Western Australian State Aviation Strategy - Department of Transport

Western Australian State Aviation Strategy - Department of Transport
Department of

                    Western Australian
                State Aviation Strategy
Western Australian State Aviation Strategy - Department of Transport
    It can be argued that Western Australia is the true birthplace of civil aviation in Australia, having
    the first scheduled passenger service and the earliest and largest state civil aviation network.
    WA is an enormous state covering one-third of            At Perth Airport, good progress has been made
    the Australian continent, where effective transport      in developing the new Terminal 2, alongside the
    and communication are heavily dependent on               current international terminal, which opened
    reliable aviation services. This has been the case       in early 2013. This terminal is initially servicing
    ever since some of the world’s first airline services    Alliance Airlines, Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways.
    were established here in the 1920s by aviation           This will be followed by a new terminal facility to
    pioneers like Sir Norman Brearley, Horrie Miller and     service Virgin Australia and, later, an expanded
    Charles Snook.                                           international terminal. Perth Airport will also be
                                                             well-served by the $1 billion Federal and State
    WA is the engine room of the Australian economy,
                                                             Perth Gateway project, which will upgrade all
    generating 51 per cent of the nation’s merchandise
                                                             of the major arterial roads in and around Perth
    exports by value in 2013-14, more than the exports
                                                             Airport, making it much easier for people and
    of all the other States and Territories combined.
                                                             freight to get to and from the airport.
    Much of this output depends on reliable air
    services. Whether it is ferrying tens of thousands       These developments notwithstanding, it is
    of resources and energy industry fly-in/fly-out          imperative that Perth Airport brings forward the
    workers to mines in the Pilbara, the Eastern             development of a third runway to avoid damaging
    Goldfields and gas fields of the North-West              and disruptive delays to traffic, particularly during
    Shelf, sending tourists to Broome and Exmouth,           the weekday morning take-off and afternoon
    connecting Western Australians everywhere                landing peak periods depended on by the State’s
    to friends and relatives, or allowing vital social       resources and energy industries.
    services, aviation plays a pivotal role in the State’s
                                                             While aviation is largely a matter of Commonwealth
    economic and social development.
                                                             jurisdiction, the risk to WA’s economic and social
    With the State’s economy and population growing          development from our air services and airports
    at rates roughly double the national average,            failing to keep up with demand is now too great
    demand for air services in Western Australia has         for the State not to play a more active role in the
    experienced extraordinary growth that has placed         aviation sector. This strategy includes a suite of
    great strain on our airports to keep up. Just about      actions whereby the State will work in partnership
    everybody who has flown anywhere from Perth              with airports, airlines and the resources and
    in the past five years has experienced congestion        energy sector to ensure adequate services
    and delays at Perth Airport owing to the rate            continue to meet our needs. It also prudently
    of growth in aircraft and passenger numbers.             encourages private investment in our regional
    The problem is by no means confined to Perth,            airports, which will serve the State well considering
    with the Pilbara airports also struggling to keep        the significant demand on public funds for
    up with the necessary expansion of terminals,            investment in health, education, roads and public
    runways and other airport infrastructure.                transport to meet the needs of our rapidly growing
                                                             population and economy.

Western Australian State Aviation Strategy - Department of Transport
This State Aviation Strategy is the first
developed for WA. It complements the                 While aviation is largely a matter of
State’s other key transport strategies covering      Commonwealth jurisdiction, the risk to
freight and public transport services. It is         WA’s economic and social development
aimed at supporting the economic and social          from our air services and airports failing
development of WA through the provision of
                                                     to keep up with demand is now too
safe, affordable, efficient and effective aviation
                                                     great for the State not to play a more
services and infrastructure. It provides a
sound framework for policy setting, future
                                                     active role in the aviation sector.
planning and investment in Western Australia’s
international and domestic air services and
airport infrastructure.
The State Aviation Strategy has been prepared
by the Department of Transport in conjunction
with key government agencies covering
economic development, planning, tourism,
local government and regional development.
It reflects close consultation with airport
owners, airlines, the resources industry, and
key players in general aviation, as well as the
results of aviation strategy workshops held
in regional centres across the State. It also
reflects the extensive feedback provided on
the draft strategy released for public comment
in September 2013.
Implementation of the State Aviation Strategy
will commence immediately and will be
reviewed in five years’ time.
Hon Dean Nalder MLA
Minister for Transport

Western Australian State Aviation Strategy - Department of Transport

    Part 1   Minister’s foreword                                                                  2
    Part 2   Executive summary and key actions                                                    5
    Part 3   Introduction                                                                        17
    Part 4   Western Australian aviation history                                                 20
    Part 5   Policy context                                                                      22
    Part 6   Western Australian aviation strategy vision and objectives                          24
    Part 7   Future aviation activity                                                            26
    Part 8   Airport planning                                                                    34
    Part 9   Perth Airport infrastructure                                                        43
    Part 10  WA regional airports’ infrastructure                                                50
    Part 11  WA regional airports ownership and governance                                       62
    Part 12  Regional Airports Development Scheme                                                66
    Part 13  Tourism and aviation route development                                              68
    Part 14  Developing quality and affordable air services                                      73
    Part 15  General aviation                                                                    80
    Part 16  Aviation training in Western Australia                                              82
    Part 17  Strategy implementation and review                                                  84
    Appendix A: Glossary                                                                         86

    Figure 1    Total RPT passenger growth at Perth Airport                                      27
    Figure 2    Perth Airport interstate and intrastate passenger growth                         27
    Figure 3    Perth Airport general aviation aircraft movements                                28
    Figure 4    Perth Airport passenger movements, actual vs. 2009 forecasts                     30
    Figure 5    Perth Airport passenger movement scenario                                        30
    Figure 6    Perth Airport aircraft movements, actual vs. 2009 forecasts                      32
    Figure 7    Regional airport passenger numbers and 10-year annual growth rates               51
    Figure 8    Regional airport aircraft movements and 10-year annual growth rates              51
    Figure 9    Aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenue percentages                            52
    Figure 10   Profile of total airport revenue versus RPT passenger, 2011-12                   52
    Figure 11   Regional airports’ infrastructure investment for five years to 2012-13           54
    Figure 12   Regional airports’ past and projected infrastructure investment                  55

