Perth Airport Viewing Area officially opened

Perth Airport CEO Brad Geatches watches as Steve Wolff, Deputy Mayor of the ABOVE: City of Belmont cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Perth Airport Viewing Area at 10:26am on 16 December 2011.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: Perth Airport Viewing Area, before the official opening. Facing towards the International Terminal.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: Perth Airport Viewing Area, afternoon of the official opening. Facing towards the International Terminal.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: Perth Airport Viewing Area, afternoon of the official opening. Facing towards the threshold of runway 03.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: Perth Airport Viewing Area, viewed from the car park, with a Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 climbing away after takeoff from runway 21.
This view illustrates the walkway up to the Viewing Area, which has been designed to provide access to the disabled.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: These were the first children to visit the Airport Viewing Area, watching as a Boeing 717 of QantasLink lands on runway 03 at 10:42am as flight QF1903 from Karratha.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: Spectators watching a Boeing 747-438 of Qantas (VH-OJE) approaching runway 03 for landing, as flight QF581 from Sydney.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: VH-OJE Boeing 747-438 of Qantas, operating flight QF581 from Sydney, touching down on runway 03 with lots of smoke from the tyres.
*The centreline of the runway is only 320 metres from the Airport Viewing Area.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: B-6502 Airbus A330-343X of China Southern Airlines, operating flight CZ320 from Perth to Guangzhou and Beijing, taxying along taxiway A3, on its way to runway 03, at 10:31am.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: B-6502 Airbus A330-343X of China Southern Airlines, operating flight CZ320 from Perth to Guangzhou and Beijing, taxying along taxiway A3, towards taxiway M at 10:31am, before lining up for take-off from runway 03.
** The centreline of taxiway A3 is only 100 metres from the viewing area, meaning the wing tip of this A330 passed only 70 metres away. **
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: VH-VUR Boeing 737-8FE of Virgin Australia, named “Star City”, taxying past at 10:33am as flight DJ1437 to Darwin.
Note the First Officer in the cockpit, looking at the guests assembled for the opening ceremony.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: VH-VUR Boeing 737-8FE of Virgin Australia, named “Star City”, holding on taxiway M whilst VH-NXK Boeing 717-231 of QantasLink lands on runway 03 as flight QF1803 from Paraburdoo at 10:34am.
Taxiway M is only 200 metres from the viewing area.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: VH-OJE Boeing 747-438 of Qantas, named “City of Adelaide”. Operating flight QF582 to Sydney, climbing after takeoff from runway 21 at 1:53pm.
This shows some of the close-up views you can obtain with a telephoto lens.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: VH-VZD Boeing 737-838 of Qantas, named “Port Geelong” and wearing a special colourscheme for the Optus / Qantas Frequent Flyer promotion.
Operating flight QF1114 to Port Hedland, climbing after takeoff from runway 21 at 2:16pm.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: VH-NHP Fokker 100 of Network Aviation.
Operating a flight to Camp Nifty Airport (YCNF), climbing after takeoff from runway 21 at 1:29pm.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: PK-GMO Boeing 737-8U3 of Garuda Indonesia.
Operating flight GA725 to Denpasar (Bali), climbing after takeoff from runway 21 at 3:16pm.
Photo © David Eyre
ABOVE: 9V-SRQ Boeing 777-212ER of Singapore Airlines.
Operating flight SQ226 to Singapore, climbing after takeoff from runway 21 at 4:10pm.
Photo © David Eyre

 

16 December 2011:

The Perth Airport Viewing Area is now officially open to the public, and it is FREE!

In recognition of the contribution made by the Aviation Association of WA Inc (AAWA) in the later stages of the new Perth Airport Viewing Area, AAWA President David Eyre and Vice President Neville Murphy were invited by Perth Airport to attend the Official Opening ceremony on Friday 16 December 2011. Earlier in the week, AAWA members attended an official pre-opening tour of the facility.

The Opening Ceremony was conducted by Perth Airport CEO Brad Geatches, with the ribbon-cutting ceremony completed by Steve Wolff, Deputy Mayor of the City of Belmont at 10:26am. Glenys Godfrey, the former Mayor of Belmont also attended.

AAWA wishes to thank Perth Airport for creating a world-class airport viewing area, and the aviation enthusiasts who contributed their ideas and time to Perth Airport over a number of years to make this happen.

Geoff Thomas played a key role in discussing the idea with Perth Airport from 2007, and a written proposal was submitted to the airport in mid 2008 by Merv Prime, Neville Murphy and Gavin Miller. Additional input was added to this submission by other aviation enthusiasts in 2009, and used by Geoff in his discussions with the airport. AAWA became involved in discussions and submissions with Perth Airport during 2010 and 2011.

Perth Airport supported the proposal, and provided the land, a significant sum of money for design and construction, obtained regulatory clearances, and appointed an architect and project team. The design was finalised in early 2011 and construction commenced in August 2011.

The facility has shelters and seating, free parking, access ramps for the disabled, and an elevated position so that fences do not obstruct the view. The viewing area is only 320 metres from centreline of the airport’s longest runway (runway 03/21), and is only 100 metres from centreline of taxiway A3, and 200 metres from taxiway M, where aircraft turn to line up on runway 03. It provides superb views of aircraft taking off or landing on runway 03/21.

The Viewing Area includes some creative design features. The shelter design is based upon the upper deck structure of a Boeing 747, and the signs on the handrailing overlooking the runway are designed to loosely resemble aircraft passenger windows. Other features yet to be added include a globe showing distances to various cities around the world, and a sign to illustrate the different types of aircraft using the airport. A 120-foot long paved path next to the shelter is the same length as the first flight of the Wright Brothers, who made their first flight on 17 December 1903 – the 108th anniversary of this flight was the day after the opening date for the Airport Viewing Area.

December 2011 also marks a number of other aviation anniversaries, including the 90th anniversary of Australia’s first scheduled airline service by Norman Brearley’s airline Western Australian Airways from Langley Park, and the 56th anniversary of first jet airliner to visit Perth (De Havilland DH.106 Comet 3 G-ANLO).

The new spectator area is accessible from Dunreath Road, which runs to the right off Brearley Avenue near the Domestic Terminals, or left off Horrie Miller Drive near the International Terminal. It is open daily at the following times:

  • October – March: 6.30am – 7.00pm
  • April – September: 7.30am – 5.30pm

David Eyre

President, Aviation Association of WA Inc

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