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Airport will deliver quality service

RECENT articles in WA Business News and on the website about the redevelopment of Perth Airport have claimed that the plans: have been “downgraded”; will deliver a “C Class” airport; will force passengers to “run the gauntlet” of extreme weather conditions due to insufficient aerobridges; and will not deliver improvements to customer service when the new Terminal WA is delivered in the first stage. These claims are either inaccurate or misleading for the following reasons. 1) The number of aerobridges at the consolidated terminals will be such that no passengers will be exposed to weather conditions unless an airline chooses not to use an aerobridge. Initially, 20 to 25 aerobridges are expected at the consolidated facility. The current number is 10. As the airport operator we design facilities to meet airline requirements. Some low-cost carriers do not want to use aerobridges so as to minimise their costs and their airfares. Also, some smaller aircraft are not compatible with aerobridges. Aerobridges will be there for all airlines that wish to use them. 2) Perth Airport’s new terminals will be designed with the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Level of Service Standard ‘C’ as the minimum standard in the “busy hour” in the “targeted design year”. The targeted design year is typically eight to 10 years after the commissioning of the new terminals. Standard C is defined as a “good level of service, conditions of stable flow, acceptable delays and good levels of comfort”. In the years before the targeted design year, service levels will be consistent with IATA Standards A or B. Designing Perth Airport to IATA Standard A or B in the target design year would result in higher costs than could be justified, which would flow on to airfares. This is why airlines expect Australian airports to be designed to IATA Standard C. 3) Stage One of the airport redevelopment includes a new terminal for regional WA services and low-cost carriers (Terminal WA), an on-airport public road linking the international and domestic precincts and improvements to the existing domestic and international terminals. This first stage is a $192 million investment. The WA Business News statement that Terminal WA will not deliver an improvement in customer service is not correct. These new facilities will greatly improve the travelling experience of regional WA passengers, including the many fly-in fly-out workers. This facility will not have aerobridges for the reason that they are not suitable for many aircraft used on regional routes. Passengers using Terminal WA will be protected by all-weather covered walkways extending to within 30 metres of the aircraft. This design approach for Terminal WA is supported by the airlines. We remain committed and on track with our plans to invest around $1 billion in new facilities at Perth Airport which will provide a vastly improved airport experience. Brad Geatches CEO Perth Airport Editor’s Note: The reports in WA Business News questioned whether Westralia Airports Corporation would deliver on its vision, announced in May, to “transform Perth Airport into one of the best airports in the Asia Pacific region” at a cost of $1 billion. We stand by our conclusion that the proposed investment will not meet that standard. We also welcome the sorely needed investment in the airport, which will improve service standards from current levels.

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