    Table 1     Perth Airport’s 2012 central and high passenger forecasts                        31
    Table 2     Mid-week peak period aircraft movements                                          44
    Table 3     Infrastructure investment requirements for five years to 2017-18                 55
    Table 4     Source of funds for infrastructure investment by local government‑owned
                airports for five years to 2012-13                                               56
    Table 5     Estimated local government airport reserves as at 1 July 2012                    58
    Table 6     Small WA regional airports Security Levy 2014                                    60
    Table 7     RPT passenger movements at WA small regional airports                            61
    Table 8     Private leasing of one airport or group of airports – strengths and weaknesses   64
    Table 9     Tourism expenditure in Western Australia 2013                                    70
    Table 10    Growth in visitors and tourism expenditure in Western Australia in 2013          70
    Table 11    WA’s top international tourism markets – expenditure by country 2013             70

Western Australian State Aviation Strategy - Department of Transport
The sheer size and isolation of Western Australia mean there is little choice but aviation for
travel between Perth and other states and between Perth and most of the State’s major regional
centres. In recent years the State’s dependence on aviation has been brought into sharp relief
by the resources industry’s increasing reliance on fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) workforces. From these
perspectives, aviation plays an utterly pivotal role in both economic and social development
of the State.
The aviation industry in WA caters to the air      This State Aviation Strategy is the first developed
service needs of the resource, corporate,          for WA and complements the Federal Aviation
tourism and leisure sectors and local              Policy and the State’s other key transport
communities. In the past 10 years, aviation        strategies. It has been prepared by the
passenger and aircraft movements in WA have        Department of Transport (DoT) in conjunction with
grown considerably. It has been a challenge        key government agencies covering economic
for our major airports to keep pace with the       development, planning, tourism, local government
growth in demand, leading to shortfalls in         and regional development. It reflects close
airport capacity causing congestion and            consultation with airport owners, airlines, the
delays, especially at Perth and the Pilbara        resources and energy industry, and key players
airports. These shortcomings have affected         in general aviation, as well as the results of 10
productivity around the state as well as causing   aviation strategy workshops held in regional
inconvenience to the travelling public.            centres across the State. It also responds to
                                                   extensive feedback provided on the draft strategy
                                                   released for public comment in September 2013.

                                                                                         Broome Airport

Western Australian State Aviation Strategy - Department of Transport
Western Australian Aviation                             from 9.2 million in 2007-08 to 18.9 million a year
                                                            by 2028-29, a figure that would be reached
    Strategy vision and objectives
                                                            if annual compound growth over the 21-year
    The vision for the strategy is that Western Australia   period is 3.5 per cent per annum. Perth Airport
    will have a world-class aviation network and            expected lower growth flowing from the fall-out
    infrastructure that supports and promotes the           of the global financial crisis (GFC) and slowing
    State’s economic and social development.                economic growth.
    The vision will be attained through the pursuit         As it turned out, passenger movements through
    and achievement of the following objectives for         Perth Airport proved to be unaffected by the
    the strategy:                                           GFC and reached 13.7 million by 2012-13, a level
                                                            25 per cent higher than forecast and reached five
    a.   To support the economic and social
                                                            years ahead of Perth Airport’s 2009 projection.
         development of Western Australia through
         the provision of safe, affordable, efficient and   The rapid growth in passenger throughput at
         effective aviation services and infrastructure.    Perth Airport has been driven by:
    b. To provide a sound framework for policy              ÆÆ WA’s extraordinarily high economic growth
       setting and future planning and investment in           rate, which in the past 10 years has averaged
       Western Australian international and domestic           4.9 per cent per annum;
       air services and airport infrastructure.             ÆÆ the resources industry’s increasing
                                                               dependence on FIFO workforces;
    Future aviation activity                                ÆÆ WA having the highest population growth
    Perth Airport is the fastest growing capital city          in Australia, of more than 2.5 per cent
    airport in Australia. The Pilbara regional airports        per annum;
    are the fastest growing airports in Australia,          ÆÆ increasing levels of WA personal disposable
    with Newman Airport experiencing growth of                 income, now 10 per cent above the
    46 per cent in 2012-13.                                    Australian average;
    According to Perth Airport statistics, 13.96 million    ÆÆ increased seat capacity on interstate routes,
    passengers travelled through the Perth Airport             with the major airlines switching to wide-
    domestic and international terminals in 2013-              bodied jets. In the two years to 2012-13,
    14 more than double the 6 million passengers               interstate seats grew by 17.6 per cent;
    through the airport ten years ago. The longer-          ÆÆ increased low-cost carrier presence on
    term passenger growth rates at Perth Airport,              international and interstate routes to and
    have been:                                                 from Perth;
    ÆÆ 5 years since 2008-09 — 7.5 per cent                 ÆÆ cheaper interstate and international
       per annum.                                              airfares; and
    ÆÆ 10 years since 2003-04 — 8.7 per cent                ÆÆ increased destination choice within Australia
       per annum.                                              and internationally.
    Forecasts of WA aviation activity have consistently     Current reporting of passenger movements does
    underestimated actual growth. In 2004, Perth            not fully capture charter flight passenger numbers,
    Airport forecast that annual passenger movements        a significant component of WA aviation activity.
    through the airport would reach 12.6 million            The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and
    in 2026. In fact, passenger movements reached           Regional Economics (BITRE) analysis of charter
    this level in 2012.                                     flight passenger numbers suggests that charter
    In 2009, Perth Airport published its forecast           flights are accounting for an additional 14 per cent
    passenger movement in the Perth Airport Master          of domestic passenger movements through
    Plan. This estimated that regular public transport      the airport.
    (RPT) passenger movements would increase

Western Australian State Aviation Strategy - Department of Transport
Reliable forecasts of aviation activity are crucial     The CME analysis found that on the basis of
to the scale and timing of investment in aviation       committed, probable and potential projects the
infrastructure. Forecasts also have an important        resources industry would:
role to play in building confidence among
                                                        ÆÆ create an additional 640,000 annual
stakeholders about an airport’s infrastructure
                                                           passenger movements through Perth Airport
planning. Underestimates of growth in aviation
                                                           by 2017; and
activity are likely to have contributed to delays in
investment in aviation infrastructure and services,     ÆÆ require an additional 10 flights per weekday in
which in turn have led to congestion and delays at         the morning peak or an increase in passenger
Perth Airport and the Pilbara regional airports.           loads of 21 people per flight.

