How Perth Airport Operates
Take-off and landing – For safety, aircraft must take-off and approach into the wind as much as possible. This assists the aircraft with producing lift, provides more control and reduces the amount of runway required. Therefore the wind direction generally dictates which runways are used at Perth Airport.
Approaching the runway – For safety, it is important that the manner in which pilots approach a runway is similar around the world. Arriving aircraft will generally approach a runway in a relatively straight line from around three to four kilometres from the runway end and at a three-degree angle. This three-degree ‘glide path’ follows a line that descends about 100m every two kilometres.
Flights over Suburbs to the North of the Airport
The suburbs to the north of the airport are aligned with the north end of the main runway. Flights over this area are usually:
- Departures to the North – taking off into a northerly wind. This often happens in the morning and also in winter when northerly winds can blow all day.
- Arrivals from the North – landing into the southerly wind. This typically happens in the afternoons when the Fremantle Doctor blows.
In the calendar year of 2016, there were approximately 132,000 aircraft movements recorded at Perth Airport of which 30% operated over the northern suburbs.