9M-MTA Airbus A330-323X (MSN 1209) and 9M-MXG Boeing 737-8H6 (MSN 40134/3873) of Malaysia Airlines, at Perth Airport – Sun 28 December 2014. Two Malaysia Airlines aircraft together at Perth. 9M-MTA has just parked at Bay 53 after arriving as flight MH125 from Kuala Lumpur at 3:02pm. Behind is 9M-MXG, taxying out for departure as flight MH120 to Kota Kinabalu. Photo © David Eyre

9M-MTA Airbus A330-323X (MSN 1209) and 9M-MXG Boeing 737-8H6 (MSN 40134/3873) of Malaysia Airlines, at Perth Airport – Sun 28 December 2014.
Two Malaysia Airlines aircraft together at Perth. 9M-MTA has just parked at Bay 53 after arriving as flight MH125 from Kuala Lumpur at 3:02pm. Behind is 9M-MXG, taxying out for departure as flight MH120 to Kota Kinabalu.
Photo © David Eyre

27 May 2015 Copyright © David Eyre

Malaysia Airlines is to undergo a complete revamp, as it is restructured into a new company.

The airline has not made a profit since 2008 and in the three years to 2013, losses totalled $1.3 billion. Part of this was due to strong competition from low-cost airlines, such as AirAsia, but Malaysia Airlines was also hampered by high operating costs caused by overstaffing, union disputes, and government interference. It then suffered two tragedies, with the disappearance of MH370 in March 2014 and the shootdown of MH17 in July 2014, which shook customer confidence.  Following this, the airline was withdrawn from the stock market and taken over by Khazanah Nasional, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, which announced a $1.8 billion restructuring plan.

Christoph Mueller, the newly-appointed German CEO, is the airline’s first foreign CEO and he had previously led restructures at Ireland’s Aer Lingus, Belgium’s Sabena and Germany’s Lufthansa. He said that “It’s not a continuation of the old company in a new disguise, everything is new.” The revamp will transform Malaysia Airlines into a new “start-up” airline.

Mueller has advised staff that the airline will have to undergo a difficult and painful restructure, with the possibility of up to 8,000 job cuts from the 20,000 employees. Starting today, all 20,000 staff will be sent termination letters, but two-thirds of these workers will also receive a second letter offering them the chance to be rehired under new employment conditions.  Union members have threatened a strike after the termination letters are issued. The staff who are not re-employed will receive compensation payments and will be released in phases. Several airlines, including Korean Airlines and Qatar Airways, recently conducted recruitment roadshows in Malaysia, hoping to attract flight crews from Malaysia Airlines.

Key changes reportedly include:

  • Rebranding: possible new name, livery and uniforms.
  • Routes review: It is expected that the airline will withdraw from a number of European and Middle Eastern routes, to focus on routes in the South East Asia region
  • Fleet changes: The fleet will be smaller and used more efficiently. Mueller confirmed that the airline has been trying to find buyers for two of its Airbus A380 aircraft, but he expects to keep a number of the aircraft types it currently has, including the Airbus A330s, Boeing 737-800s and Boeing 777-200s.
  • New company: Assets and liabilities are being transferred to a new company, Malaysia Airlines Bhd, which is due to start operating by September 2015.
  • Staff cuts: Up to 8,000 job losses and remaining staff offered a job with new employment conditions.
  • Supplier contracts renegotiated on better terms

 

 

HB-VXA Pilatus PC-24 prototype (MSN P01) taking off on its first flight at Buochs Airport, Stans, Switzerland - Mon 11 May 2015. Photo © Pilatus

HB-VXA Pilatus PC-24 prototype (MSN P01) taking off on its first flight at Buochs Airport, Stans, Switzerland – Mon 11 May 2015. Photo © Pilatus

15 May 2015 © David Eyre

The donation by Rio Tinto will go to the RFDS Aero Medical Fund, to fund their new PC-24 jets, a flight simulator and a new RFDS base in Broome.

As reported in AviationWA on 22 May 2014, the RFDS ordered three Pilatus PC24 planes plus one option for $12.4 million each.

Compared to the RFDS’s current Pilatus PC-12 turboprops, the new PC-24s travel twice as far, in half the time.

Since 2009, Rio Tinto has funded VH-RIO, the Hawker 800XP ‘Life Flight’ jet, which had evacuated almost 1500 patients, mostly from the Kimberley and Pilbara regions. The Hawker 800XP can carry two critically ill patients at a time, each with their own doctor and nurse team. The new PC24 jets will be able to take three stretcher patients at the same time. Unlike most other jets, the PC-24s can also operate from dirt airstrips and be flown by a single pilot.

