The West Austalian, the Perth daily morning newspaper, is reporting Perth Airport growth in demand is the world's greatest outside of China.  In response the Western Australian state government have launched a comprehensive strategy review of WA's aviation sector to ensure that current policies and infrastructure plans at key airports can meet the current growth.

The West Australian forecast at current growth rates, Perth Airport will reach 134,000 plane movements this financial year - about five years ahead of forecast. The West Australian estimate 12.4 million passengers will pass through Perth Airport, up nearly 9.5 per cent on the previous year. Perth Airport's 2009 Master Plan forecast 169,000 movements by 2029 but at current growth rates it will hit that figure in 2015.  Perth Air Traffic Control have forecasted based on the number of movements for the first 5 months of the 2011/2012 financial year the number of movements will be closer to 150,000.

The spectacular growth is fuelled by the states resources boom.  Operators are not opting for larger aircraft to service the regional fly in, fly out (FIFO) market due to infrastucture constraints.  In fact, of the 88 purely FIFO airports in regional WA, only one - Cloudbreak in the Pilbara - has the runway length and strength to accommodate a 180-seat Boeing 737.

This week will see Qantas subsidiary, Network Aviation, take delivery of the first of 10 new F-100 jet aircraft to assist with the increasing demand. 

The WA state government Transport Minister Troy Buswell recently announced a review, to be conducted by the Department of Transport, to examine every aspect of aviation, which he termed a catalyst for WA's development.  The review will look at key issues such as a third runway at Perth Airport to ease congestion at peak times, strategies to cut airport noise, relocating the airport in the longer term and regional aviation development. There has been growing concern in the resources industry and from airlines that at current growth rates, Perth Airport's expansion plans will fall short of demand.

The review will go further than just airports and will investigate new developments in aircraft such as the Boeing 787 which has been ordered by many airlines, including Qantas. The terms of reference are currently being defined and a report to Government is expected by June 2012. for full copy of article. for full copy of article.