Perth Airport is working towards having a third runway operational by late 2017 to future-proof the State’s economic development.
Treasurer and Transport Minister Troy Buswell said yesterday he had a constructive meeting with airport chairman David Crawford and chief executive Brad Geatches about building a third runway.
“We now have a timeline and clear performance checkpoints for us to monitor the progress of this runway,” Mr Buswell said.
“Perth Airport is proceeding on a path of design and consultation that would, subject to agreements and approvals, see the third runway delivered by the end of 2017, at the earliest,” Mr Geatches said.
Last month, Mr Buswell warned that if the airport did not fast-track the additional runway, the State’s development would be impeded.
Over the past five years, passenger numbers through Perth Airport have grown 40 per cent to 12.6 million last year and also plane movements climbed at a similar rate.
In its 2009 master plan the airport said it did not need to build a third – and second parallel – runway until 2029. “This is a significant bringing-forward of its plans,” Mr Buswell said.
But Mr Buswell warned that as part of the process, it was essential that the airport and Airservices Australia adopt every measure available to reduce the area impacted by plane noise. Some estimates suggest that a reduction of 30 to 40 per cent or better of the area affected by noise can be achieved by adopting world best practices.
“This is extremely important and everything should be done to cut the noise,” said Mr Buswell.
He said the airport would have concluded preliminary negotiations on the project with airlines by April. It would then spend $60 million on a two-year regulatory approval process that would include the environmental impact.
If approvals were received, construction would start in 2015 after approval from the airlines.
Last week Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said he had made it known to Perth Airport that there was a need for more runway capacity.