Rio Tinto has donated a total of $22.5 million to the RFDS over the last decade.

The PC-24 made a successful first flight earlier this week on 11 May 2015, at Buochs Airport, Stans, Switzerland. The aircraft is due to be certified for service in 2017, and the first two years of production is already sold out. Below is video footage by Pilatus of the first flight :

ZK-NCJ Boeing 767-319ER (winglets) (MSN 26915/574) of Air New Zealand at Perth Airport – Tue 23 December 2014. Flight NZ162 to Christchurch, seen here at 8:03pm, about to taxy out from Terminal 1. The NZ161/162 service between Perth and Christchurch is seasonal, operating during Summer. Photo © Evan Robson

ZK-NCJ Boeing 767-319ER (winglets) (MSN 26915/574) of Air New Zealand at Perth Airport – Tue 23 December 2014.
Flight NZ162 to Christchurch, seen here at 8:03pm, about to taxy out from Terminal 1. The NZ161/162 service between Perth and Christchurch is seasonal, operating during Summer.
Photo © Evan Robson

15 May 2015 © David Eyre

From December 11 2015 to 1 May 2016, Air New Zealand will add three return services (NZ177/NZ178) between Perth and Auckland, using Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.

This is in addition to the current daily Boeing 787-9 services (NZ175/NZ176), which will have their schedules changed from 11 December 2015 with an earlier arrival into Perth.  The seasonal twice weekly Christchurch – Perth services will also have schedule changes.

The schedule for the services is as follows, from 11 December 2015 (subject to change):

  • DAILY: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner: NZ175 Departs Auckland 1050 – Arrives Perth 1320 / NZ176 Departs Perth at 1850 – Arrives at Auckland at 0605 the following day.
  • MON/THU/FRI: Boeing 767-300ER: NZ177 Departs Auckland 1900 – Arrives Perth 2140
  • WED/FRI/SUN: Boeing 767-300ER: NZ178 Departs Perth 0600 – Arrives Auckland 1730
  • The seasonal twice weekly Christchurch – Perth will also see similar schedule changes.

Air New Zealand is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its first flight, made by a Short S.30 flying boat on 30 April 1940, taking nine hours to travel from Auckland to Sydney with only nine passengers aboard. The same journey now takes less than three hours aboard a Boeing 767-300ER, which carries 230 passengers.

Qantas operates seasonal services between Perth and Auckland, with one weekly return flight from 30 October to 6 December 2015, then twice-weekly from 11 December 2015 to 26 March 2016, using Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

A6-EOE Airbus A380-861 (MSN 169) of Emirates, at Perth Airport - Fri 1 May 2015. First scheduled service to Perth by an A380. Flight EK420 from Dubai landing on runway 21 at 5:29pm. Photo © David Eyre

A6-EOE Airbus A380-861 (MSN 169) of Emirates, at Perth Airport – Fri 1 May 2015.
First scheduled service to Perth by an A380. Flight EK420 from Dubai landing on runway 21 at 5:29pm.
Photo © David Eyre

A6-EOE Airbus A380-861 (MSN 169) of Emirates, at Perth Airport - Fri 1 May 2015. First scheduled service to Perth by an A380. Flight EK420 from Dubai taxying in on Taxiway S at 5:36pm, receiving a traditional water cannon salute from airport fire crews. Photo © David Eyre

A6-EOE Airbus A380-861 (MSN 169) of Emirates, at Perth Airport – Fri 1 May 2015.
First scheduled service to Perth by an A380. Flight EK420 from Dubai taxying in on Taxiway S at 5:36pm, receiving a traditional water cannon salute from airport fire crews.
Photo © David Eyre

Cutting the cake at the Reception for Emirates first A380 service to Perth, in the Observation Deck at Perth Airport - Fri 1 May 2015. Flanked by two Emirates Flight Attendants, are Darren Tyrell - Emirates Regional Manager, WA; Rob Gurney - Emirates Divisional Vice President Commercial Operations, Australia; Captain Steve Darnell - Emirates A380 pilot, who flew the inaugural service; the Hon. Dr Kim Hames MLA - Minister for Tourism; and Brad Geatches - CEO of Perth Airport. Photo © David Eyre

