Cunderdin, Western Australia
Cunderdin Aerodrome is approximately 67NM from Perth Airport.
Flying time, via direct track in a commercial passenger aircraft, is approximately 15 minutes.
After a comprehensive assessment of various possible sites for this alternate landing site (ALS) project, Ascent Aviation's project team selected Cunderdin on the basis of:
- Location relative to the coast, and the hills - it's not coastal, so it avoids the weather systems that cause Perth Airport traffic difficulty on some occasions. East of the hills, on flat topography is a major advantage. Ascent analysed five years worth of Bureau of Meteorology aviation-specific weather forecasts for Cunderdin Aerodrome and Perth Airport to determine the suitability of Cunderdin as the development location.
- An existing, operating aerodrome - expanding an existing aerodrome is much easier than buying a parcel of agricultural land to establish an aviation operation.
- Proximity to Perth Airport - 67NM equates to approximately 15 minutes flying time, on a direct track.
- On Great Eastern Hwy, 158km by road from Perth Airport
- great for logistics in the event an aircraft develops an engineering issue en-route to Perth. Engineering support is less than 2 hours drive to attend to the aircraft. Likewise, fuel resupply is swift, if being transported from Kewdale.
- a swift road-recovery for the passengers in the event the aircraft is unable to depart in a timely manner. This is a similar timeframe as a road-recovery between Gold Coast Airport and Brisbane Airport; similar to the ALS relationship we're proposing between Cunderdin Aerodrome and Perth Airport.
A quick word about the weather
The good thing about a destination airport and a corresponding alternate, is that the weather at the alternate doesn't have to be "perfect" all the time. It just has to be suitable ("above minima") at the times where the destination airport is poor (or, "below minima").
Cunderdin Aerodrome gets its share of fog and thunderstorms. But the important thing is that the instances of below minima weather, concurrent at both airports, is statistically negligible - that is, it happens so rarely that it doesn't pose an issue to airlines.
We determined this by meticulously analysing five years worth of Bureau of Meteorology aviation weather forecasts for both Cunderdin Aerodrome and Perth Airport. These are the same forecasts that are provided to airlines' Navigation and Meteorology operations teams.