Birmingham airport should come clean over expansion aspirations

9.4.2010   (Birmingham Friends of the Earth press release)

Environmental campaigners have welcomed this morning’s announcement by BIA chief
executive Paul Kehoe   (BBC interview on Hard Talk)  that the runway extension will not be built for at least 5 years, but are
calling for more clarity over what work is to be completed and who will pay for

Recently both Birmingham and Solihull councils have offered to put in £16 million
each of "state aid" to allow the runway extension to go ahead by paying for work
to move the A45, but the details of this have remained private. Birmingham FOE
is now calling for all relevant documents to be made available for public scrutiny
and for the case to be completely reviewed with regards to the legislation now
in place.

Friends of the Earth won huge public support for the Big Ask Campaign which resulted
in the 2008 Climate Change Act which has made the Aviation White Paper of 2003,
AWP 2003,   (on which all runway plans were based) obsolete, and they are now calling
for more transparency and a complete review of the plans for expanding aviation
in this country.

Joe Peacock from Birmingham Friends of the Earth stated  "We now know that aviation expansion
plans do not add up for the planet or the people of the West Midlands. New government
guidance, in the form of a National Planning Statement on Aviation,  due next year
must take into account the science of climate change that is recognised in law
and this will mean expanding aviation, as set out in the AWP of 2003, can no longer
be justified."

"The airport should now tell the public exactly what their plans are and stop
asking for state subsidies for potentially very damaging work to be carried out
on the greenbelt."

"Birmingham City Council have recently announced some green measures to get the
economy moving, so these should be the focus of investment from the public purse,
as the financial return for the area will be far higher.(1)"


Notes to Editors


1) Birmingham City Council recently passed the Climate change action plan to
cut its £1.5 billion energy bill and generate investment in green jobs 

2) The Big Ask Campaign resulted in the climate change act 2008 

3) Lord Justice Carnwath ruled that the 2003 Air Transport White Paper – the
foundation of aiport expansion plans across the country – is obsolete because
it is inconsistent with the Climate Change Act 2008. 

4) Birmingham Friends of the Earth campaigns on many environmental issues, including
the promotion of sustainable transport.

For more information contact: Joe Peacock (Birmingham Friends of the Earth)

0121 632 6909/07810 508 720

BBC local Birmingham radio interview on Friday 9th April at
(first interview is 9mins 55 secs)
Calling for public money to move the A45 trunk road shareholders to put their
hands in their pockets and travellers to come back …Now saying rather than the
extension being ready for the Olympics we are looking at 2018

Comment from an AirportWatch member:

Paul Kehoe did the same thing when he  was MD at Luton: of the £23M spend to create
the East Luton Corridor (the link into the airport from the M1)  Europe’s taxpayers
stumped up all but about a paltry contribution from the airport of £350,000.  
And the M1 widening up to J10 (and that which will be required southbound from
J13 to J10), and the extensive works at M1 J10 and 10A, are all necessary because
overwhelming majority of Luton travellers get to the place by road.



see also

Birmingham International Airport press release on 9.4.2010
 in which they say:
“It is important to recognise that the scheme already has Planning Consent and
has passed Environmental Scrutiny. There are no further planning hurdles.

“The scheme is challenging as it involves the upgrade of the A45 Birmingham-Coventry
road (such work will, in any case, be required in future, to include benefits
around for public transport and metro). Work has continues (sic)  to determine
the best route for the scheme to be funded.

“With funding in place and Board Approval to proceed, the runway could be open
as early as 2014.”
see also

Obstacles pile up for Birmingham Airport runway extension

6th April 2010         Birmingham’s campaign to market itself as Heathrow’s 3rd runway could turn into
a money-spinner, but only if legal difficulties can be resolved. BIA has already
said the business case for the extension doesn’t stack up in the current straitened
circumstances and is resisting Birmingham City Council’s insistence that a longer
runway, allowing non-stop flights to China, India and the west coast of America,
must proceed immediately. (Birmingham Post)           Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport extension in doubt over road row

1st April 2010       A £32 million road improvement plan to kick-start the airport’s runway extension
is in doubt – because funding arrangements may not be lawful. The A45 Coventry
Road must be moved from the airport perimeter before work on the extension can
begin. Birmingham City Council intends to split the cost with Solihull Council.
There are concerns that the city council cannot be seen to directly fund the airport,
which is a private company. (BP)     Click here to view full story…

Birmingham: Time to scrap runway plans

26th March 2010         Following a High Court judge’s ruling against the decision to approve Heathrow’s
3rd runway local environmental campaigners said the same should apply to plans
for the expansion of Birmingham Airport. Lord Justice Carnwath ruled that the
2003 ATWP is obsolete because it is inconsistent with the Climate Change Act 2008.
The government must prepare an NPS to establish the case before large infrastructure
expansion can go ahead. (B’ham FoE)       Click here to view full story…

7.4% fall in passengers flying from Birmingham Airport in January

18th February 2010       Passenger numbers fell by 7.4% at Birmingham Airport  in January  but managers
said it “still out-performed rivals”.
During Jan, the airport handled 521,566 travellers through its two terminals,
including 424,912 scheduled passengers and 96,654 charter passengers. The CAA
figures show that by contrast, for all the UK airports that   have report figures
for Jan (almost all of them) the air transport movements are down by – 9.9% compared
to Jan 2009, and passengers down – 6%.      
Click here to view full story…


Heathrow faces threat from plan to link high-speed rail route with Birmingham

8th February 2010       A Birmingham station  could become a serious competitor to Heathrow under government plans for a 200mph high-speed rail network.   A site near Birmingham
airport is being considered as a station on a new route that will link the 2 cities
by a 50-minute train ride.   If the government pushes ahead with the plan it would
take no longer to reach Birmingham from Euston station than it currently takes
to get to Heathrow. The route would link to Crossrail, from Heathrow to Canary
Wharf to open in 2017. (Guardian)
    Click here to view full story…