Buswell says we need a parallel runway! But Coles and other major companies don’t think so

I note we see a sorryful pityfull story on Troy Buswell saying he was in a “dark place” and a week later we see him champion a cause on behalf of a few corporations.  The only problem is, he still is in a dark place because he obviously hasn’t observed what has been happening on the WA Airport Corporation’s land.  If you drive along Horrie Miller Drive you will note the extensive distribution warehouse constructions on the right hand side as you head to our “worst Australian international airport”.  The issue here is, those new buildings, they are on the land where the parallel runway has to go. But the issue is not simple…..

Many of those buildings are new, and many have a long term lease agreement up to 20 years.  The reason why it is up to 20 years is because of the fact that the long term plan for Perth Airport is every 20 years and this includes the consideration of a parallel runway.  However, for the past 5 years I have been involved in the Perth Airport Aircraft Noise Abatement Committee, the parallel runway option was never considered in the interim, mainly because of the low volumes of flight schedules in and out of Perth, past present and predicted future; a prediction that didn’t take the mining boom into account.

Three options have been on the agenda for a decade, a parallel runway, extending the current runways and a new airport up Gin Gin way.  However, different people have different current wants and it follows:  WA Airport Corporation want to extend runways and not a parallel runway or moving the airport due to costs.  All councils and shires (excluding one)  surrounding the airport want a parallel runway.  Residents want it moved and the Airlines and resource sector only want what’s most cost effective to them and the current runways are not the most cost effective, a parallel runway is.

The problem we as residents have for a parallel runway is the added flight paths over residential areas, in particular the Greenmount hill and Guildford in the north and Cannington in the south.

Now, it is easy to see the schedules for Perth airport by going to their web site and downloading the schedule in a PDF file.   If you live under the flight path or look at the PDF file you will note that airlines have a self serving agenda and possibly are the reason for this new public debate about a parallel runway.  If you note the most heavy traffic periods leaving the airport are in the morning because passengers and mining corporations have a preference to travel very early plus the airlines are able to utilise their aircraft more efficiently flying to and from the regional airports and interstate.  You will note aircraft traffic drops dramatically after lunch and therefore the whole push for this early parallel runway adoption is from the aviation industry, a.k.a Airlines.  The WAAC on the other hand want and have said they would rather spread the flight schedules to overcome congestion, a congestion deliberately created by the airlines and resource sector.

I have flown in and out of the domestic airport on a regular basis and live practically under the flight path and know when the planes come and go.  In fact I have done so for the past 20 years and it is clear that it is an issue with everyone except the airport corporation.

As airport chief executive Brad Geatches says, he blames bad forecasting by all parties and inefficient airspace design for the problems.

“Governments, airlines and the resource sector all dramatically underestimated the growth and it should come as no surprise, therefore, that Perth Airport underestimated the demand,” he said.

But of course he and his corporation are as much to blame for the turmoil this will bring them if implemented early as they have had the flight figures and predicted traffic increases.  It is also the fault of the Federal Government who allowed WAAC to lease land out based on the projected growth expected.  This is why a parallel runway has never been considered a necessary option for another 15 years because no one took into account of the mining boom.

Now if I was Coles or one of the other big companies who have signed a long-term lease with WA Airport Corporation, I wouldn’t be happy to hear this at all and nor would the WA taxpayers because when Coles are asked to leave early Coles isn’t just going to walk away from their multi-million dollar distribution warehouse and start all over again without demanding some compensation which WA and possibly Federal governments (and ultimately tax payers) will have to pay for their short sighted monetary gains.

But one of the main players in this push for a parallel runway are none other than the Liberal donators; the mining sector, because it is they who have caused this massive spike in aircraft activity.  It is they who are pushing for better regional airports at Broome and down south at Busselton, although Busso is also a a cause for Colin as he said “That airport was built under a previous Liberal-National government in the 1990s, so we certainly have a great interest in it, …” and blah blah blah; of course if it was a Labor run initiative he wouldn’t have  “a great interest”   I am not sure if that is propaganda or showing favour to Liberal-National initiatives, either way he made an idiotic statement.

I digress….. the mining boom is here for many more years to come in one form or another,  meaning that the gas and oil exploration industry is about to hit the big time, not only in the far north but also with the Liberal approved Fracking industry (CSG/SSG) that’s going to push the “congestion” even further.  But my freaking annoyance is the fact that the resources sector are to blame and not once have they offered to help fund this issue.  I would one day love to see the Hancock hospital wing or the Perth mining airport terminal wing, but as tight arse as they are it won’t happen; they have to keep their shareholders happy and disgustingly expect the public to pay for their need to improve their profit margins and help the executives get the millions in bonuses.

The mining boom is  going to be around for a long time and people like Peter Harbison knows this and is going to bat on behalf of the airlines and the resources sector equally as he has his fingers in both industries.  Even if the mining boom was going to be around for another 5 or 10 years, both airlines and resource sector should be the one’s to pay for it and not the general public.

With the lack of transparency by Troy Buswell, we won’t know who got to have a  one on one with him but I dare say it’s the resource sector, the same people who were involved in the idea of developing Broome airport to handle much larger aircraft and more passengers; the repetition of these airport issues is coming from certain lobbyists and the article shows you don’t have to look far.

Troy Buswell also quotes 750 million dollars to move the domestic airport to the international airport but doesn’t quote the cost to build the parallel runway or the compensation to the companies on Horrie Miller Drive.

So, once again big corporations get an audience with Mr “I am in a dark place” Buswell, who have not offered to open their wallets to help fund such a project for their own benefit and to help pay for the big money Coles and Co. will be demanding as compensation.

Poor knee jerk reaction their Troy!







Centre of Asia Pacific Aviation chairman Peter Harbison was CFO for CSG company Bow Energy until June 2010 when he resigned and became director of Mansfield James consultancy firm, presumably his own company. I do not have information as to whom he provides consultancy to as he has no web site or any google searchable information except his Linkedin profile which specifies oil/energy industry.  Being  the Chairman for CAPA and Director of his own consultancy firm to the oil and energy industries, his comments could be viewed from both the Airlines sector and resources sector thus a potential conflict of interest in which the West Australian journo Geoffrey Thomas’ article didn’t mention at all.  I am sure more will unfold though.