Perth Airport will embark on substantial upgrades to its Airport Central terminal precinct to better cater for regional aviation.
The airport will expand its Terminal 2 apron, build a new maintenance hangar for Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA), and develop a new aviation support precinct, at an estimated total cost of approximately $90 million.
Kate Holsgrove, Acting CEO at Perth Airport, said almost 550,000 intrastate travellers passed through the airport last month, the highest single month on record for regional passengers.
“Perth Airport’s continuous and efficient operations are crucial for the viability of the $83 billion WA resource sector.
“Following the last resources boom, the opening of Terminal 2 (T2) in 2013 made a significant impact on how efficiently the airport operated, creating more capacity and a greatly improved customer experience,” she said.
According to Holsgrove, expanding the T2 apron will provide operational flexibility for airlines at Airport Central.
“Since opening more than 10 years ago, the terminal has experienced a 54 per cent increase in passenger numbers. The apron has now reached capacity with aircraft parking on taxiways overnight to be ready for the early morning peak departures,” she said.
“There are currently 38 overnight aircraft parking positions at T2, 18 of which are remote positions used for parking by airline partners from both T2 and T1D.
“Based on the demand of our airline partners, we will deliver an additional six remote parking positions by early next year and we are also looking at delivering an additional 11 positions, providing 55 parking positions for T2 in the future – providing a 45 per cent increase in capacity.”
VARA’s executive general manager, Nathan Miller, said the new hangar is a “significant milestone” for the regional airline, which is based in Perth.
“The new facility will support the ongoing delivery of our fleet renewal program with the capacity to service our new larger fuel-efficient 737-700 aircraft. It will also deliver greater operational efficiency enabling us to consolidate our maintenance, engineering and storage to one central base,” he said.
“This follows several key investments that bolster our operations and infrastructure in the state of Western Australia, including the establishment of a new local training base and a brand-new corporate HQ in the heart of Perth CBD this year.”
Perth Airport has seen a surge in regional passenger numbers this year, carrying the airport to almost 100 per cent of its pre-pandemic capacity in FY23.