Birmingham Airport runway extension gets final green light

The final obstacle to Birmingham Airport’s runway extension project has been removed as shareholders gave the go-ahead to the £65m scheme. The 400 metre extension will give the airport the ability to offer long-haul flights to Asia and the US west coast.  A long-awaited shareholders’ meeting signed off the airport’s business case for the scheme. Birmingham hopes to fly to business and leisure destinations such as China, South Africa and the west coast of America directly once its runway extension is built. The start date for the work is not yet known. The government has said it will contribute £15.7m from the Regional Growth Fund towards the cost of diverting the A45 to make way for the runway extension. Regional passenger body Centro will contribute £10m towards the work.



29th February 2012

(The Business Desk)

THE final obstacle to Birmingham Airport’s runway extension project was removed today when shareholders gave the go-ahead to the £65m scheme.

The extension, which won planning permission from Solihull Borough Council in 2009, will give the airport the ability to offer long-haul flights to Asia and the US west coast, and has been seen as the most important transport project in the region since work began on Birmingham New Street Station’s Gateway revamp.

The green light was given to airport boss Paul Kehoe earlier today when a long-awaited shareholders’ meeting signed off his business case for the scheme.

Mr Kehoe said: “This is good news for both the airport and West Midlands region, and it allows us to pursue the development further.

“By meeting local demand, the airport will reduce unnecessary long-distance surface journeys to other UK airports and generate sustainable long-term economic growth inside its own local area.

“We have already invested in growth and could double passenger numbers tomorrow, without further infrastructure. The runway extension will enhance the Airport’s capability and open up the World to the people and economy of the Midlands – as well as helping to take pressure off the overheated South East.”

At just 2,600 metres, the current runway length restricts the range of destinations, markets and routes which can be served directly from the airport, resulting in thousands of people each year having to make long surface journeys to other UK airports outside the Midlands region.

To have unlimited aircraft types flying directly to long-haul routes require a longer take-off distance to enable aircraft to take off with a full payload.

Whilst the airport can currently serve short haul and medium haul routes into the UK and Europe, as well as limited long-haul routes to the east coast of North America and the Middle East, thriving business and leisure destinations further away, such as China, South Africa and the west coast of America, cannot be reached directly.

The airport therefore needs to extend its runway by 400m to achieve greater aircraft range.

The government has said it will contribute £15.7m from the Regional Growth Fund towards the cost of diverting the A45 to make way for the runway extension. Regional passenger body Centro will contribute £10m towards the work.

Birmingham Airport is a public/private partnership. The current shareholders include the seven West Midlands district councils (49%), Airport Group Investments Ltd. (AGIL), a limited company owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Teachers’) and Australia’s Victorian Funds Management Corp. (VFMC) (48.25%) and the Employee Share Trust (2.75%).




29 February 2012  (BBC)

Birmingham Airport directors back runway extension plan

Birmingham Airport’s directors have given the go-ahead to extend the runway.

Planning permission for the extension was approved in 2009 and the directors met on Wednesday to discuss the financial implications.

It is not known when construction will begin but a new control tower is currently being built.

Chief executive Paul Kehoe said it will allow them to compete with Manchester for flights to the Far East and the US.

Linking up with the high-speed rail project could turn the airport into a major international travel centre.

Mr Kehoe said: “Let’s give Manchester great credit for doing this 15 or 20 years ahead of us but, here we are now.

“We have an opportunity to reset the balance in our favour because the city of Birmingham and metropolitan area is three or four times the size of Manchester.

“We’ve now got the tools to do the job.”



