Second airport no flight of fancy

‘A second airport location needs to be sufficient distance from Perth Airport that the operations of the airports do not conflict,’ Mr Geatches said.

‘The need for a second airport does not arise for many decades, as the ultimate capacity of Perth Airport is in excess of 70 million passengers per annum.’

He said aircraft noise should not be a significant issue in determining the location of a second airport or constraining the capacity of Perth Airport.

‘This is because continuing advances in aircraft and engine technology can be expected to largely resolve the noise impact in the long term,’ Mr Geatches said.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the city was growing rapidly.

‘I expect the third runway at Perth Airport will cater for our needs for many decades to come,’ Mr Nalder said.

‘My instruction to the Department of Transport is to continue planning works so we have a clear understanding of where we could locate a second airport in a city that could grow to five million people.’

Mr Nalder said it was too early to speculate how big a second airport would need to be or whether it would be in the Perth metropolitan area.

A Department of Planning spokeswoman said identifying, evaluating and protecting sites for Perth’s long-term aviation needs would be a multi-stage planning project.

‘It will involve State and Commonwealth agencies,’ she said.

‘Technical requirements, including airspace constraints, will be included in the early phase of filtering potential sites.

‘This work is needed to underpin further detailed investigations and is expected to commence later this year.’