16/01/2015 - 12:13

Federal approval for third Perth runway

16/01/2015 - 12:13

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Federal approval for third Perth runway
An artist's impression of the new international pier, part of the Perth Airport Master Plan 2014.

Perth Airport's ambitious 20-year redevelopment plan has received federal regulatory approval, paving the way for the construction of a third runway and the Forrestfield Airport Link underground rail project.

The airport is already in the middle of a significant transformation, with more than $1 billion in capital works started during the past six years.

Those works include a $121 million, 21,500 square metre new domestic terminal opened in March 2013, an $80 million expansion of the international arrivals area at Terminal 1, and a $41 million upgrade of the international departures area, due for completion by midway through this year.

A $338 million new domestic pier and a further expansion of the international departures area are also under construction.

New major projects in the Master Plan 2014 include the construction of a new international pier at the eastern end of Terminal 1, more expansions of Terminal 2, multi-storey carparks and commercial office space and significant upgrades to airport roads.

The plan separates the airport into five precincts, two solely dedicated for aircraft operations and passenger facilities, while the other areas have a mix of aviation, non-aviation and commercial developments.

A hotel will also be built on airport land to cater for international and interstate passengers needing to stay overnight for connecting flights, while a proposal to link the precincts with a monorail service is also in the works.

The most significant upgrade project in the plan is the construction of a third runway, which is anticipated to be operational by 2020, providing there is sufficient demand.

Also integrated into the plan is the $2.2 billion Forrestfield Airport Link, announced by the state government in August last year to include an eight kilometre tunnel under the Swan River and Tonkin Highway.

However, both of those major projects remain subject to further approvals processes, both on a state and federal level.

Perth Airport chief executive Brad Geatches described the redevelopment of the airport as a "once in a generation change".

"The master plan recognises that the airport needs to develop integrated plans that complement Perth's broader urban and infrastructure plans, and take into account the impact of airport development on surrounding communities and the environment," Mr Geatches said.

The final plan will be released to the public by March 20.

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said today's approval was a major step forward in Perth becoming a modern global city.

"The delivery of the components of the plan will result in both a greater visitor experience and more competitive pricing between airlines," Mr Hall said.

"Significantly, the plan includes an on-site hotel development, which will provide greater convenience and choice for travellers to Perth."

An artist's impression of potential commercial developments around the airport's communications and air traffic control tower.

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