THE State’s peak industry and tourism bodies have thrown their support behind construction of a second parallel runway at Perth Airport saying it will boost WA’s economy.

Leading the chorus of support is Chamber of Minerals and Energy chief executive Paul Everingham, who said that JU“lack of (runway) capacity at the airport has previously been a handbrake on growth for the resources sector”.

“This new investment will get us ahead of the game and set up the future capacity our industry needs,” Mr Everingham said.

“The resources sector is vital to the State’s future prosperity and the resources sector depends heavily on aviation.”

Even during the recent resources downturn, the airport has been at capacity on most weekday mornings and evenings.

Perth Airport will invest $520 million to build the runway, which will create 500 jobs in the construction phase.

But that is minor compared with the $1.7 billion the runway will inject into the tourism sector and billions more into the wider economy in its first two decades of use, according to Perth Airport.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA chief executive Chris Rodwell said in a joint statement that the new runway would help underwrite future growth in the State’s economy.

“The construction phase is only the start as the greater capacity at the airport opens up growth opportunities for a range of industries across the State,” Mr Rodwell said.

The additional runway was crucial for tourism, Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall said. Australian Hotels Association chief executive Bradley Woods said more tourists meant more business for hotels.

“The hospitality sector has made significant investments in new hotels and upgrading bars and restaurants, both in Perth and in the regions,” Mr Woods said.

“We now have an incredible range of offerings for tourists. If we bring more people to our capital city and our regions, we’ll drive even more investment and create more jobs.”

Perth Convention Bureau chief executive Paul Beeson and StudyPerth executive director Philip Payne saw the runway as key to attracting new airlines with nonstop services.

“Our east coast competitors have enjoyed direct-route access to their target markets for many years,” Mr Beeson said. “Ease of access for international conference delegates to Western Australia has been the one remaining limitation.”

Public consultation on the runway project ends on August 24 and the plan will be submitted to the Federal Government in December for approval.