AUSTRALIAN Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss last week approved the on-airport elements of the Forrestfield-Airport Link rail project, which he said is consistent with development plans outlined in the Perth Airport 2014 Master Plan.
"While the wider Forrestfield-Airport Link project is an extension of the Perth rail network from Bayswater to Forrestfield, this approval applies to an almost four kilometre section within Perth Airport," Mr Truss said.
"Works will include twin-bored tunnels running east-west under the main runway and cross runway, and the construction of a new below ground Airport Central Station with pedestrian linkages to existing and future terminals.
"The construction of the rail line and station within Perth Airport will provide a much needed alternative mode of travel for both staff and passengers and reflects the anticipated growth in passenger numbers through the airport.
"The airport has been in operation for almost 70 years without a rail line, and this addition will significantly enhance access to and from the airport for Perth residents."
Mr Truss said the $2 billion project—which is fully funded by the Western Australian Government—will enhance Perth Airport's role as the major gateway to and from Western Australia, and provide improved access for business and tourism travellers.
"By 2034, the Master Plan 2014 indicates that the total (direct and indirect) number of aviation-related full-time employees at the airport could grow to approximately 22,000. This airport is already an important regional employer and this expansion will solidify that status," he said.
"Additionally, the total annual number of international and domestic passengers is forecast to grow to about 8.6 million and 20 million respectively, reflecting on the airport's importance to the national economy.
Images: Forrestfield-Airport Link / Public Transport Authority.