19 August 2015 © David Eyre
Perth Airport is about to commence initial trials of the new $200 million Domestic Pier at Terminal 1, in preparation for operations by Virgin Australia from late November.
Volunteers or “mock passengers” will be used in the operational trials during September and October 2015 to test that the Domestic Pier systems and processes work as expected before operations commence.
The Virgin Australia Pier was originally meant to open in June 2014, but this was delayed to October 2014, then January 2015, and finally “late 2015”. A new building contractor had to be engaged to complete the project, adding to the delays.
Virgin Australia has complained that the delays are costing the airline money and are bad for customers, as the airline has to operate out of three terminals on opposite sides of the airport, causing inconvenience and confusion for passengers on connecting flights:
- Terminal 1 is used for international flights to Phuket, Bali and Christmas Island.
- Terminal 2 is used by Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (formerly Skywest) on intrastate regional flights within WA
- Terminal 3 is used by Virgin Australia for both intrastate and interstate domestic flights.
Besides Virgin Australia lounges, the new Domestic Pier will have new check-in and bag drop technology – the first airport in Australia to feature this.
As part of the preparations, Perth Airport is to re-number all existing aircraft Bays with a 1 in front of the existing Bay number (e.g. Bay 54 becomes Bay 154).
The new Bays on the Domestic Pier are Bays 143 to 150 and Bay 151A, with Bays 143-149 for domestic flights only and Bay 150 for domestic or international flights:
- Bays 143-146 designed for aircraft up to A320/A321/B737 size
- Bays 143A, 144A, 145A and 146A are for Fokker 50s.
- Bays 147, 148, 149 are designed for aircraft up to A330 size and have dual aerobridges.
- Bays 147A and 148B and 149A can take aircraft up to A320/A321/B737 size.
- Bays 148A and 149B can take Embraer E190 and Fokker 100 only
- Bay 150 can take international or domestic flights, with aircraft up to A380 size. It has a dual aerobridge capable of accessing the upper deck of the A380.
- Bays 150A and B can take aircraft up to A320/A321/B737 size.