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Perth Airport’s $5B Facelift: Is Mass Timber Set for Takeoff?

11 June 2024

Perth is getting a new airport hub, with Qantas—Australia’s national carrier—and Perth Airport yesterday revealing plans for an AU $5 billion-plus airport precinct. The new airport will include two multi-storey car parking facilities, a hotel—a first for the airport—major roadworks, and a new engineering hanger for all Qantas and Jetstar planes.

According to Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson, the deal—which will see the carrier contribute $3 billion in a private finance funding deal with Perth Airport—”is the largest infrastructure deal in (Qantas) history,” with Perth to become the airline’s second-largest hub in Australia. As a result, “it will enable us to create a world-class Western hub and significantly expand domestic and international services “in the short, medium, and long term.”

Perth Airport CEO Jason Waters said the deal will “unlock the future” for both the airport and Qantas, with the Flying Kangaroo putting forward “ambitious growth plans” for its Perth operations: “Western Australians will now see the largest-ever private investment in an infrastructure development in Perth – a once-in-a-lifetime investment program that will completely change the face of Perth Airport over the next decade.”

The new deal comes after Wood Central revealed that the Brisbane Airport – also undergoing a $5 billion-plus redevelopment of its domestic terminals, is looking to use mass timber, recycled concrete and green steel as part of its third terminal. The new terminal, to be constructed “sometime in the early 2030s,” will be positioned between the two runways to maximise connectivity, with airport executives confirming that it will be “built with inclusive and sustainable design.”

Could Perth’s new airport incorporate mass timber in its design?

Globally, airports are embracing mass timber construction to meet the needs of modern aviation – with airports and airlines are quick to switch out traditional concrete-and-steel building systems for timber-hybrid systems, which are both lighter and faster to construct.

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