FIFO workforces are crucial to the development          Under a second scenario limited to only committed
and operation of the resources industry. It is likely   and probable projects, the CME analysis found an
that the trend towards the use of FIFO workforces       additional 390,000 passenger movements would
will continue. There has been a dramatic effect         be created, peaking in 2014 and requiring an
on levels of aviation activity by FIFO workforces,      additional six flights per weekday in the morning
especially among the Pilbara airports. FIFO traffic     peak or an average increase of 13 passengers
is the major contributor to congestion at Perth         per flight.
Airport and the Pilbara regional airports during        The CME assessment confirms that the resources
peak morning and afternoon periods.                     industry itself will overload the current morning
Congestion puts strain on aviation and land             peak periods, which are essentially at full capacity.
transport infrastructure at Perth Airport and           To improve the reliability and scope of aviation
the Pilbara airports. FIFO has also driven the          forecasting, the State Government will directly
proliferation of private airstrips close to mine        engage and consult with Perth Airport, the
sites, which can detract from the ability of public     resources industry, major regional airports and
airports to benefit from economies of scale and         BITRE to improve forecasts of aviation activity,
the ability to consolidate infrastructure, services     particularly in relation to master planning.
and demand.                                             The State Government will also independently
The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western           assess aviation activity forecasts for Perth Airport
Australia (CME) commissioned a study into the           and major regional airports, helping to coordinate
extent of current and projected aviation services       planning across the WA aviation network.
demand by the resources industry in WA.
Drawing upon projections by leading WA resource
companies, the CME assessed resources industry
demand out to 2017.

                                                                                               Exmouth Airport

Western Australian State Aviation Strategy - Department of Transport
Kununurra Airport

    Airport planning                                       In the case of busy and fast-growing regional
                                                           airports critical to the efficient operation of the
    Airport planning and management is the                 resources industry, the lack of any planning
    responsibility of airport owners. Oversight            oversight or coordination across the aviation
    of airport planning in Australia is largely the        network presents risks of delays in airport
    responsibility of the Commonwealth Government          infrastructure investment to the State and
    (capital city airports) and local government           national economies as well as the regional
    (regional airports).                                   communities concerned.
    Airport planning in WA is not coordinated on a         For smaller regional airports that may have
    state-wide basis. Unlike other aspects of essential    limited revenue streams and that rely on local
    WA transport infrastructure, State Government          government subsidy, a basic master plan and
    has little planning involvement at a metropolitan      asset management plan could provide guidance
    level and no State or Commonwealth Government          on the efficient use of scarce resources.
    planning involvement at a regional level. While
                                                           Airport planning in WA should be coordinated
    there has been some good coordination by Perth
                                                           at a network level to reduce the risk of
    Airport with State planning and land transport
                                                           under‑investment in key airport infrastructure and
    agencies in the past, there is significant scope for
                                                           a lack of airport capacity acting as a restriction on
    more active State participation in airport master
                                                           economic and social development.
    and major development planning processes.
                                                           Pearce Air Base is essential to the Royal Australian
    Under the WA Planning Commission, State
                                                           Air Force’s (RAAF) pilot training and is unsuited
    Planning Policies (SPP) exist in relation to land
                                                           for civil aviation requirements. The potential use
    use in the vicinity of Perth Airport (SPP 5.1) and
                                                           of Pearce Air Base for civil requirements is not
    Jandakot Airport (SPP 5.3), which have recently
    been reviewed. The reviews incorporated the
    revised Australian Noise Exposure Forecast             To improve airport planning across the State, the
    approved by Airservices Australia in August 2009.      State Government will work with stakeholders to
                                                           establish a policy framework for master planning
    There is no requirement on any local government
                                                           of local government-owned major regional
    owner of a regional airport to develop a master
                                                           airports. The State Government will also engage
    plan (although most do) or an asset management
                                                           and cooperate with Perth Airport, other major
    plan. There is no mechanism for the State to
                                                           airports and the resources industry in coordinating
    require, review, or approve airport master plans.
                                                           aviation infrastructure planning across the State’s
    There is no specific State Government requirement
                                                           aviation network.
    of local governments to plan regional airports for
    financial sustainability.

Western Australian State Aviation Strategy - Department of Transport
Perth Airport infrastructure                            To assist in the timely development of infrastructure
                                                        at Perth Airport, the State Government will liaise
Perth Airport is under stress owing to unpredicted      closely with the Commonwealth Government,
levels of growth, which have resulted in runway         Perth Airport, the resources industry and airlines
capacity being reached at peak mid-week morning         in the development and assessment of a proposal
and afternoon periods.                                  to construct a third runway. This assessment will
The extraordinary levels of growth at the airport       review whether the additional peak hour capacity
are primarily a result of resources industry FIFO       provided by a third runway does not overwhelm
activity. Also contributing are high levels of          capacity at regional airports, particularly those in
economic and population growth, which have              the Pilbara.
been at levels double that of the national average.     The State Government will also actively engage
There is little opportunity for peak loads at the       with Perth Airport, Commonwealth Department of
airport to be spread to other times owing to the        Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD),
operational limitations of the resources industry       Airservices Australia, airline and aircraft operators,
requiring shift changes to be effected in the course    the resources industry and major regional WA
of a single day.                                        airports in Perth Airport’s master and major
                                                        development planning processes.
Congestion at Perth Airport is creating additional
costs and inefficiencies across the community,
commerce and industry and is contributing to
                                                        WA regional airport
delays and inefficiencies at regional airports across   infrastructure
the entire State aviation network.
                                                        Regional airport master plans are key long-term
An independent review of Perth Airport’s airspace       planning documents for airports, the region and
and airfield operations by Airservices Australia’s      the State. While most, if not all, major regional
UK equivalent (UK NATS) identified more than            airports are undertaking them, coverage of key
20 ways to improve runway capacity at Perth             planning issues is not strong when measured
Airport. These have the potential to improve airfield   against best practice planning. This is of some
efficiency by 20 per cent over two years, subject       concern as poor quality planning may lead to poor
to meeting safety and operational requirements.         outcomes for airport owners and stakeholders.
The recommended improvements include pilots
                                                        The cost of providing security across the aviation
reacting quicker to take-off clearances, planes
                                                        network falls disproportionally on passengers
exiting the runway much faster, the installation
                                                        travelling from smaller regional airports and adds
of high speed taxiways angled off the runway to
                                                        considerably to the already very high airfares
provide a speedier exit and the closer sequencing
                                                        borne by regional Western Australians.
of planes. Nevertheless, these potential gains in
operational efficiency will soon be swallowed up
in the event that traffic at the airport continues to
grow at the rate seen in the past five and 10 years.
The UK NATS report highlighted that mid-week
morning congestion, driven by FIFO departures,
could only be addressed by continuing to spread
airline schedules, or by constructing a third
runway. Reinforcing this view, Airservices Australia
concluded from the UK NATS report that “only a
new third runway will give us the 50 per cent
increase the airport needs.”
A third runway will provide the step-change in
capacity needed to cope with current peak hour
demand as well as accommodating continuing
high levels of growth at the airport.

