New airline lounges with direct access to boarding gates, airport hotels and an automated people mover connecting domestic and international terminals – that's what Perth Airport is promising for the next decade.
It's part of an ambitious $2bn upgrade which will see all terminals and airlines brought together under a single sprawling roof.
This will include Qantas shifting from today's combined T3/T4 to join what is currently the T1/T2 precinct, which houses Virgin Australia and all other international airlines - finally delivering seamless transfers for Qantas passengers and ending the airline's ongoing stoush with Perth Airport management over which terminals to use for its international flights.
Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown says he is committed to opening its centralised 'aviation hub' no later than 2025, although this will be just the first of two stages.
“The first phase will include three new international gates accessed through the existing terminal building," Brown says.
"It will provide new technological processes such as self-service bag drop; improved board gate facilitation and new retail and food and beverage outlet layouts. There will also be new airline lounges which have better views and are closer to boarding gates."
An all-new domestic terminal will be integrated into the upgraded international terminal and play host to Qantas' domestic flights from 2025.
“The current Terminals 3 and 4 are rapidly reaching their use-by date," Brown says.“ "Qantas have a strong preference for a seamless transition for their passengers between domestic and international flights, and that’s what we are committed to delivering to all air travellers."
The second stage of the project – which the airport says "will be delivered at a future date dependent on passenger growth and airline partner needs" – will include the opening of include airport hotels, a Changi-style shuttle train linking the terminals and a new international pier with direct gate access from some lounges – something which Emirates already does from Perth, Brisbane and Dubai.
“Our aim is to provide smoother movement of passengers from kerbside to flight gate," Brown elaborates. "We’ll be looking at the latest biometrics technology to help create this seamless passenger experience."
In the more foreseeable future, a direct rail link from Perth City to the airport is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2020.