re: Cunderdin as an alternative for PER. Couldn't Kal be extended? Its far enough inland to not suffer the same weather issues as PER. Or Geraldton?
Reasonable suggestion when one considers that the current runway at KGI is suitable for airlines using using 737 and/ or A320 series aircraft and the airport has ground staff experienced in handling them.
In their report Western Australian State Aviation Strategy
, (PDF download: 3.6MB) published in 2015, the authors wrote:
The criteria for a new official emergency alternative airport include a suitable runway and airside infrastructure, separation from weather systems affecting Perth, and being within an hour’s flying distance from Perth. Were a WA airport to become an official alternative emergency alternative, it would require both its airside and landside infrastructure to be improved to cater for the full range of aircraft expected to use it.
While there are competing claims for emergency airport status from a number of WA airports, the decision regarding the selection and appropriate development of an emergency alternative airport to Perth Airport is made by airlines themselves in conjunction with Perth Airport.
Perth Airport advises that the costs of establishing an emergency alternative airport outweigh the benefits at this stage.
Now, the promoter of Cunderdin, a small field owned by the local Shire, has mentioned lengthening the runway but what about its width and pavement strength? Are these suitable for the type of aircraft suggested? What about taxiways (the present one is suitable for the light aircraft that currently use the field) and what about accommodating and catering for passengers on the ground, should a diversion last more than an hour or two?
The Shire would not be able to fund this proposal because its borrowing are limited and they can not use shire assets as security. They can only use regular incomes, rates and Government allocated funds. So it comes back to the question of who is expected to put up the money? The airlines? Private investors, if they can lease the field from the Shire? Or, as is often the case, the taxpayer?
I guess the proposal would mean extending 05/23 to the north east as to the south of the field is a saline river system that is subject to periodic inundation.
In an earlier review into seeking a second airport for Perth, it was suggested that a suitable site be found south of Perth as that is where much of population growth is likely to be over the coming decades, and being suitable for expanding cities like Bunbury. But of course, there they were talking about an airport that might not be needed for another thirty to forty years.
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt Speech, 1783