Cutting the cake at the Reception for Emirates first A380 service to Perth, in the Observation Deck at Perth Airport – Fri 1 May 2015.
Flanked by two Emirates Flight Attendants, are Darren Tyrell – Emirates Regional Manager, WA; Rob Gurney – Emirates Divisional Vice President Commercial Operations, Australia; Captain Steve Darnell – Emirates A380 pilot, who flew the inaugural service; the Hon. Dr Kim Hames MLA – Minister for Tourism; and Brad Geatches – CEO of Perth Airport.
Photo © David Eyre

A6-EOE Airbus A380-861 (MSN 169) of Emirates, at Perth Airport - Fri 1 May 2015. First scheduled service to Perth by an A380. Purser (in dark uniform) showing the First Class Suite on the forward part of the upper deck, and a typical meal on Royal Doulton bone china plates with Robert Welch cutlery. Photo © David Eyre

A6-EOE Airbus A380-861 (MSN 169) of Emirates, at Perth Airport – Fri 1 May 2015.
First scheduled service to Perth by an A380. Purser (in dark uniform) showing the First Class Suite on the forward part of the upper deck, and a typical meal on Royal Doulton bone china plates with Robert Welch cutlery.
Photo © David Eyre

1 May 2015 © David Eyre

Hundreds of spectators gathered at Perth Airport on 1 May 2015, to witness the sunset arrival of the first scheduled Emirates Airbus A380 service to Perth.

The first service was operated by a 9-month old Airbus A380-861, registered A6-EOE, the 169th A380 built.

The A380 landed on Perth’s runway 21 at 5:29pm Perth Time, after a flight time of 9 hours 56 minutes from Dubai.

Welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute by airport fire crews, flight EK420 parked at the special dual-aerobridge gate at Bay 51. The return flight EK421 took off from runway 21 at 10:21pm. After a flight of 10 hours 36 minutes, it landed at Dubai at 4:57am local time (8:57am Perth time).

AviationWA was invited to attend the reception ceremony and had a look aboard the A380. See our photos, the official Emirates video and a Google Street View of the A380.

C-FTGX Douglas DC-3C (MSN 25769) of Bell Geospace at Perth Airport – 22 April 2015.On finals for runway 24 at 5:36 pm just as the sun was setting.

C-FTGX Douglas DC-3C (MSN 25769) of Bell Geospace at Perth Airport – 22 April 2015.On finals for runway 24 at 5:36 pm just as the sun was setting.
Photo © Keith Anderson.

30 April 2015 © David Eyre

On 22 April 2015, a special visitor arrived in Perth for a two-week geophysical survey contract.

The aircraft, registered in Canada as C-FTGX, was built in 1944 as a military version of the DC-3.

In August 2010, it was converted by Basler Turbo Conversions at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to a Basler Turbo BT-6, and modified for survey work by Bell Geospace.

MORE INFORMATION AND PHOTOS

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, anchored at Gage Roads, off Fremantle - Sun 26 April 2015. Arrived today on a rest and recreation visit, before returning home to San Diego after an eight-month deployment, including six months of combat operations in the Arabian Gulf. Aboard were aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 17, which conducted strike operations against ISIS in the Middle East. Photo © Keith Anderson

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, anchored at Gage Roads, off Fremantle – Sun 26 April 2015.
Arrived today on a rest and recreation visit, before returning home to San Diego after an eight-month deployment, including six months of combat operations in the Arabian Gulf. Aboard were aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 17, which conducted strike operations against ISIS in the Middle East.
Photo © Keith Anderson

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, anchored at Gage Roads, off Fremantle - Sun 26 April 2015. Arrived today on a rest and recreation visit, before returning home to San Diego after an eight-month deployment, including six months of combat operations in the Arabian Gulf. Aboard were aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 17, which conducted strike operations against ISIS in the Middle East. Photo © David Eyre

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, anchored at Gage Roads, off Fremantle – Sun 26 April 2015.
Arrived today on a rest and recreation visit, before returning home to San Diego after an eight-month deployment, including six months of combat operations in the Arabian Gulf. Aboard were aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 17, which conducted strike operations against ISIS in the Middle East.
Photo © David Eyre

26 April 2015 © David Eyre

The US Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and its escort ships Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG-52) and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG-101) arrived in Fremantle this morning (26 April 2015), for a rest and recreation break, on the long journey home to their home port of San Diego, California having left the waters around the Middle East after combat duties against ISIS.

