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Port Hedland Hosts Airport Forum

18 July 2014


Heads of North West airports met with peak aviation groups and industry experts today in Port Hedland to discuss challenges and future opportunities for aviation in the region.

Deputy Mayor and airport committee chair Gloria Jacob said she was pleased to be able to host the first North Western Australia Airport Forum.

“Today was a great opportunity to start the dialogue between our North West airport neighbours and engage in fruitful discussion around aviation challenges and future development within our regions,” she said.

“We all know how critical aviation is to our region and the efficient operation of our industries – as a region we have experienced unprecedented growth which has put pressure on our infrastructure.

“One of the key topics today was how we as airports can all work together and partner with the State Government to look at opportunities to help alleviate congestion and bring on infrastructure when it's required.

“Interestingly we need to consider the impact of a third runway at Perth Airport and what this means for peak hours at the Pilbara airports – as an industry we need to plan for the future together.

"We also started the conversation around governance arrangements and whether there are better models to operate and fund our airports."

Town of Port Hedland Chief Executive Officer Mal Osborne said today was a fruitful discussion.

“The Town of Port Hedland was pleased to host key aviation agencies and organisations today to discuss growth opportunities for our region.

“Route development was certainly a topic on the agenda – individually we obviously have smaller populations than metro cities, however combined as a region our population catchment certainly becomes a lot more attractive to airlines looking to expand their offerings.

“As an example Port Hedland has a population of 20,000 – combined with other Pilbara catchment areas this grows to 105,000 and coupled with our extended North Western neighbours we are looking at a population of 165,000.

“There was also substantial discussion regarding governance models of regional airports with a focus on investment requirements, leasing and achieving appropriate rates of return on investments.

“We need to work together and with our industry partners to explore and develop opportunities for our region and I look forward to continuing this relationship."

The forum was attended by Town of Port Hedland representatives, the City of Karratha (Karratha Airport), Broome Airport, Shire of East Pilbara (Newman Airport) and presentations were provided by the Department of Transport, Airservices Australia, Australian Airport Association, Three Consulting and The Airport Group.

M.J. (MAL) OSBORNE
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
FRIDAY 18 JULY 2014

*ENDS*

Released on behalf of: Town of Port Hedland
For media enquiries: Nur-Irdah Halik
Senior Communications Officer
PH: (08) 9158 9355
E: publicityofficer@porthedland.wa.gov.au