All we want for Xmas is a runway extension

Paul Kehoe, the new Birmingham International Airport boss, has made an impassioned plea in the Birmingham Post ahead of Solihull's planning committee meeting for the 400m airport runway extension; Birmingham Airport chief's Christmas wish for a runway extension.

Mr Kehoe said that while the airport's passenger numbers would increase regardless of the runway extension the extension would add four million passengers a year and allow flights to China and the West Coast of the United States. The extension would allow new routes to operate and encourage people to fly from Birmingham without needing to travel to other airports.

Mr Kehoe said: “It is important we obtain this decision to improve global connectivity, enhance economic growth and support the development of new jobs for local people. Being able to fly from Birmingham could take millions of cars off the roads by clawing back Midlands-based traffic from other UK airports.

“Without it, overseas investors could go elsewhere; it’s happened before. Our proposals for a runway extension are proportionate and comply with all the appropriate national, local and regional policies. This is a demanding project and the first critical step in its delivery is gaining planing approval.”

Planning officials have recommended approval saying any problems are outweighed by the benefits. Airport bosses have furthered this by saying that emissions would stay within acknowledged standards.

The support for the airport has been challenged however by Birmingham Airport anti-noise group which has criticised the cost-benefit analysis. They claim that with consideration of carbon dioxide emissions a 36 per cent rise would reduce the net present value of the extension to £0.

The Planning Committee will consider the expansion plans on the 15th December.


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