Birmingham Airport shelves plans for second runway

(1.12.2007   Birmingham Post)

News there will be no second runway at Birmingham International Airport has been
welcomed by the MP representing hundreds of families whose homes were blighted
by the plans.

Caroline Spelman (Con Meriden) said she welcomed the announcement, which would
end years of uncertainty for constituents. The airport confirmed that plans for
a second runway will be suspended until at least 2030, when it published the final
draft of its master plan.

[The airport will be]  extending the existing runway by 405 metres, allowing it
to accommodate larger aircraft and offer more long-haul flights.

Mrs Spelman said: “It is a great relief to my constituents. It gives clarity
to people who have been in the dark, and whose homes have been blighted. It is
a great relief that the airport has accepted that the environmental cost of a
second runway would outweigh the environmental benefits.”

The airport, which served 9.2 million passengers in 2006, expects to serve 27.2
million in 2030.

But the predicted growth in passenger numbers has been reduced from earlier forecasts
of 31.7 million by 2030.

The Master Plan states: “A second runway should not be needed before 2030. Consequently,
a new second runway has not been included in this Master Plan, but, as the forecasts
are reviewed, over future periods, runway capacity and the need for a second runway
could be reconsidered.”


The airport is also to aim to ensure a quarter of all passengers travel to it
by public transport by 2012.


Birmingham International Airport is the UK’s second largest airport outside London
and the sixth largest [in the UK] overall. It directly provides 7,500 jobs and
is estimated to contribute some £272 million to the regional economy.