                                                                                Esperance Airport screening lane
                                                                                         Source: Shire of Esperance

Western Australian State Aviation Strategy - Department of Transport
The State Government will seek to establish a           WA regional airport ownership
     master planning policy and asset management
                                                             and governance
     planning framework for local government-owned
     major regional airports within a state-wide aviation    Funding major investment at fast-growing
     network-planning context.                               regional airports is limited by local governments’
     The State Government will actively engage with          capacity to fund infrastructure. In particular,
     Perth Airport, DIRD, Airservices Australia, airlines,   local governments are prevented by the Local
     resources industry and major regional WA airports       Government Act from using assets to secure loans
     in the master planning processes of the WA major        since they may only borrow against the security of
     regional airports.                                      their general funds, rates and untied government
                                                             grant income.
     The State Government will engage and cooperate
     with Perth Airport, other major airports and            Major airport infrastructure is normally funded by
     the resources industry in coordinating aviation         borrowings since cash flow from airport operations
     infrastructure planning across the State’s              is often insufficient. Local government capital
     aviation network.                                       funding processes are complex and not well‑suited
                                                             to funding major airport infrastructure.
     The State Government will take up with the
     Commonwealth the disproportionate cost of               New governance options are required for local
     aviation security borne by passengers at small          government-owned airports, particularly those that
     regional airports and seek that the cost be shared      are constrained by access to capital funding, that
     equally by passengers across the entire network.        will allow them to be run on fully commercial lines.

     Geraldton Airport

Carnarvon Airport

The current local government ownership and           Regional Airports
governance model offers integration with local
                                                     Development Scheme
planning and economic development and some
economies of scale from council resourcing.          The Regional Airports Development Scheme
The model has worked well in several locations       (RADS) was established in 1997 with the objective
and has delivered significant investment at          of ensuring that “regional aviation infrastructure
Karratha, Newman, Geraldton and, previously,         and airport services are developed and maintained
at Kalgoorlie. However, the Pilbara airports’        to facilitate air access and enhance economic
management arrangements in particular lack both      growth in Western Australia.”
governance depth and the flexibility to operate
                                                     RADS is administered by DoT. In the process of
commercially in areas such as charging, borrowing
                                                     developing the State Aviation Strategy, a review
and industrial relations.
                                                     of RADS concluded that the limited funding
In the case of the State’s larger and fast-growing   available to the scheme could be better targeted
airports, whose role goes far beyond that of         to maximise the aviation benefits accruing to
servicing the needs of a local community, the        the community.
option of a long-term lease to the private sector
                                                     As a result of the review, RADS priority will now
enables private capital and professional airport
                                                     be given to aviation-related infrastructure that
management expertise at board, executive and
                                                     provides clearly defined community benefits where
operational level to be mobilised. This allows
                                                     the project is not capable of being funded through
effective and efficient management of the airport
                                                     other means. Lower priority will apply to regional
in a way that minimises risk to major users and
                                                     airport development projects where the benefits
facilitates continued State economic growth.
                                                     are primarily commercial or will benefit a limited
The State Government will encourage private          number of people.
sector investment in, and management of,
                                                     The amendments to RADS will better prioritise
regional airports to improve their effectiveness
                                                     projects to maximise benefits to regional
and efficiency.
                                                     communities. RADS funding will be directed
                                                     where it is most needed, especially to regional
                                                     RPT airports that do not have sufficient
                                                     passenger throughput to make them financially

Tourism and aviation route                                 In Queensland, which is also a resource-based
                                                                state, Jetstar flies a large number of intrastate
                                                                routes. Airfares in Queensland are much lower
     The tourism industry is, to some degree, being             than in WA.
     crowded out by the growth in the resources                 Broome represents the best opportunity for a
     industry. The strength of the resource industry            low-cost carrier to enter the Western Australian
     is resulting in very high accommodation and                regional tourism market. Internationally, low-cost
     hospitality prices. While the impact of this effect is     carriers can stimulate traffic growth on a route
     strong in Perth, it is particularly acute in the Pilbara   by 300 per cent, as evidenced by AirAsia X’s
     region. Tourism in the Pilbara faces the dual effect       operations between Perth and Kuala Lumpur
     of particularly high airfares and accommodation            in 2008.
     shortages and is in decline.
                                                                To encourage tourism, the State Government
     Given the relatively high cost of Perth compared           will aim to attract new airlines, including low-cost
     to other Australian destinations the capacity              carriers, to Perth and regional WA with the goal
     to grow the interstate market is constrained.              of introducing non-stop linkages from core and
     Growth in international tourism will be important          emerging international and interstate markets;
     in the current environment, particularly through           and will seek to foster and facilitate code-sharing
     the further expansion of low-cost carriers. In this        agreements between overseas airlines and
     context, growth of tourism from Asia resulting from        Australian domestic carriers.
     an expanded middle class will be important.
                                                                The State Government will also identify, facilitate
     Intrastate tourism in WA is at least to some               and develop additional gateways into the State
     degree constrained by high airfares. The majority          outside Perth (such as Broome) and encourage
     of passengers who travel into the regions have a           the Commonwealth Government to actively
     business or work-related purpose and the cost              manage international air services agreements
     of travel is met by employers. Intrastate tourism          between countries to ensure that international
     would benefit from the operation of a low-cost             tourism into WA is not constrained.
     carrier in WA, given the range of factors that
     influence air fares, including distance, competition
     and size and type of market.