USS Carl Vinson is anchored at Gage Roads anchorage between Fremantle and Rottnest Island, whilst the USS Bunker Hill and USS Gridley were docked at Victoria Quay, Fremantle.

There were no public tours aboard ship, but AAWA was able to obtain photos from the shore and aerial photos.

VH-OEI Boeing 747-438ER (MSN 32913/ 1330), named 'Fysh-McGuinness', of Qantas, at Perth Airport - Wed 22 April 2015 The aircraft was formerly named 'Ceduna', but has been renamed 'Fysh-McGuinness' in honour of Qantas co-founders Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, who both served in Gallipoli. It also carries special titles on the forward fuselage: '100 YEARS OF ANZAC / THE SPIRIT LIVES 2014 - 2018 / QANTAS - Proud Supporter of the ANZAC Centenary'. Special charter flight QF100 from Sydney landing on runway 21 at 12:31am with passengers including ten widows of World War One veterans headed to Gallipoli to mark the centenary of Anzac Day. The aircraft parked at Bay 51 to refuel and collect more passengers, and departed as QF100 at 3:26am from runway 03, to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Intl Airport, Turkey - a flight time of 13 hours 45 mins. Photo © Marcus Graff

VH-OEI Boeing 747-438ER (MSN 32913/ 1330), named ‘Fysh-McGuinness’, of Qantas, at Perth Airport – Wed 22 April 2015
The aircraft was formerly named ‘Ceduna’, but has been renamed ‘Fysh-McGuinness’ in honour of Qantas co-founders Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, who both served in Gallipoli. It also carries special titles on the forward fuselage: ‘100 YEARS OF ANZAC / THE SPIRIT LIVES 2014 – 2018 / QANTAS – Proud Supporter of the ANZAC Centenary’. Special charter flight QF100 from Sydney landing on runway 21 at 12:31am with passengers including ten widows of World War One veterans headed to Gallipoli to mark the centenary of Anzac Day. The aircraft parked at Bay 51 to refuel and collect more passengers, and departed as QF100 at 3:26am from runway 03, to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Intl Airport, Turkey – a flight time of 13 hours 45 mins.
Photo © Marcus Graff

VH-OEI Boeing 747-438ER (MSN 32913/ 1330), named 'Fysh-McGuinness', of Qantas, at Perth Airport - Wed 22 April 2015 The aircraft was formerly named 'Ceduna', but has been renamed 'Fysh-McGuinness' in honour of Qantas co-founders Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, who both served in Gallipoli. It also carries special titles on the forward fuselage: '100 YEARS OF ANZAC / THE SPIRIT LIVES 2014 - 2018 / QANTAS - Proud Supporter of the ANZAC Centenary'. Special charter flight QF100 to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Intl Airport, Turkey (a flight time of 13 hours 45 mins), taking off from runway 03 at 3:26am. The aircraft arrived from Sydney landing on runway 21 at 12:31am, with passengers including ten widows of World War One veterans headed to Gallipoli to mark the centenary of Anzac Day. It parked at Bay 51, to refuel and collect more passengers. Photo © Marcus Graff

VH-OEI Boeing 747-438ER (MSN 32913/ 1330), named ‘Fysh-McGuinness’, of Qantas, at Perth Airport – Wed 22 April 2015
The aircraft was formerly named ‘Ceduna’, but has been renamed ‘Fysh-McGuinness’ in honour of Qantas co-founders Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, who both served in Gallipoli. It also carries special titles on the forward fuselage: ‘100 YEARS OF ANZAC / THE SPIRIT LIVES 2014 – 2018 / QANTAS – Proud Supporter of the ANZAC Centenary’. Special charter flight QF100 to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Intl Airport, Turkey (a flight time of 13 hours 45 mins), taking off from runway 03 at 3:26am. The aircraft arrived from Sydney landing on runway 21 at 12:31am, with passengers including ten widows of World War One veterans headed to Gallipoli to mark the centenary of Anzac Day. It parked at Bay 51, to refuel and collect more passengers.
Photo © Marcus Graff

22 April 2015 © David Eyre (Photos © Marcus Graff)

Perth received a special visit in the early hours of 22 April 2015, by Qantas Boeing 747-438ER VH-OEI, on a charter flight to Istanbul, Turkey to mark the ANZAC Centenary.

The aircraft was formerly named ‘Ceduna’, but has been renamed ‘Fysh-McGuinness’ in honour of Qantas co-founders Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, who both served in Gallipoli. It also carries special titles on the forward fuselage: ‘100 YEARS OF ANZAC / THE SPIRIT LIVES 2014 – 2018 / QANTAS – Proud Supporter of the ANZAC Centenary’.

