Perth Airport is to invest A$80m (US$54m) to grow regional aviation in Western Australia within the Airport Central precinct, including the construction of a A$35m (US$23m) maintenance hangar for Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) and additional aviation support facilities.
VARA has committed to an agreement for the lease of the new maintenance hangar and apron facility, which will enable the airline to operate more efficiently by consolidating its warehouse, storage and engineering and maintenance office facilities in one location.
Kate Holsgrove, acting CEO of Perth Airport, said, “Growth in FIFO [fly-in fly-out] and regional passenger movements over the past three years made it timely to invest in new capacity and facilities. This project is a key enabler for the future growth of T2 and the wider centralization process and we are delighted to partner with VARA to support their growth in Western Australia. We are pleased VARA will support this new maintenance hangar and apron facility once it is built in September 2024.”
Nathan Miller, executive general manager of VARA, said, “Perth and Western Australia were an extremely important part of Virgin Australia’s business. The project demonstrates the airline’s commitment to the West and its VARA operation. Our fleet renewal program is well underway and will strengthen our resources and contract flying in Western Australia. The program means larger, more fuel-efficient 737-700 aircraft will join the fleet as we phase out our F100s. This upgrade of our facility is another important step forward for VARA and will enable a more efficient and flexible operation from our Perth Airport base.”
Perth Airport will also develop the Aviation Support Precinct, which is located south of the T2 apron and bounded by Airport Drive. This area will be reserved for operations that require airside access and apron areas for aeronautical operations, including hangarage, ground support providers, flight catering and airfreight logistics. According to the airport, Perth Airport’s vision to consolidate all commercial air services at Airport Central aligns with masterplanning dating back to the 1970s.
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