Developing quality and                                WA regional airfares are generally the highest in
                                                      Australia, both in absolute terms and in terms of
affordable air services
                                                      cost per route kilometre. The predominance of
The State Government regulates a number of            the relatively price-insensitive business-corporate
intrastate aviation routes to ensure the provision    market for aviation in WA is likely a major factor in
of regular public transport (RPT) aviation services   the high cost of WA intrastate airfares.
on routes where traffic is considered too light to    The high level of resource industry-related traffic in
sustain open competition. The regulation of these     WA may contribute to the high cost of WA regional
routes is reviewed from time to time. The most        airfares, particularly as resource companies
recent review resulted in the deregulation of the     frequently make block bookings of seats, taking up
Geraldton – Perth route and the introduction of       available discount fares well in advance of a flight.
limited competition on the Perth – Exmouth route.
                                                      Improved levels of competition are likely to
DoT will complete a review of regulated air           reduce the cost of airfares, suggesting that WA
routes in 2014, and recommend to the Minister         should deregulate routes wherever feasible,
for Transport whether to re-tender, renew or          and encourage low-cost carriers to operate on
deregulate the RPT routes servicing Albany,           intrastate routes (as they do in Queensland).
Esperance, Carnarvon, Kalbarri, Monkey Mia,
Leinster, Wiluna, Meekatharra, Mount Magnet,          To improve competition and help lower airfares,
Leonora, Laverton and Exmouth. DoT will also          the State Government will seek to encourage a
review the provision of the subsidised Kimberley      low-cost carrier to operate intrastate services
regional service that operates between Broome,        within WA.
Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek.              The State Government will also seek to deregulate
                                                      RPT routes wherever feasible as a means of
                                                      stimulating competition, increasing choice,
                                                      introducing more flights, and lowering airfares.

                                                                                           Learmonth Heliport

Aviation training in                                 Key actions
     Western Australia                                    To improve the reliability and scope of aviation
     There are opportunities to improve and develop       forecasting, the State Government will:
     aviation training in WA, building on the State’s     1.   Directly engage and consult with Perth
     strong track record and its inherent advantages of        Airport, major regional airports and BITRE
     clear skies and good flying weather. Development          to improve forecasts of aviation activity,
     of aviation training or the provision of aviation         particularly in relation to master planning.
     training assets by the State should be based on
                                                          ÆÆ Actively participate in Perth Airport’s Planning
     a strategic assessment of needs, rather than the
                                                             Coordination Forum to provide the airport with
     case-by-case proposal-based approach utilised
                                                             state-specific information and perspectives
     to date.
                                                             on demand drivers and work to gain a closer
     The Department of Training and Workforce                understanding of the airport’s infrastructure
     Development is best placed to lead the                  planning process.
     development of an aviation training strategy in
                                                          ÆÆ Consult with the CME and the resources
     WA, with the Department of State Development
                                                             industry and monitor major resources
     (DSD) and DoT providing specialist advice on
                                                             projects to ensure that the scale and timing
     investment attraction and infrastructure aspects
                                                             of FIFO is taken into account in forecasts of
     of aviation training respectively.
                                                             aviation activity.
     Training organisations in WA need to develop         ÆÆ Encourage the CME to undertake and share
     a consolidated view with respect of where               with Government and airport operators its
     to locate new navigation facilities (instrument         projections of resources industry aviation
     landing systems, or ILS, and non-directional            demand.
     beacons, or NDB) and how they might be funded.
     The locations of additional ILS and NDB and any      ÆÆ Request that BITRE extend its reporting of
     other aviation training assets should be informed       charter flight passenger numbers and that it
     by a strategic assessment of aviation training          consider greater WA specificity in its future
     needs led by the Department of Training and             Perth Airport forecasting, particularly relating
     Workforce Development.                                  to the minerals and energy sector.
                                                          ÆÆ Independently assess aviation activity
                                                             forecasts allowing for different economic
                                                             scenarios for Perth Airport and major regional
                                                             airports to help coordinate planning across the
                                                             WA aviation network.

                                                          2. To improve airport planning across the
                                                             State, the State Government will:
                                                          ÆÆ Seek to establish a master planning policy
                                                             and asset management planning framework
                                                             for local government-owned regional
                                                             airports within a state-wide aviation network-
                                                             planning context.
                                                          ÆÆ Engage and cooperate with Perth Airport,
                                                             other major airports and the resources
                                                             industry in coordinating aviation infrastructure
                                                             planning across the State’s aviation network.
                                                          ÆÆ Coordinate planning of transport linkages
                                                             and the provision of public transport to Perth
                                                             Airport and major regional airports.
     Skippers terminal Perth Airport

