Perth airport implements measures to overcome congestion

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Perth airport is implementing a number of recommendations from UK air navigation service provider NATS to overcome congestion during peak periods and provide for future growth at the airport.

The recommendations come in a report released by the airport and air navigation service provider Airservices Australia, who jointly engaged NATS to conduct a site assessment of procedures at the airport and suggest improvements to increase its capacity.

Among its 45 recommendations, NATS says there is an opportunity to increase the number of movements at the airport by reducing arrival spacing and working with turboprop operators to reduce pilot's reaction times to deliver a more resilient operation.

If all the recommendations are implemented, it could increase the airport's capacity from 590 movements per day to up to 696, says the report.

The airport says it is already implementing 13 of the recommendations, and is working with Airservices and the airlines to implement others.

"We are confident that if Airservices [Australia] implement the 25 recommendations relating to their procedures and airlines cooperate with the remaining seven recommendations, significant improvements can be made at Perth airport," says the airport's chief executive Brad Geatches.

One of those improvements is the implementation of a schedule coordination system commencing in early 2013. The system will introduce a slot allocation system to alleviate congestion during peak periods.

The airport's infrastructure has struggled in recent years to handle a major increase in movements, which is mainly a result of the booming resources industry.

For the fiscal year ended 30 June, the airport handled 142,000 movements, compared with 107,000 five years ago.