Industry groups and the state government have welcomed the announcement of a $1 billion plan to transform Perth Airport by integrating the domestic and international terminals and building a new terminal dedicated to regional air services.The long-awaited major redevelopment will involve a phased transformation over the next five to seven years, with all facilities to be co-located around the site of the existing international terminal.Announcing the plan today, Perth Airport chief executive Brad Geatches said the airport's unprecedented growth, which has seen passenger numbers through the domestic terminal double in five years, had bought forward the airport's vision for expansion and redevelopment.Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA chief executive James Pearson said the project would stimulate greater and sustainable economic growth, investment and development across the state.Describing the current airport facility as an "ageing and inefficient piece of infrastructure", Mr Pearson said the redevelopment would create an impressive welcoming statement to the city for visitors."The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia has been a leader in calling for facilities at Perth's domestic and international terminals to be dramatically improved," he said in a statement. Tourism Council WA chief executive Graham Moss said the release of the Perth Airport vision for the future was a major boost for the WA tourism industry, and captured all the ingredients required of world class modern day airport precincts."Visitors from interstate and overseas will not only receive high quality service but will begin to experience WA and all it has to offer immediately on arrival in our state," he said.Phase one of the redevelopment will involve the construction of "Terminal WA", a new $90 million purpose built facility dedicated to servicing regional WA air services.Regional services are the airports fastest growing market segment in terms of aircraft movement, increasing by 48 per cent last financial year and 42 per cent the year before.Construction of Terminal WA is expected to start in four months' time, with delivery within two years.Phases 2 and 3 will involve the major redevelopment of the existing international terminal and the construction of new terminal space.It will also substantially increase the number of aircraft stands with aerobridges from 11 to 40 to cater for long term growth and new aircraft.Domestic services are expected to be gradually relocated to the new terminal facilities during a phased transition.Also included in the redevelopment plan is the construction of a multi-story car park at the site of the consolidated terminal, and the construction of up to two airport hotels.Mr Geatches said the release of the redevelopment plan now gave clarity for the state government to prioritise planning for adequate infrastructure in the region, such as roads and rail access."Its time for the government to schedule and deliver the road networks that are required," he said.In the short to medium term, improvements to existing facilities will continue to take place. In addition to the $50 million upgrades at the Qantas domestic terminal, work has started on a new road network to improve traffic flow around the terminals.A new public road link is also being built between the domestic and international terminals, cutting travel time between the two precincts by almost half.Another 2,000 car bays are also expected to come onstream within 12 months, with an additional 2,000 bays to be built by the end of 2010.Minister for Tourism, Sheila McHale also welcomed the redevelopment, saying the airport has been working beyond its capcity for quite some time.
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