights a week to Perth from Beijing and Guangzhou, as the state government ramps up its efforts to attract 100,000 Chinese visitors to WA annually, by 2020.
Qatar Airways will also add Perth to its network next year.
Perth will be Qatar Airways’ second Australian destination following its daily Melbourne service, which was launched in December 2009.