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Thursday, 18 August 1960


Mr FAIRHALL (Paterson) .- In accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1913-1960, I bring up the report relating to the following work: -

Proposed construction of a new international terminal building at Perth airport, Western Australia. and move -

That the paper be printed.

In May, the House referred to the Public Works Committee for investigation and report a proposal to construct a new international terminal building at the Perth airport. With some appreciation of the importance to the western State of air transport facilities, the development of Perth as a point of entry and departure on international air routes and the growth of traffic, the committee gave close attention to the proposal, first, to establish the need for today, and secondly, to assess the prospect of future development and to make sure that future expansion could be provided economically. The committee examined a wide range of witnesses representing airline companies, air pilots, professional organizations, the State Government and local authorities and the Commonwealth departments concerned with the project.

The present facilities at Perth are clearly inadequate and unsatisfactory. The present terminal building, built in 1952, is a temporary structure of Army disposals black iron. Its life is limited, maintenance costs are high and the possibility of satisfactory extension is negligible. Amenities, now a necessity at international airports, are not acceptable. The buildings housing airport administration, the operations section and the meteorological service are quite definitely sub-standard.

It is interesting to note that the annual passenger movements at Perth have risen from 78,000 in 1953 to 127,000 in 1959, while a variety of circumstances associated with time-tables and the fact that arrivals and departures from Perth encourage the presence in the airport of a much bigger than normal friend-to-passenger ratio readily convinced the committee that, to overcome the congestion that was already in evidence and was likely to become more pronounced, and to provide suitable accommodation for staff concerned with all aspects of aircraft movement, there is a pressing need to construct a new terminal building of international standard at Perth.

The site is very largely fixed by existing runways and aprons. Space is planned for 1,200 people, together with suitable traffic offices for all airline operators and for the activities of customs, health and banking services essential to international traffic. Suitable areas have been provided for lounges, buffet, dining-room, cocktail lounge and other essential amenities. By design, the building is divided into two main components. The first is a passenger terminal with its associated facilities. The second component is the operations and administrative areas. Since the building is designed to cope with traffic only until 1970, the committee concerned itself with ways and means of expanding the accommodation, and it is satisfied that the buildings as proposed are capable of expansion outwards to provide for anticipated traffic for a considerable time ahead but at minimum cost.

Because of the exacting demands on operational staff, air conditioning is considered to be essential in the operations area. Air-conditioning is to be provided by the use of packaged units giving maximum flexibility and economy, as the areas will not be in constant use. The main public areas will be provided with mechanical exhaust ventilation because of the need to seal off the areas from aircraft noise and because of the high occupation density at peak periods.

The estimated cost of the building is £450,000, including building and internal engineering services costing £342,000, mechanical services costing £103,000, kitchen equipment costing £2,500, and a public address system costing £2,500. In addition, a considerable amount of engineering work will be required, at an estimated cost of £280,000. This work will comprise aircraft apron, roads, car parks, drainage, sewerage and water supply, so that the total cost attributable to the new terminal is estimated to be £730,000. The engineering works associated with the terminal construction, together with certain development on the runway facilities, will be the subject of a report which the committee will submit next week.

Although the buildings are required independently of the increased traffic which is anticipated for the Empire Games in November, 1962, it is hoped that the building will be ready in time for that event. In other words, the airport terminal is not being provided for the Empire Games. Tt must be provided anyhow, but it would be smart operation to have it ready for that particular occasion. With all these points in mind, the Public Works Committee has no hesitation in commending the proposal to the House.

Debate Con motion by Mr. Wentworth) adjourned.







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