Full dress-rehearsals for the airport’s $120 million new domestic terminal will start ahead of the official opening next month, after construction finished before Christmas.
The Sunday Times can reveal the inside of the complete new terminal, which will primarily service regional WA and be home to Alliance Airlines and Skywest and, later, Tiger Airways.
From tomorrow, family members and other “travellers” will act as mock passengers to test boarding and disembarkation, emergency evacuations, check-in procedures and security screening.
Perth airport chief executive Brad Geatches said the extensive trial period was necessary to ensure there were no headaches on opening.
“There have been examples worldwide where terminals have opened and failed,” Mr Geatches said.
“The purpose of the trials is to simulate activities that go on each day inside the terminal, and ensure the infrastructure, systems and processes work effectively.”
Mr Geatches expects more than a million patrons will use the facility in its first 12 months and up to 500 people will be employed there.
“This terminal was needed for the growth that Perth has seen, particularly in the fly-in fly-out business,” he said.
Relocation of airlines to the new terminal would deal with overcrowding issues at the domestic airport.
The new domestic terminal is the first in a range of planned revamps.
“We are continuing on with our major redevelopments and will be opening at the end of the year some of the expansions and improvements for the international terminal,” Mr Geatches said.
“We are also looking forward to getting on with the domestic pier, which is the largest of our projects, and will start that next month.”