Perth Airport is planning to invest $80 million on projects to underpin the future growth of regional aviation in Western Australia within the Airport Central precinct.

This will include the construction of a new $35 million maintenance hangar for VARA – Virgin Australia Group’s regional and charter flying operation – and additional aviation support facilities.

Perth Airport Acting Chief Executive Officer, Kate Holsgrove said growth in FIFO and regional passenger movements over the past three years made it timely to invest in new capacity and facilities.

“This project is a key enabler for the future growth of T2 and the wider centralisation process and we are delighted to partner with VARA to support their growth in Western Australia,” she said.

“We are pleased VARA will support this new maintenance hangar and apron facility once it is built in September 2024.”

VARA Executive General Manager, Nathan Miller said Perth and Western Australia were an extremely important part of Virgin Australia’s business.

He said the project demonstrated the airline’s commitment to the West and its VARA operation.

“Our fleet renewal program is well underway and will strengthen our resources and contract flying in Western Australia. The program means larger, more fuel efficient 737-700 aircraft will join the fleet as we phase out our F100s,” he said.

“This upgrade of our facility is another important step forward for VARA and will enable a more efficient and flexible operation from our Perth Airport base.”

VARA has committed to an Agreement for Lease of the new maintenance hangar and apron facility, which will allow VARA to operate more efficiently by consolidating its warehouse, storage, and engineering and maintenance office facilities in one location.

Ms Holsgrove said Perth Airport would also develop the Aviation Support Precinct near T2.

“This area will be reserved for operations that require airside access and apron areas for aeronautical operations, including hangarage, ground support providers, flight catering and airfreight logistics,” she said.

“This provides another opportunity for airlines to grow their business in Perth.”

“Perth Airport’s vision to consolidate all commercial air services at Airport Central aligns with Master Planning dating back to the 1970s and we are excited to start the next stages of development.”

The Aviation Support Precinct is located south of the T2 apron; bounded by Airport Drive.