Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies MLA said the proposed redevelopment of Cunderdin Aerodrome was being driven by a private company who had been working for years with industry to create an alternate landing site (ALS) for international aviation services destined for Perth.
The plan to upgrade Cunderdin into an international standard gas ‘n’ go alternate for wide body passenger aircraft is being driven by private proponent Ascent Aviation.
Ms Davies said an ALS would provide airlines with a landing option outside Perth that would allow pilots to avoid diverting to Adelaide or Learmonth (Exmouth) in the event they could not land at Perth Airport.
“Cunderdin’s approximate 15-minute flight time to Perth means it is ideally located to allow commercial passenger aircraft to land and take on fuel while waiting for bad weather to stop impacting landing conditions in Perth,” she said.
“It could potentially save airlines hundreds of unnecessary flying hours each year, reduce fuel payloads and minimise inconvenience experienced by passengers. It would also ensure aircrew meet their regulated rest periods.”
Ms Davies said inclement weather was the most common reason flights were diverted from Perth, and the work done by Ascent had shown that Cunderdin was just far enough away to experience different weather conditions on a consistent basis.
Diverted flights would be able to land in Cunderdin, selected by Ascent due to its non-coastal location, existing aerodrome infrastructure and logistical proximity to Perth by road and air.
“Research and analysis done by Ascent, and agreed to by the airlines they’re dealing with, shows weather conditions being concurrent at both airports is so rare it doesn’t present an obstacle to the project,” she said.
“There’s been speculation or discussion about other locations being more suitable – and if that’s the case I suggest someone puts the hard yards in to make a business case for consideration.
“Ascent Aviation has been working strategically with the Wheatbelt Development Commission, myself and industry for over four years. I support their proposal and welcome the opportunity it brings for Cunderdin and the Wheatbelt should it go ahead.”
For media enquiries please contact Mia Davies on 9622 2871 (Northam office) or 9041 1702 (Merredin office) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.