Special charter flight QF100 from Sydney landing on runway 21 at 12:31am, with passengers including ten widows of World War One veterans headed to Gallipoli to mark the centenary of Anzac Day. The aircraft parked at Bay 51 to refuel and collect more passengers, before departing as QF100 at 3:26am from runway 03, to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Intl Airport, Turkey – a flight time of 13 hours 45 minutes.

VH-OEI will perform another charter flight through Perth on the afternoon of 28 April 2015, returning the passengers from Turkey to Perth and Sydney.

VH-XZK Boeing 737-838 (MSN 39366/4705) of Qantas, named 'Cook', at Perth Airport – Tue 7 October 2014. QF1101 from Newman, taxying in at 5:42pm, after landing on runway 21. International terminal, with the tails of a Jetstar A320, Emirates Boeing 777-300ER (A6-EGU) and Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (ZK-NZF) visible, and hills of the Darling Range in the background. Photo © David Eyre

VH-XZK Boeing 737-838 (MSN 39366/4705) of Qantas, named ‘Cook’, at Perth Airport – Tue 7 October 2014.
QF1101 from Newman, taxying in at 5:42pm, after landing on runway 21. International terminal, with the tails of a Jetstar A320, Emirates Boeing 777-300ER (A6-EGU) and Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (ZK-NZF) visible, and hills of the Darling Range in the background.
Photo © David Eyre

17 April 2015 © David Eyre

A year after abandoning regular international services from Perth, Qantas has announced that it from 26 June 2015, the airline will restart flights between Perth and Singapore, using Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The new service will operate five flights per week between Perth and Singapore, and introductory one-way fares are available for a limited time, starting at $199. The schedule is as follows:

  • MON/WED/FRI/SUN (Boeing 737-800): QF71 dep Perth at 12:00pm – arr Singapore at 5:20pm/ QF72 dep Singapore at 6.25pm – arr Perth 11.40pm;
  • SAT (Boeing 737-800): QF71 dep Perth at 11:30pm – arr Singapore at 4:50pm/ QF72 dep Singapore at 5.50pm – arr Perth 11.05pm.

Western Australians are happy that Qantas will resume regular international services from Perth, but some are disappointed with the choice of narrowbody Boeing 737s. Competitors offer large widebody aircraft; Singapore Airlines operates four flights per day with larger Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, whilst its low-cost subsidiary Scoot offers once daily services with the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Qantas Group low-cost airline Jetstar Asia operates 13 flights between Perth and Singapore each week, using narrowbody A320 aircraft.

Qantas previously used Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the route, but says it is now matching aircraft and schedules with customer demand. The airline says that passengers will have access to seat back in-flight entertainment and new meals. The 737s also have a 12-seat Business Class cabin, with those passengers receiving special meals and Qantas pyjamas provided on the Singapore to Perth.

Qantas ended its regular Perth to Singapore service in May 2014, with CEO Alan Joyce blaming increased competition and fuel prices (which have since decreased). However, Qantas operated seasonal services on the route in peak holiday periods. In August 2014, Qantas mentioned a “Plan B” for Perth, with plans to relaunch the Perth-Singapore service “with a different approach.”

In the 12 months to September 2014, 78,800 visitors from Singapore spent $193 million in WA. Those figures represent a 30 per cent increase in visitors and a 21 per cent increase in spend on the year before.

Qantas also announced that their new domestic Business Lounge should open later this year, and that there are an additional two weekly return services between Perth and Brisbane, for a total of up to 30 flights between the two cities every week.

VH-NHM Fokker 100 (MSN 11449) of Network Aviation, at Geraldton Airport - Sat 15 November 2014. Arrived from Perth at 10:47am, operating a flight for QantasLink, instead of the usual Dash 8Q-400. Photo © David Eyre

VH-NHM Fokker 100 (MSN 11449) of Network Aviation, at Geraldton Airport – Sat 15 November 2014.
Arrived from Perth at 10:47am, operating a flight for QantasLink, instead of the usual Dash 8Q-400.
Photo © David Eyre

17 April 2015 © David Eyre

Qantas Group announced that two additional Fokker 100 jets have been acquired for use by Network Aviation, brining their fleet of the type to 14.

Network will also use its F100 aircraft on some services from Perth to Port Hedland, Karratha, Newman and Broome from later this year. Qantas states that this enables the frequency of services to remain the same, whilst capacity with changing market demand.

