Perth Airport upgrade to reduce delays and diversions

Transmissometers near the threshold of runway 03, and in the background is A6-EYN Airbus A330-243 (MSN 832) of Etihad at Perth Airport – 27 August 2015. The transmissometers (also known as hazemeters) use beams to help determine runway visibility, and will allow arriving aircraft to landing with 550 metres visibility, compared with the current 800 metres minimum. Photo © David Eyre
Transmissometers near the threshold of runway 03, and in the background is A6-EYN Airbus A330-243 (MSN 832) of Etihad at Perth Airport – 27 August 2015.
The transmissometers (also known as hazemeters) use beams to help determine runway visibility, and will allow arriving aircraft to landing with 550 metres visibility, compared with the current 800 metres minimum.
Photo © David Eyre
At right of this photo is the Instrument Landing System (ILS) glideslope antenna at runway 03, with VH-NHV Fokker 100 of Network Aviation landing, at Perth Airport - 27 August 2015. The glideslope transmitter sends beams above and below the descent path centreline, to keep aircraft on a 3° approach angle. Photo © David Eyre
At right of this photo is the Instrument Landing System (ILS) glideslope antenna at runway 03, with VH-NHV Fokker 100 of Network Aviation landing, at Perth Airport – 27 August 2015.
The glideslope transmitter sends beams above and below the descent path centreline, to keep aircraft on a 3° approach angle.
Photo © David Eyre

9 November 2015 © David Eyre

Perth Airport has announced that it has begun upgrading its infrastructure and navigational aids to permit Category III Low Visibility Operations by early 2018.

Each year, Perth Airport suffers from numerous fog events, usually during morning peak periods, causing flight diversions, delays and cancellations. This results in inconvenience to passengers and costs airlines significant operational costs.

A lack of suitable diversion airports near Perth means that international flights headed for Perth have to carry extra fuel reserves so that they can divert to Port Hedland, Adelaide or Darwin until the fog clears. Domestic flights divert to airports such as Geraldton or Kalgoorlie. Aircrew duty time limitations sometimes require that another aircrew has to be flown in to continue the journey, fuel is wasted and the aircraft has to be refuelled to continue to Perth.

On 16 July 2013, morning fog at Perth was followed by gusty wind conditions, causing delays for 220 flights. An inbound Emirates flight had to divert to Adelaide, costing the airline about $500,000. Fog was forecast for 65 days in 2013, causing flights to either turn back or carry extra fuel – reducing the payload of passengers and cargo.

Currently, Perth Airport is rated as Category I, which allows landings with visibility down to 800 metres and take-offs at 550 metres (or 350 metres with CASA exemption). Category III enables landings with visibility down to 50 metres and take-offs with visibility at 125 metres.

Following consultation with the airlines and CASA, Perth Airport is now working with Airservices Australia to install Category III lighting for runway 03/21, at a cost of $36 million.

The first phase, installation of transmissometers on runway 03/21 has been completed, and these are being commissioned. The transmissometers measure runway visual range (RVR), and allow CASA-approved aircraft to land in visibility of 550 metres, instead of the current 800 metres.

Following an electrical cabling upgrade, the Category III lighting upgrade will be installed, including runway centreline lights, illuminated stop bars, and Instrument Landing System (ILS) stop bars. The ILS will require additional accuracy monitoring, but does not need an upgrade.

In May 2015, Airservices Australia also commissioned an Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS), which identifies and locates all aircraft and transponder-equipped vehicles on the runways and taxiways at Perth, regardless of visibility.

Transmissometer near the threshold of runway 03 at Perth Airport – 27 August 2015. Transmissometers (also known as hazemeters) use beams to help determine runway visibility, and will allow arriving aircraft to landing with 550 metres visibility, compared with the current 800 metres minimum. Photo © David Eyre
Transmissometer near the threshold of runway 03 at Perth Airport – 27 August 2015.
Transmissometers (also known as hazemeters) use beams to help determine runway visibility, and will allow arriving aircraft to landing with 550 metres visibility, compared with the current 800 metres minimum.
Photo © David Eyre
Terma Scanter Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS) near the Airport Fire Station at Perth Airport - Wed 6 May 2015. The A-SMGCS provides automatic identification of all aircraft and transponder-equipped vehicles, and predicting potential conflicts between vehicles and aircraft, and multiple aircraft movements, before they can occur. Visual and aural alarms alert controllers to potential problems enabling them to take early corrective action. Photo © David Eyre
Terma Scanter Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS) near the Airport Fire Station at Perth Airport – Wed 6 May 2015.
The A-SMGCS provides automatic identification of all aircraft and transponder-equipped vehicles, and predicting potential conflicts between vehicles and aircraft, and multiple aircraft movements, before they can occur. Visual and aural alarms alert controllers to potential problems enabling them to take early corrective action.
Photo © David Eyre

David Eyre

President, Aviation Association of WA Inc

2 thoughts on “Perth Airport upgrade to reduce delays and diversions

    • March 21, 2017 at 8:19 pm
      Permalink

      Don’t know – suggest contacting Perth Airport as they issued the tender. The equipment was installed in late 2015.

      Reply

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