Perth Airport, known by its IATA code of PER and its ICAO code of YPPH, is a domestic and international airport serving Perth. Perth is one of the most important cities in Australia, and is the capital and largest city in Western Australia. The airport is the fourth busiest in terms of passenger traffic in Australia, and is considered as an important air transportation hub for the region. It is served by a large number of airline carries, has a wide variety of facilities for its passengers and also several options for those in need of ground transportation. In general, it is a well-run airport, but it has had its fair share of congestions problems. However, its latest construction works and the future master plan should help to streamline the airport’s flow of passengers.
The airport of Perth is found in the suburb of Perth Airport, to the east of the city centre. The international terminal is approximately 17km, or 11 miles from central Perth, and the domestic terminals are about 12km, or 7.5 miles east of central Perth. The domestic terminals are on the western side of the main runway and about 11km from the international terminal. Passengers on domestic flights will travel Lord Street and the Tonkin Highway in order to access Brearley Avenue, and to reach Horrie Miller Drive, the location of the International Terminal, passengers will travel the Great Eastern Highway and the Tonkin Highway. A new intersection connecting the Tonkin Highway to Dunreath Drive makes the trip to the International Terminal more convenient.
The airport can be accessed by public transport as well. Public buses run to and from various locations in the city, and the Connect Shuttle service is a popular option from places of accommodation in the city. Taxis are quick and convenient as well, and available twenty-four hours a day from outside the arrival halls. Future plans for the airport include a rail link that will connect the Midland Line between Bayswater Station and Ashfield Station at the Tonkin Highway. Nearby Brearley Avenue the line will go underground and to the terminal buildings of Perth Airport.
Currently, Perth Airport consists of T1, the International Terminal, T3 and T4, the two main domestic terminals and a general aviation terminal that handles charter flights. Terminal 2 should be in operation shortly, as it is due for completion in early 2013, and will be located on the eastern side of the runway, just below Terminal 1. It’s main purpose will be to reduce congestion in Terminal 3, and all airlines (except Virgin Australia) will move to this terminal. They include Alliance Airlines, Tiger Airways and Skywest Airlines. Virgin Australia will then control Terminal 3. A large bridge will be constructed between the terminals.
The new terminal, which is also referred to as the Terminal WA, or Intrastate Terminal, will have 16 check-in counters and space for self-service and bag drop technologies, three baggage reclaim conveyor belts, a centralised passengers security screening zone and 14 aircraft bays. An additional 36 aircraft parking bays will be available as well.
The 2024 Airport Master Plan also incorporates the idea of consolidating the domestic and international terminals into one building, that will be located on the south-eastern side of the airfield. In 2014, the redevelopment of the international terminal is scheduled, which will be completed at a cost of over $165 million. The improvements to be made will include an expanded check-in hall and a refurbished departure hall. One of the three redevelopment phases will be a new domestic pier that will be used for flights by Virgin Australia by 2014. The airport currently has two runways. The main 03/21 runway is 3,444 metres in length, while the second (06/24) runway is 2,163 metres in length. Both have a width of 45 metres. The activities on the runways can be enjoyed by visitors from the newly-opened outdoor viewing platform. The platform is located on Dunreath Drive, and is open from 06:30 to 19:00 (October to March) and from 07:30 to 17:30 from April to September. There is also another observation deck on the third level of the international terminal.
Early civilian air services in Perth were operated from airfields located in Maylands, and from the city’s foreshore at Langley Park. However, it was soon clear that the Maylands airfield was too small. Another site was then chosen for the new airport. Before civilian operations could begin at the new airport it was taken over for military purposes in the Second World War. It served as a temporary base for the Royal Australia Air Force and the United States Navy. In 1944, civil air services by Qantas Empire Airways began. At this time, it was referred to as the Guildford Aerodrome. Further airline carriers arrived, and in 1952 the aerodrome’s name was changed to Perth International Airport, as it had received international status.
From 1962 to 1986 all airport operations were conducted from a single terminal building. This building soon reached its full capacity and plans were made to build a new international terminal, which officially opened in 1986. There was also a new control tower that was built which was the tallest in Australia at the time. The current domestic terminals of the airport were built in the later 1980’s, and from 2003 to 2004 the international terminal underwent major internal refurbishments.
In 2012 Perth Airport handled a grand total of 12.632,578 passengers, which was a significant increase from the previous year, which saw just under 11 million passengers. In fact, since 2002, the number of airport passengers has increased every year. Currently, the airport handles approximately 3.4 million international passengers per year, and approximately 9.1 million domestic passengers a year. The busiest international routes handled are to and from Singapore, Denpasar (Dubai), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Hong Kong, Auckland (New Zealand) and Johannesburg (South Africa), by the airline companies of Air New Zealand, South African Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Thai Airways International, Jetstar, Garuda Indonesia, Virgin Australia and others. The domestic carriers of Virgin Australia, Qantas, Jetstar, Skywest and QantasLink fly to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Karratha, Adelaide, Broome, Darwin and Port Hedland.
The airline companies present at the general aviation terminal building, located along Fauntleroy Avenue, Newton Road and Valentine Road, include Cobham, Complete Aviation Services, Network Aviation Australia, Maroomba Airlines, Perth Flight Centre, Skippers Aviation and Universal Aviation Australia. The codeshare airline companies offering flights from Perth include Air Canada, British Airways, American Airlines, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, United Airlines, Air France, Austrian Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
At all terminal buildings of the airport there are short-term and long-term parking facilities available, and many useful passenger facilities, such as internet services, luggage storage facilities, showers and restrooms, banks and ATMs, foreign currency exchange services, parenting rooms, quiet rooms and car rental counters. Airport lounges are also available from many of the prominent airline companies.
Perth Airport information in further detail can be obtained from the airport’s call centre at 61 8 9478 8888. There are also information counters in all terminals, and airport volunteers (Gold Coats) wearing yellow jackets can be found in Terminal 3.