I remember when…

28 03 2013

… you could go to Perth Airport and ALWAYS see someone you knew who was not in the group you were with. The times when the Orbit Inne was THE place to go to see off friends/family for their adventure to the Eastern States or — for the very lucky — overseas! A time when running into someone you knew was commonplace, and when international and domestic flights all departed from the same terminal. When you could go outside onto the deck area and watch the planes take off (ah, the smell of avgas in the mornings…). When people actually came out to the airport to see other people off (and share a couple of drinks with them), and met them coming home.

Not now. It’s just a really big bus terminal now. And the Qantas Lounge is WAY bigger than the Orbit Inne ever was (the Orbit Inne used to house everyone; the Qantas Lounge only houses Qantas Club members and those flying Business Class). And ‘dump and run/grab and go’ is often the preferred method of dropping off/meeting people arriving home.

Here’s why (from a special feature on aviation in The West Australian, March 2013):


Back in the 1970s, which is where my earliest memories of Perth Airport are coming from, Perth had a population estimate of 744,000 in 1971 and 845,000 in 1976 (~1.2 million for the entire state). By the 2011 census, Perth’s population was 1.83 million (~2.4 million for the entire state). So while Perth’s population and the state’s population have doubled in that time, the passenger traffic going through Perth Airport (domestic and international) has exploded exponentially, according to the figures above.

In 1970, the passenger traffic for a year (536,704) was slightly less than the total population of Perth. By 2013, airport passenger traffic (15 million) will be more than 8 times more than the population (~1.8 million).

No wonder the airport is bursting at the seams, even though there have been lots of upgrades recently.

One thing they could do is address the parking situation. Again, it’s improved, but what on earth has Perth got against multi-storey carparks? We have them in the CBD, and are only now getting some at hospitals. There seems to be this aversion to going up when it comes to infrastructure that’s outside the CBD. Planners seem to think that endless flat land car parking is the way to go, when it has to be the most inefficient use of space. Sure, a multi-storey carpark will cost more than paving over a bit of ground, but the chances of making even more money from it (especially if there was a dedicated, secure long-term parking garage) are much greater. I was recently in Melbourne, Seattle, and Brisbane airports, all of which have one or more multi-storey carparks. Seattle has many — all those rounded objects in the picture below are carparks right at the door at Seattle Airport!




One response

28 03 2013

Don’t ya wonder what is going through some people’s heads??????

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