ÆÆ Consider existing land-use planning controls       ÆÆ Cooperate with local government and
   for land around airports to ensure airports are       the Commonwealth in seeking to resolve
   not constrained by inappropriate development          airport land tenure issues that restrict the
   (such as noise-sensitive developments).               development of land holdings at airports and
ÆÆ Seek to establish a transport approval process        inhibit the airports’ commercial viability.
   for the development of new airstrips and           5. To improve infrastructure planning and
   airports, especially those servicing resource         development at regional airports the State
   companies, in close consultation with                 Government will:
   Commonwealth air traffic and safety agencies.
                                                      ÆÆ Develop, in consultation with regional airports,
3. To provide for the long-term aviation and             a preferred master plan template. Completion
   airport capacity requirements of the Perth            and public availability of a current master
   metropolitan region, the State Government             plan and asset management plan will be an
   will cooperate with Airservices Australia             eligibility condition for all airports applying
   and other Commonwealth agencies in                    for RADS funding that are above a specified
   planning studies to locate suitable sites             minimum size.
   for a future second Perth metropolitan             ÆÆ Seek to establish a master planning policy
   airport and a future second general                   and asset management planning framework
   aviation airport.                                     for local government-owned regional
4. To assist in the timely development of                airports within a state-wide aviation network
   infrastructure at Perth Airport, the State            planning context.
   Government will:
                                                      6. The State Government will take up with the
ÆÆ Liaise closely with the Commonwealth                  Commonwealth the disproportionate cost
   Government, Perth Airport, the resources              of aviation security borne by passengers
   industry and the airlines in the development          at small regional airports and seek an
   and assessment of a proposal to construct             approach to aviation security cost-recovery
   the third runway.                                     based on network pricing.
ÆÆ Actively engage with Perth Airport,                7.   The State Government will encourage
   Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure               private sector investment in, and
   and Airservices Australia, airlines, resources          management of, regional airports to
   industry and major regional WA airports in              improve their effectiveness and efficiency.
   Perth Airport’s master planning process.
                                                      8. To foster the development of tourism
ÆÆ Cooperate with Perth Airport, airlines, other         through improved aviation services, the
   major airports and the resources industry in          State Government will:
   coordinating aviation infrastructure planning
                                                      ÆÆ Encourage expansion of inbound air services
   across the State’s aviation network.
                                                         (international, interstate and intrastate), primarily
ÆÆ Request that Perth Airport invite the CME to          through WA’s major aviation gateway of Perth.
   join its Planning Coordination Forum to better
                                                      ÆÆ Foster competition and grow frequency
   enable resource sector factors to be taken
                                                         and capacity with existing carriers on
   into account in air traffic forecasting and
                                                         existing and new intrastate, interstate and
   airport planning.
                                                         international routes.
ÆÆ Actively engage with Perth Airport, DIRD,
                                                      ÆÆ Attract new airlines to Perth and regional WA
   Airservices Australia, airlines, resources
                                                         with the aim of introducing new non-stop
   industry and major regional WA airports in the
                                                         linkages from core and emerging international
   master planning processes of the major WA
                                                         and interstate market.
   regional airports.
                                                      ÆÆ Foster and facilitate code-sharing agreements
ÆÆ Engage and cooperate with Perth Airport,
                                                         between overseas airlines and Australian
   other major airports and the resources industry
                                                         domestic carriers.
   in coordinating aviation infrastructure planning
   across the State’s aviation network.

ÆÆ Continue with partners in route development       Strategy implementation
        to offer stakeholder support (such as airport
        aeronautical rebates and route marketing          Implementation of the State Aviation Strategy will
        support funds) to attract and support new         commence immediately. Action in implementing
        air services.                                     the strategy across the WA Government will be
                                                          overseen by an inter-agency steering committee
     ÆÆ Identify, facilitate and develop additional
                                                          led by DoT.
        gateways into the State outside Perth (such as
        Broome) and encourage the Commonwealth            Key priorities in implementing the strategy are
        Government to actively manage international       as follows:
        air services agreements between countries         ÆÆ Aviation infrastructure planning and
        to ensure that international tourism into WA is      development
        not constrained.
                                                              –   working with BITRE, Perth Airport and the
     ÆÆ Request that the Commonwealth Government                  major regional airports to improve aviation
        review its policy regarding how the costs of              forecasting;
        providing security across the aviation network
        are met.                                              –   improving planning and asset
                                                                  management at regional airports; and
     ÆÆ Examine the commercial environment with
        an aim of encouraging greater low‑cost                –   cooperating with the Commonwealth
        carrier presence in WA as a means of                      Government, Perth Airport, the
        stimulating tourism.                                      resources industry and the airlines in
                                                                  the development and assessment of a
     ÆÆ Ensure Tourism WA is consulted in the reviews             proposal to construct a third runway.
        of a regulated or deregulated route wherever
        tourism is an important factor on that route.     ÆÆ Regional airport governance and investment
                                                              –   encourage private sector investment in,
     9. To encourage competition and seek to                      and management of, regional airports to
        reduce the high cost of intrastate airfares,              improve their effectiveness, efficiency and
        the State Government will:                                access to capital.
     ÆÆ Seek to encourage a low-cost carrier to           ÆÆ Intrastate airfares
        operate intrastate services within WA.
                                                              –   foster competition by deregulating RPT
     ÆÆ Seek to deregulate RPT routes wherever                    aviation routes where feasible;
                                                              –   encourage a low-cost carrier to operate
     10. DoT will complete a regulated route                      intrastate services; and
         review in 2014, and recommend to the                 –   engage with the Commonwealth to
         Minister for Transport whether to re-                    reduce the cost of aviation security per
         tender, renew or deregulate the RPT                      passenger at regional airports.
         routes servicing Albany, Esperance,
         Carnarvon, Kalbarri, Monkey Mia,                 Strategy review
         Leinster, Wiluna, Meekatharra,
         Mount Magnet, Leonora, Laverton                  The State Aviation Strategy will be formally
         and Exmouth.                                     reviewed in five years’ time.
     11. The Department of Training and
         Workforce Development, working
         closely with the Department of State
         Development, DoT and industry
         stakeholders, will develop an aviation
         training and related services strategy for
         Western Australia.

Western Australia’s demography and geography result in vast distances between population
centres within the State as well as between Perth and other Australian cities.

Within the State, Kununurra is farther from Perth       These shortcomings are already seriously
than London is from St Petersburg. Beyond the           affecting productivity around the State as well
State, Perth is closer to Jakarta than it is to         as causing considerable inconvenience to the
Canberra or Sydney, while the distance between          travelling public.
Perth and Brisbane is greater than that between
                                                        Largely owing to the historical antecedent of
London and Cairo.
                                                        aviation and airports being a Commonwealth
These vast distances result in there being              responsibility, the State previously has not had
a virtual absence of modal choice for travel            an aviation strategy beyond a policy aimed at
between Perth and other states and between              ensuring continuity of regular passenger transport
Perth and most of the State’s major regional            air services to all of the State’s principal towns
centres. In recent years the State’s dependence         and cities.
on aviation has been brought into sharp relief
                                                        Nevertheless, the phenomenal growth of demand
by the resource industry’s increasing reliance
                                                        for aviation services within WA means the time
on FIFO workforces. From these perspectives,
                                                        has come for the State to play a more active
aviation plays an utterly pivotal role in both
                                                        role in working with the aviation industry and its
economic and social development of the State.
                                                        principal customers to avoid a shortfall in aviation
The aviation industry in WA caters to the air service   infrastructure that could detract from the State’s
needs of the resource sector, corporate sector,         economic and social development.
tourism and leisure sector and local communities.
In the past 10 years, aviation passenger
                                                                                             Kununurra Airport
and aircraft movements in WA have grown
considerably. It has been a challenge for our
major airports to keep pace with the growth in
demand, with consequential shortfalls in airport
capacity causing congestion and delays to
be commonplace, especially at Perth and the
Pilbara airports.