This downsizing of aircraft types is perhaps a reflection of the downturn in the resources industry, plus some resources projects are transitioning from the construction phase (which involves thousands of extra workers) to the production phase.

Artist impression of the proposed helipads at the selected location. Image © Building Lines

Artist impression of the proposed helipads at the selected location, 200 metres east of WA Rowing Club, on the north side of the Swan River.
Image © Building Lines

Artist impression of the proposed helipads at the selected location, 200 metres east of WA Rowing Club, on the north side of the Swan River. Image © Building Lines

Artist impression of the proposed helipads at the selected location, 200 metres east of WA Rowing Club, on the north side of the Swan River.
Image © Building Lines

Artist impression of the proposed helipads at the selected location, 200 metres east of WA Rowing Club, on the north side of the Swan River. Image © Building Lines

Artist impression of the proposed helipads at the selected location, 200 metres east of WA Rowing Club, on the north side of the Swan River.
Image © Building Lines

10 April 2015 (Updated 14 April 2015) © David Eyre

The City of Perth has approved a two-year trial of of two floating helipads on the north side of the Swan River, opposite the Perth Concert Hall and Terrace Road carpark, 200 metres to the east of WA Rowing Club, near Barrack Street Jetty.

Approval for the trial was granted on 7 April 2015, in a unanimous vote, but is subject to conditions and environmental regulatory approval from the Swan River Trust.

Skyline Aviation Group is funding the entire project and had first proposed the helipads in August 2013. Skyline Aviation is based in Newcastle, NSW with a fleet of Robinson R22’s and R44’s, Agusta Bell AB206 JetRangers, Eurocopter AS350 Squirrels and BO-105s. Skyline will purchase and base one helicopter at the helipad, but has not yet decided on the type.

Brett Campany, the head of Skyline’s Perth operations, previously flew for Rotorvation, Channel 9 News Perth and was the owner/operator of Wild Blue Helicopters in Margaret River. Before becoming a pilot, he flew as aircrew for Surveillance Australia on the Coastwatch contract and aboard AeroRescue’s Dornier 328.

Mr Campany expects that other operators will pay a landing fee to use the second helipad, for the purpose of picking up and dropping off helicopter charter passengers in the city. This was a common request when he was based at Jandakot. The RAC rescue helicopter, WA Police helicopter or Surf Life Saving WA’s beach patrol helicopter may occasionally require the use of the second helipad.

The 7-metres by 7-metres floating helipads will be positioned 20 metres from the river edge. They were designed, surveyed and engineered by Building Lines, and are capable of taking a weight of up to 16 tonnes.

Floating helipads were chosen because a land-based helipad would require the council to provide funding, clear an appropriate area and provide infrastructure. The water-based location also keeps the noise profile to a minimum by increasing the distance between the helicopter and local businesses and residences. To further reduce noise pollution, operating hours will be restricted to 7am to 7pm, seven days a week, except on public holidays. The company has already conducted some acoustic noise data analysis. It is expected that the helipads will take a maximum of 30 flights a day. Refuelling will not be permitted at the helipads, for environmental reasons.

Mr Campany said that “We will be conducting scenic flights, however to reduce the amount of noise impact on the surrounding businesses and residence, the shortest flight will be around 20 minutes. The focus is mainly on tourism and the promoting the City of Perth, Swan River and the coastline from Hillarys to Fremantle. We will also be providing services to Rottnest Island and the Swan Valley.”

“With my previous business in the Margaret River region, I also have strong relationships with the wineries, breweries, retreats and resorts in the South West region.”

There have been requests for a permanent helipad location within the central city over the last decade. Helicopters have used various temporary sites since the 1960s, mainly near The Causeway. In the mid-1980s, a temporary helipad was built for helicopters to use during the America’s Cup yacht races. This was located on the river foreshore at the eastern end of Riverside Drive, but was later moved due to construction of the Point Fraser development. Another temporary facility was set up from 2006 to 2011 at East Perth, between Trinity Avenue and The Causeway, but the licence for this facility was terminated because of the Waterbank project. Another temporary helipad was established on the east side of Camfield Drive opposite Burswood Casino Resort, but the lease for that site expired. Langley Park has also been used occasionally as a helicopter landing site for special occasions and emergencies. Since that time, helicopters have been restricted to Jandakot Airport.

The city location will enable scenic and business flights to depart from a location close to the CBD, rather than having to drive to Jandakot and back.