Bimingham airport to get subsidy out of public funds for its runway

Here is another subsidy to the aviation industry. Birmingham council has issued
invitations to tender for the runway extension and road diversion – about £70
million. It seems Birmingham and other councils will pay for the road, and the
airport for the runway extension. But the councils are majority shareholders in
the airport. There is also a pledge of £15.7m from the Regional Growth Fund. So
while severe spending cuts are being made, the public has to fund airport growth.

9.9.2011 (Aviation Environment Federation)

Subsidy to Birmingham airport

Another subsidy to the aviation industry has been reported – this time for Birmingham
The situation is rather complex. Birmingham council has issued invitations to
tender for both the runway extension and road diversion, which could cost around
£70 million. It appears that  Birmingham and adjacent councils will pay for the
road diversion while the airport will pay for the runway extension. But the councils
are majority shareholders in the airport. There is also a pledge of £15.7m from the
Regional Growth Fund.      

But whatever the exact proportion of the bill is attributable to the councils, it
is remarkable that with all the cuts being imposed on councils and on central
government departments and the resulting cut to public services, money can be
found to subsidise airport growth.

AEF believes that both airport extensions and surface transport enhancements
provided for airports should be paid for by the airport operator, not the taxpayer.


Press article:

From The Business Desk


Tenders issued for £70m runway extension and A45 diversion

Plans to extend the runway at Birmingham Airport and realign a short section
of the A45 dual carriageway adjacent to the airport are set to cost around £70m.

Birmingham City Council, on behalf of Solihull Borough Council, has submitted
tenders for the projects estimating the work could cost between £56m and £70m.

It is offering contractors three separate proposals – one for each of the projects
or a single mega-contract for both. The combined contract may be more preferable
as it would produce greater savings.

The tender document states: “Birmingham City Council intends to improve and re-align 2km of the A45 dual carriageway
adjacent to Birmingham Airport. The new road will include an upgraded carriageway
and facilities for the future accommodation of public transportation infrastructure

Birmingham Airport will, following the diversion of the A45, extend its existing
runway by approximately 400 metres. An extension to Birmingham Airport’s runway
is considered to be a significant element of the airport’s future development

Currently, the length of the runway restricts the range of destinations, markets
and routes which can be served directly from Birmingham Airport.

The proposed runway extension will meet the growing demand for a wider range
of destinations and directly served routes to support the regional and local economy

The A45 Corridor Improvement project is set to begin next July and the work will
include the diversion of the main carriageway, new drainage and a new pumping
station, watercourse diversions, new safety barriers and traffic signs, new lighting
columns and landscaping. The runway extension works are scheduled to begin in
June 2013 – five years late.

The original intention was to have the scheme concluded to coincide with the
start of the London Olympics. However, the recession and protracted opposition
to the scheme combined to delay the project.

The tender document states the project will include the construction of a new
runway and taxiway pavements, the overlay of the existing airfield pavements,
the installation of new ground lighting, a new airfield sub-station, a new airfield
perimeter road, a pumping station and a pollution control system and various landscaping.

The third contract option would be: “A combination of the works as described within Lots 1 and 2 with management of
the interfaces and the co-ordination of activities associated with the delivery
of the entire project.”

The tendering process will conclude in February next year when the council will
award the contact. The combined works are expected to be completed by the end
of 2014.

The decision to commit to the works was taken by the council and its partners
earlier this year when the Government pledged £15.7m from its Regional Growth
Fund – one of the first RGF settlements to be announced – to complete the funding

The runway extension will allow wide-bodied airliners to take off and land, putting
direct flights to China and the West Coast of the United States within reach of
Birmingham commuters and businesses.

Combined with better rail links – should the HS2 scheme be approved – the airport
will also be better positioned to relieve capacity over Heathrow and the south



See also earlier story with local comment.


Taxpayer subsidy for Birmingham airport

13.4.2011 (AEF)

Birmingham airport is the latest recipient of UK government (ie taxpayers’ )
subsidies for aviation.

See Birmingham FOE web site.  The spokesperson says:      

“The airport claims to be good for the economy but puts its hands into the tax
payers’ pockets time and time again. .. The aviation sector pays no tax on its
fuel and no VAT on the sales of tickets and planes .. what is worrying about these
bids is that they have been made in secret .. We would like to see just exactly
what predictions the Chamber along with their partners the airport have said in
these bids