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 Australia (WA)
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Perth (PER)

Perth is the capital of Western Australia and is notable for being the most remote major city in the world. This remoteness is a bit of a mixed blessing for the aviation enthusiast. On the one hand the population of Perth and its surrounding catchment area isn't really enough to support a huge, busy international airport, and movements here can be slow. However, because it's so far from any other major centre, it does attract quite an interesting selection of air traffic that probably wouldn't otherwise be seen at an airport/city of this size, both in terms of scheduled services and one-offs, and an average visit will likely come up with some 'goodies'.

Photography at Perth isn't too bad in general, despite the lack of any decent official viewing facility. There are a number of spots within walking distance of one or other of the terminals (windows, fences, crash gates etc.) where photographs may be possible with care and some luck if you're prepared to do a bit of walking and investigating. These are shown below. There also appear to be a few places around the ends of the runways where action shots are possible, although the airport itself is so large that a car will really be needed to access these spots (see the links section below for more information on these).

a) To the right of the domestic terminals (when facing them) is the cargo area. There are a number of spots here where photos should be possible 'through the fence', depending on what is present and where it's parked.

VH-TBS N54317 N127HP VH-HTC VH-FKF
VH-TBS
Australian Cargo  Boeing 727
N54317
SP-2H Neptune
N127HP
Hawkins & Powers  F-27
VH-HTC
TNT  Boeing 707
VH-FKF
Ansett N.T.  F.28

b) Although neither of the two domestic terminals have a dedicated viewing area, both have a number of large windows overlooking much of the airport. You can get good shots of taxiing aircraft from here (reflections don't seem to be a problem), and probably some runway shots as well with a long enough lens. The light is good in the afternoon.

VH-NJZ VH-JSJ
VH-NJZ
Airlink  BAe 146
VH-JSJ
National Jet  DHC-8

c) The airport's main hangar area is located to the left of the domestic terminals, together with a large ramp used by all kinds of smaller and non-airline aircraft. Again, a walk around this area investigating the various nooks and crannies should allow a number of photo opportunities through the fence.

A11-090 VH-NGA VH-MTR VH-MIT N54317
A11-090
RAAF  Falcon 20
VH-NGA
Qwestair  WW1124 Westwind
VH-MTR
Execair  Cessna 340
VH-MIT
Execair  MU-2
(N54317)
SP-2H Neptune

d) The official airport viewing area is located in the international terminal. This gives a reasonable view over much of the airport, but photographs are only really possible of aircraft actually using the international terminal itself, due to the distance from the rest of the airport (10 km by road to the domestic terminals!). Unfortunately you're facing into the sun almost all day here, and reflections from the glass can also cause problems. Not ideal.

V8-RBH
V8-RBH
Royal Brunei  Boeing 767

e) All international flights (not just scheduled passenger services) use the large international apron, and it may be possible to get some shots (particularly of biz-jets or other more unusual visitors) from either side of the terminal itself, depending on where anything is parked.

158868 162173 G-POSN
158868
US Navy  US-3A Viking
162173
US Navy  C-2A Greyhound
G-POSN
P&O  BAe 125
 
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Last visited on 26 January 1996 Top of page
 
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Maps

Click on the icons below to see maps relating to Perth airport. Note that these are all external links to other sites, and will open in a new window.

PER Map   Area Map
Official Perth airport map
(including other airport information)

 Courtesy of: Airservices Australia
 (This is a large file and may take a while to download. Be patient!)

Note that you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader (v4.0 or later) installed in order to view this.
Click here to download this from the Adobe site if you need it.

  General map of the Perth area

Courtesy of:
Maps by Expedia.com Travel
maps.expedia.com

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Links

Perth International Airport (official)
A nicely designed site with lots of useful information. Includes comprehensive terminal details, including access, very useful international flight schedules and real time arrivals/departures (but nothing for domestic flights), and various potentially useful maps of the airport, a number of which unfortunately require certain plugins to be downloaded before they can be viewed.

Perth Airport Plane Spotting
A brief but quite useful account of one of the runway spotting areas, with a number of photos.

The Sydney Airport Message Board
Some useful info on possible spotting locations around Perth airport.

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