Canning residents have been urged to have their say on the planned expansion on Perth Airport after the release of a major development plan, which details the construction of a new runway on the south-eastern side of the airport, near Abernathy Road and Forrestfield Station.
A Perth Airport spokesperson said the planned expansion was a necessary step for the future of air travel into and out of Perth with current flights already in backlog due to a lack of operational runways.
“Modelling shows that an additional runway is needed when the number of flights exceeds 145,000 per year,” the spokesperson said.
“In 2013 flight numbers peaked at more than 151,000 resulting in significant delays to airlines and passengers.
“The number of annual flights is forecast to keep growing, reaching 172,000 by 2025 and 241,000 by 2045.”
According to the airport, an “exhaustive” assessment of alternative options was undertaken before deciding on the new runway, including expanding other airports around Perth, extending Perth Airport’s existing runways and even building a second airport.
The decision to build a new runway has been controversial over recent years, with Canning residents protesting existing noise levels and what was seen as “unchallenged” expansion in 2015 and 2016.
Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown said the airport had written to 300,000 residents and had held more than 20 community expos and shopping centre visits in the past month, with more than 14 more booked in the coming weeks.
“A new runway means new flight paths and we understand that not everyone is going to be happy about that,” he said.
“But by going out and talking with the community we’ve been able to explain the project and provide responses to queries that they have.
“In many cases residents had feared the worst but once the project had been explained, went away feeling more comfortable.
“We’ve been able to explain that we’ve have tried, as far as possible, to use existing flight corridors and to use them as efficiently as possible.
“In some cases, residents were not even aware that their suburb was in or near an existing flight corridor.”
But City of Canning councillor Jesse Jacobs, who’s ward sits closest to the airport in Cannington, said it was imperative residents had their say, with public consultation open until August 24.
“I know a lot of residents in the Mason Ward are very passionate about this issue,” he said.
“If you have a serious issue, or you think you have a serious issue, lodge it. Because otherwise what’s going to happen is that Perth Airport will just say they’ve had a great response and just move on.”
More information on the proposed runway can be found at newrunway.com.