Third Rate Perth Airport

I’ve just had another lousy experience trying to get to Perth domestic airport, a facility which must surely rate as Australia’s worst major airport.

The problem isn’t the terminal per se, the overwhelming problem is simply trying to reach the domestic terminals to drop passengers off. The system used to work quite well, until the airport operator changed the approaches to the terminal drop off area, making it almost impossible for motorists to simply drive up to the set down area, as we used to be able to do, to quickly and efficiently drop off passengers, then get out.

I’ve made the trip a few times in the last few weeks and the chaos is getting worse; primarily because of bad traffic design and a failure to employ enough security staff to move vehicles which are illegally parked.

Apparently, cars are only allowed to remain at the set down area for about two minutes, which should be more than adequate to drop off passengers and luggage, or pick them up after they’ve arrived. And that is one of the reasons for the domestic airport’s gross inefficiency: cars wishing to either drop off or pick up passengers have to use the same narrow lane.

Part of the problem with accessing the domestic terminals is caused by cars parking on the main access road, thus causing a safety hazard. I appreciate that planes do run late, but common sense should tell these idiot drivers that finding a safe parking spot somewhere off the main entrance road would make it easier for everyone to reach the terminals without having to worry about illegally parked cars suddenly pulling out in front of you to force their way into the traffic. Police seem to simply ignore the fact that these cars are an obvious road hazard and accidents waiting to happen. Surely it shouldn’t be too hard to organize a couple of blitzes, fining and moving on those drivers who ignore basic safety principles.

Then there are those who blatantly park in the drop off/pick up area, further adding to the congestion and frustration. Where is Perth Airport security to move these people on? With the amount of money that the airport managers are making from the obscene parking fees they charge you’d think they could spend a few dollars employing minimum wage parking attendants ensure that traffic keeps flowing, and allowing a greater number of cars in for a temporary set down or pick up.

This evening it took twenty minutes to drive the last few hundred metres to the drop off point. Twenty minutes of wasted time when most people are rushing to catch a plane! This is shambolic, ineffectual, incompetent traffic management and a pathetic example of how not to run an efficient organisation.

Perth shares the same time zone as 60% of the world’s population. To our near north we have some marvelous airports, particularly in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong. Theirs are airports which are efficient, well organised and user friendly, these airports make Perth Airport look like a sub-standard, tinpot, third world afterthought. A place to be avoided at all costs.

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