Mount Magnet Airport
     Source: Shire of Mount Magnet

     3.1. Scope                                             ÆÆ Consideration of:
                                                                   –   an alternative to Perth Airport for
     The scope of the State Aviation Strategy
                                                                       emergency use;
     extends to:
                                                                   –   a future second Perth Airport; and
     ÆÆ The ability of the State’s metropolitan, regional
        and remote airports to service current and                 –   a future second metropolitan general
        projected passenger, aircraft and airfreight                   aviation airport.
        movements over the next 30 years.                      ÆÆ Goals, objectives and priorities for the
     ÆÆ The governance of regional airports.                      development of aviation infrastructure and
                                                                  services across the State.
     ÆÆ Aviation infrastructure funding at regional
        airports.                                              ÆÆ Strategies to achieve these goals and
     ÆÆ Land planning and development
        controls, to ensure the growth of aviation             ÆÆ An implementation plan for the delivery of
        services to meet the State’s needs is not                 these goals and objectives.
        inappropriately restricted.
     ÆÆ Aviation’s service of the State’s resources
        and tourism industries.

3.2. Relation to other State                        ÆÆ South West Development Commission
strategic transport plans                           ÆÆ Tourism WA
                                                    ÆÆ Tourism Council of WA
The State Aviation Strategy forms part of a suite
of Western Australian strategic transport plans     ÆÆ WA Local Government Association
covering the movement of people and freight         ÆÆ WA Treasury.
across the State.
These other plans are:                              Reference groups
ÆÆ Regional Freight Transport Network Plan          Four reference groups were established,
                                                    as follows, to facilitate consultation with key
ÆÆ Perth CBD Transport Plan 2012                    stakeholders.
ÆÆ WA Bicycle Network Plan
                                                    ÆÆ Airlines
ÆÆ Public Transport Plan 2031 (under
                                                    ÆÆ General Aviation
                                                    ÆÆ Regional airports
ÆÆ State Ports Strategy (under development)
                                                    ÆÆ Resources and Energy Companies.
ÆÆ Moving People Network Plan
ÆÆ Metro Freight Transport Network Plan             After discussions with steering committee
                                                    members, reference groups and the State’s major
                                                    mining companies, an Aviation Strategy Issues
3.3. State Aviation Strategy                        Paper was developed and circulated for comment
governance                                          by key stakeholders. Some 52 submissions on the
                                                    issues paper were received. Following analysis of
The Minister for Transport initiated the
                                                    responses, a series of aviation strategy workshops
development of a State Aviation Strategy in
                                                    for key stakeholders was conducted around the
December 2011.
                                                    State at the following 10 locations:
Steering committee                                  ÆÆ Albany
A steering committee chaired by the Deputy          ÆÆ Broome
Director General of the Department of Transport,
                                                    ÆÆ Busselton
was established with membership of the steering
committee comprising:                               ÆÆ Esperance

ÆÆ Chamber of Minerals and Energy of                ÆÆ Exmouth
   Western Australia                                ÆÆ Geraldton
ÆÆ Chamber of Commerce and Industry                 ÆÆ Kalgoorlie
ÆÆ Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure        ÆÆ Karratha
   and Regional Development                         ÆÆ Kununurra
ÆÆ Department of Local Government                   ÆÆ Newman.
ÆÆ Department of Planning
                                                    GHD was appointed as technical consultant to
ÆÆ Department of Regional Development               provide specialist advice to the steering committee
ÆÆ Department of State Development                  on forecasting of aviation activity, adequacy of
ÆÆ Department of Transport                          airport master and investment planning, and
                                                    governance of regional airports.
ÆÆ Perth Airport
                                                    A draft State Aviation Strategy was released for
ÆÆ Regional Aviation Association of Australia
                                                    a public comment in September 2013 over a
ÆÆ Royal Australian Air Force                       three‑month period closing on 23 December.
                                                    Over 60 submissions on the draft were made.

     The development of WA has long been dependent on an extensive network of air services for
     passenger and cargo transport, airmail, search and rescue and medical services. With a driving
     distance of over 3500 km between WA towns of Albany and Kununurra, and a very limited
     country passenger rail network, air travel is often the only practical long-distance travel option for
     Western Australians.
     In the 21st century, we are accustomed to                 Rapid developments in world aviation following
     sophisticated jet aircraft in our skies and are able      the Wright Brother’s historic flight in 1903, and
     to travel to anywhere within the world in fast, safe      innovations spurred on by military application
     and comfortable aircraft. Yet only about 90 years         during World War I, created great interest in
     ago this was still a dream.                               aviation in WA. The local press fed a public
                                                               appetite for information about new developments
     In the early colony, the search for sources of
                                                               and attempts at record flights.
     prosperity and income and for land suitable for
     agriculture and pastoral use led to settlements           The first recorded flight in WA was by New
     in Kalgoorlie, Goldfields and pearling ports in the       Zealander Joseph Hammond in 1911. He flew a
     north. Settlements also grew in the south and             Bristol Box Kite biplane from a makeshift airstrip at
     Mid West around fishing, whaling, sandalwood,             the Belmont Racecourse over the city and Kings
     timber, cattle, crops and wool.                           Park and back – a distance of 32 km.
     Travelling to these remote regional outposts and          In 1919, Norman Brearley used the Western
     providing them with services and communications           Australian Cricket Association Ground for
     was extremely difficult, costly and time consuming.       demonstration flights and joy rides. Brearley used
     Movement on land as the few existing roads relied         Langley Park, facing Perth city, from 1920 to 1925
     on horse-drawn carriage until the development of          as an unofficial airport for his fledgling airline, West
     motor vehicles in the 20th century. Rail networks in      Australian Airlines, until Maylands Aerodrome was
     WA did not extend beyond the south of the State,          completed in 1924.
     with the exception of a handful of small isolated
                                                               In 1921, the Federal Government called tenders
     branch lines. Coastal shipping services were the
                                                               for the nation’s first air service on the 2000 km
     only practical way to reach distant ports like Port
                                                               route between Geraldton and Derby. The service
     Hedland, Broome and Wyndham.
                                                               was not extended to Perth for fear it would
     The story of how aviation overcame the                    compromise the rail service to Geraldton. Norman
     “tyranny of distance” in WA is a fascinating tale         Brearley’s Western Australian Airways (WAA)
     of brave, pioneering Australians with vision and          Ltd won the tender and used six Bristol tourer
     perseverance succeeding in the face of great              aircraft on the service commencing in November
     adversity. Horace (Horrie) Miller, Sir Norman             1922. One of the WAA’s first pilots was the young
     Brearley and Charles Snook are familiar and               Charles Kingsford Smith. In 1924 the service was
     important names in the State’s aviation history,          allowed to extend to Perth.
     with many others helping forge the air network we
                                                               In 1928, 20,000 paying spectators watched from
     now enjoy.
                                                               Loton Park (Perth Oval) as the famous Australian
     Some claim that WA is the true birthplace of              aviator Bert Hinkler arrived in Perth in his Avro
     civil aviation in Australia, having as it did the first   Avian 534 following his record-breaking first solo
     scheduled passenger service and the earliest and          flight from England to Australia. During the 1930s
     largest State civil aviation network.                     the West Subiaco Aerodrome, now the McGillivray

