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Fog impacts at Perth Airport to be a thing of the past

09 November, 2015

Perth Airport is pleased to announce that it has commenced the procurement process to install Category III lighting infrastructure to achieve enhanced performance and capability during Low Visibility Operations (LVO).

Currently, Perth Airport is a Category I aerodrome, which allows landing down to 800 metres and take-off at 550 metres visibility.  While fog is a relatively uncommon occurrence at Perth Airport, each year approximately a dozen fog events cause significant disruption to operations, particularly during morning and evening peak periods.

“We are working closely with Airservices Australia on the Instrument Landing System upgrade for the main runway to support full Category III delivery, and are progressing with procurement and commissioning," said Brad Geatches, Chief Executive Officer, Perth Airport.

“The upgrade will enable aircraft to land and take-off at a lower visibility, and reduce operating costs to airlines who currently have to carry extra fuel loads in case of diversions.”

Extensive consultations have resulted in airlines representing almost 90% of passengers supporting some level of upgrade.

“We are particularly pleased to have airline support for this important infrastructure investment,” said Mr Geatches.

Since our consultations began in 2013, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has changed their permissions in relation to movements in low visibility conditions.  As a result, Perth Airport is investing in full Category III infrastructure, including upgrades to enabling electrical infrastructure.

The total cost to achieve Category III LVO is $36 million.  The forecast full project completion date is early 2018, with the commissioning of transmissometers due for completion in late 2015.

The scope of works has been split into three phases to realise benefits at the earliest possible opportunity:

  • Phase 1 - Installation of transmissometers (complete, now in commissioning phase).
  • Phase 2 - Electrical cabling upgrade.
  • Phase 3 – Category III upgrade to lighting/navigation aids and supporting infrastructure.
The following table summarises the phasing and related improvements to minimum thresholds.
Phase  Departures (minimum visibility) Arrivals (minimum visibility) 
 Current  550m (350m with CASA exemption)
 Phase 1

 Transmissometers; reduced to 550m (to be commissioned in late 2015)
 Phase 2
 Electrical upgrade; no change to minimum visibility
 Electrical upgrade; no change to minimum visibility
 Phase 3  Reduced to 125m
 Reduced to 50m

In addition to improving Perth Airport’s LVO capabilities, transmissometers are part of the infrastructure required to support a Category III system.  A set of transmissometers to service the main runway (03/21) has been installed by Perth Airport and is currently being commissioned.

These instruments electronically measure visibility and will enable Civil Aviation Safety Authority approved arriving aircraft to make an approach with a visibility of 550 metres, which is less than the current 800 metre visibility capability.

The instrument landing system at Perth Airport is owned and operated by Airservices Australia.
- ENDS -

Fiona Lander 
Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs
Perth Airport
P: +61 8 9478 8877 (24 hour Media Line)
E: [email protected]