The Port Hedland International Airport (PHIA) in the Pilbara region of Australia is undergoing a major redevelopment project to upgrade its infrastructure for improved passenger experience.
The airport serves more than 400,000 passengers every year and offers up to 50 commercial flights per week to destinations such as Brisbane, Bali, and Perth.
The A$40m ($28.74m) transformation project is part of the airport’s 2018-2038 master plan which aims to accommodate future passenger growth.
In August 2015, the Town of Port Hedland Council approved the lease of the airport to the consortium comprising AMP Capital and Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG) for a period of 50 years for A$205m ($147.31m).
The consortium agreed to make an upfront payment of A$165m ($118.57m), followed by an investment of A$40m ($28.74m) in the airport redevelopment over a period of five years.
Port Hedland airport master plan
The Port Hedland International Airport master plan covers a 20-year period between 2018 and 2038. It serves as a framework guide for future development initiatives in aviation and non-aviation fields. A draft master plan was submitted to the council in March 2018, after which it underwent peer review and changes based on feedback from the Council. The final revised draft with the amendments was issued in June 2019.
Key projects envisaged in the master plan include a new taxiway, resurfacing the runway with asphalt, improvements to runway lighting, and the upgrade of the passenger terminal building.
Port Hedland airport terminal redevelopment project
The new terminal is designed to be 800m² larger than the existing facility. Equipped with modern interiors, the facility will feature improved functionality and design.
The passenger terminal redevelopment project is being carried out in a live environment and is anticipated to be completed by the second quarter of 2021. It is expected to cost approximately A$30m ($20m).
Other developments at the airport
The PHIA Group completed upgrades worth A$18m ($12.17m) to airside pavements and infrastructure in November 2019.
A new Taxiway Golf was unveiled following a six-month works programme. Covering 15,000m², the pavement ensures efficient aircraft movement and expands the aircraft and freight capabilities of the airport. The general aviation apron was expanded to support the operation of the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s PC-24 aircraft.
The airport also underwent upgrades such as asphalt overlay, runway grooving, shape correction, and extension of apron areas. Other completed renovation works include the installation of medium intensity runway lighting, five additional apron lighting towers, movement area guidance signs, and expansion of parking to accommodate heavy-lift helicopters.
A dedicated heliport facility was opened at the airport to serve the offshore oil and gas sector in April 2018. A shade structure was installed at the terminal building’s entrance and the airport security fencing was also upgraded.
ADCO was appointed as the preferred builder for the renovation of the terminal building in January 2020. The company signed an agreement to provide construction services.
NS Group is the consulting project manager while Woods Bagot designed the airport’s passenger terminal redevelopment project.
BMD Constructions was contracted to build the new taxiway pavement.
Existing details of Port Hedland international airport
The Port Hedland airport acts as the gateway to the Pilbara region and the northwest of the country. Located along the Great Northern Highway, the airport offers a direct link to one of the largest iron ore export ports in the world. It has three sealed apron areas including the main RPT parking apron, northern general aviation apron, and southern apron. A helicopter operations area is available on the eastern side of the southern apron.
The terminal has check-in desks at the entrance while the departures lounge houses a bar and café with indoor and outdoor seating areas.
The airport offers short and long-term parking, as well as designated rideshare and taxi zones located opposite to the terminal for pick-up and drop-off of passengers.
Runways at the airport
The Port Hedland airport is served by two runways and an interconnecting taxiway. The 2,500m-long and 45m-wide main runway is used primarily for regular passenger transport services while the 1,000m-long and 18m-wide second runway caters to general aviation.