The Australian newspaper Friday edition has a regular column dedicated to aviation.  Last Fridays edition contained a report by the chief aviation writer Steve Creedy about the projected growth in aviation and the challenges to all service providers in the sector.

In an address to the recent Australian Airports Association annual conference the Chief Executive Office of Airservices Australia Mr Greg Russell outlined some of the challenges facing his organisation.  Airservices Australia is Australia's Air Navigation Service Provider responsible for Air Traffic Control, Aviation Fire Services and associated services.

Mr Russell advised Airservices Australia have forecast airline passenger numbers to increase by 20% over the next five years and  by 50% within 10 years.  On current trends Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney airports will have to move one aircraft a minute for 17 hours a day in all weather conditions to cope with projected traffic demand. It should be noted that all this traffic will not be travelling just between these three cities and other airports will have to cope with increased demand.

Mr Russell's comments echo those of Alan Joyce ,the CEO of Australia's largest airline Qantas, who expect passenger numbers to increase by 250% from todays numbers by the year 2030.  Qantas have also forecast the requirement of $10 billion of infrastucture improvements to the nation's airports to cope with the demand.  The infrastructure Mr Joyce is calling for is to better process aircraft to airports and be more efficient in moving aircraft around the airfield by the construction of more taxiways, runways and aircraft parking facilities. At the moment the only large piece of airside infrastucture planned at Australia's major airfields is a parallel runway at Brisbane airport. 

Congestion at airports is becoming more costly.  One major mining company has estimated the cost for delays at Perth Airport due to congestion during the middle of the week to be $120 million in just 9 months.  Ultimately this cost will be passed on to the consumer or reduce profits to shareholders.

pdf Aviation numbers to soar  for a full copy of the article.