Vickers Viastra – Perth to Adelaide route in the early 1930s.

playing fields of the University of Western Australia,      The airlines moved their bases to Guildford and, in
were used for “Aerial Pageants”. Numerous                   1948, Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA) made its first
temporary airfields were established during                 Melbourne – Adelaide – Perth night flight using a
World War II for use by the Australian military and         Douglas DC4, setting the basis for the “two-airline
its Allies.                                                 system” of scheduled parallel flights in conjunction
                                                            with the privately operated ANA. The Guildford
Crawley Bay was used from 1928 to 1945 as a
                                                            Aerodrome was officially renamed Perth
base for Catalina flying boats. The Middle Swan
                                                            International Airport in 1952, following the first
Airfield, also known as Caversham, operated from
                                                            direct international flight of the Qantas “Wallaby”
1942 to 1946.
                                                            service from Sydney to South Africa via WA.
By the late 1930s, Maylands was proving too small
                                                            In 1962, the old hangars of the post-war period
to handle the growing air traffic and larger aircraft.
                                                            made way for the first combined domestic and
Land was purchased in Guildford for a new facility
                                                            international terminal. This coincided with the
in 1938 but the outbreak of WWII necessitated its
                                                            inaugural Qantas Boeing 707 flight from Perth to
use for military purposes in addition to Pearce Air
                                                            London and the Commonwealth Games being
Base, established in 1939. By 1944, as Maylands
                                                            held in Perth. In 1986 a new Perth International
was inadequate for larger commercial aircraft, the
                                                            Airport was built on the eastern side of the old
Government agreed to allow Australian National
                                                            airport, which then became used for domestic use
Airways (ANA) and Queensland and Northern
                                                            and was upgraded and expanded.
Territory Aerial Services (QANTAS) to operate from
Guildford, despite objections from the RAAF.
The first commercial flight from Guildford was by
an ANA DC-3 in May 1944. On 17 June 1944, a
modified Liberator bomber took off on its inaugural
Kangaroo Service flight from Guildford to Ceylon
via Exmouth, which resulted in a greatly improved
airmail service between England and Australia.

     The State Aviation Strategy takes into account the broader national aviation policy context and
     is designed to complement the Federal Aviation Policy and the National Airports Safeguarding
     Aviation Group Framework.

     5.1 Federal Aviation Policy                              ÆÆ ensure that the Australian Transport Safety
                                                                 Bureau is adequately resourced;
     The Federal Government Policy for Aviation aims
                                                              ÆÆ reform the structure of the Civil Aviation
     to strengthen the aviation industry and allow it
                                                                 Safety Authority;
     to be more competitive. The policy is directed
     at ensuring the aviation sector is safe, reliable,       ÆÆ focus on the better utilisation of Australian
     efficient and competitive.                                  airspace;

     The principal measures to support growth in the          ÆÆ support regional aviation by introducing a new
     aviation industry as set out in the Federal Policy for      and better targeted En Route Rebate Scheme;
     Aviation are as follows:                                 ÆÆ recognise the importance of Australian airports
                                                                 to the economy;
     ÆÆ abolish the carbon tax to help reduce the
        price of fuel and aviation industry costs;            ÆÆ revitalise the General Aviation Action Agenda;
     ÆÆ establish a formal Aviation Industry                  ÆÆ continue to promote aviation liberalisation;
        Consultative Council to meet regularly with           ÆÆ enhance aviation skills, training and
        the Minister;                                            development; and
     ÆÆ establish a high level external review of aviation    ÆÆ ensure that aviation security measures are
        safety and regulation in Australia;                      risk based.

The Federal Aviation Policy White Paper 2009,          ÆÆ give proper consideration to the interests of
as a long-term policy and planning document,              travellers and users of airports; and
recognised the need to move away from an ad            ÆÆ better manage the effect of aviation activity on
hoc approach to policy and planning for the               communities and the environment.
aviation industry to a more coherent, strategic
approach. The White Paper acknowledged
the first priority of the Australian Government        5.2. National Airports
for aviation is the safety and security of the         Safeguarding Framework
travelling public and that high levels of safety and
                                                       The Commonwealth is seeking to establish a
security must continue to underpin the industry’s
                                                       National Airports Safeguarding Framework (NASF)
future growth.
                                                       comprising a set of principles and guidelines as
The Federal Aviation Policy White Paper’s              a national land-use planning regime to balance
objectives for the industry were to:                   and protect both airports/aviation operations and
ÆÆ give the aviation industry the certainty and        community safety and amenity expectations,
   incentive to plan and invest for the long term;     especially in relation to aircraft noise.
ÆÆ maintain and improve Australia’s excellent          Western Australia intends to use the NASF
   aviation safety record;                             as guidance for strategic planning, taking it
                                                       into consideration along with all other relevant
                                                       economic, social and environmental factors.

                                                                                               Broome Airport
                                                                                         Source: Broome Airport

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