More news on Birmingham Airport at  Birmingham Airport – News




Work on Birmingham Airport’s long-awaited runway extension may start in summer

January 30, 2012   £100 million contract to build Birmingham Airport’s long-awaited runway extension and carry out major improvements to the A45 is expected to be approved within weeks. The airport and Birmingham City Council have shortlisted 4 construction companies for the work. The successful bidder is likely to be announced by March, with work likely to begin in the summer. The project claims it will bring jobs, boost the regional economy etc etc but has proved controversial with environmental groups including Friends of the Earth questioning the value of increasing the number of flights. FoE has been critical of the funding arrangements, with £26 million towards the £32 million cost of diverting the A45 coming from the public purse. Work to the A45 and the runway extension is expected to be completed by 2014.    Click here to view full story…


KCC opposes estuary airport but says Manston is the short term answer to airport shortage (or expand at Birmingham instead)

Date added: January 20, 2012

Both Medway Council and Kent County Council have described plans for a Thames estuary airport as a “pie in the sky” idea, and believe Manston airport should be developed instead. Kent County Council has recently said “The building of a new airport will take at least a few years to come to fruitition. Increasing the use of Manston airport could help the government’s initiative to boost airport capacity in the South East in the short term.” This is very troubling to people living around Manston. Leaders on Medway Council have called on Transport Secretary Justine Greening to look at “fully utilising the capacity of existing airports including Manston and Birmingham, which could both be joined to London by high speed rail.” Click here to view full story…


Birmingham business leaders jubilant on HS2 – but rail link does not go to the airport

January 10, 2012     Birmingham believes it will benefit from the HS2 link. However, the rail link will not go to the airport, or even to the main rail station but under the plans, a new station will be built in Curzon Street, which is about a 15-minute walk from New Street Station. This is the so called interchange station which is on the other side of the M42 and will be linked to the airport and international station by a people mover of which we know little else but it could be a futuristic monorail or something similar … Birmingham Friends of the Earth want money spent on transport within the city – what is the point in a super-fast link to London if it takes an hour to reach the station, across the suburbs?    Click here to view full story…



Eurojet to create 50 jobs with £5m Birmingham Airport expansion

19th May 2011     Eurojet Aviation has announced expansion plans with a new 41,000 sq ft complex at the airport. It will feature a full-service fixed base operator (FBO) which means it has hangars on site and can look after airplanes and private operators. The maintenance facility is set for completion by the end of the year. It claims there will be 50 new jobs.  Kehoe is pleased about the establishment of an aircraft maintenance cluster in the West Midlands.      Click here to view full story…


Birmingham  airport aspiration to be a major air transport hub

17th May 2011     Birmingham airport is being promoted as the solution to capacity constraints as the government seeks to rebuff criticism that it lacks a coherent aviation policy. There is pressure to build more airport capacity in the south although there is enough already. Philip Hammond was present at the opening of the latest phase of the £100m redevelopment of the airport, and said Birmingham would become an even more important part of the UK national airport infrastructure.    Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport runway extension expected to be ready by 2014

20th April 2011     The airport agreed this week, when its board met, to go out to tender for its runway extension and is confident the £65 million project will be started in 2012 and completed by the end of 2014. It  hopes to then be able to offer non-stop flights to China, India and the west coast of America. Chris Crean, from West Midlands FoE said the airport is only going to pay a paltry £7 million and should pay more. ”The only reason the A45 needs realigning is to enable the runway extension to proceed.”      Click here to view full story…

 Key meeting over Birmingham Airport runway now the A45 money is secured

13th April 2011     Now that the Government’s Regional  Growth Fund has allocated £15.7 million for upgrading the A45, in order for the runway extension to go ahead, there will be a meeting to decide on next moves.  The airport will pay around £7 million itself.  There is the wild claim that the project “promises to create up to 3,400 new jobs and deliver a £631 million boost to the local economy.” From previous experience elsewhere, this figure is wildly over optimistic.     Click here to view full story…


More State aid for under-taxed aviation industry as Birmingham Airport to benefit from £15.7 million for A45 upgrading

12th April 2011     Just 1 in 10 of the bids to the government’s flagship regional growth fund have been approved – 50 in total. One is on behalf of Birmingham City Council.  It is for  £15.7 million towards upgrading the A45 around Birmingham Airport, “bringing hopes of an enlarged runway closer to being realised.” FoE said this shows “the hand of the Government and with its financial support of the aviation sector how it can claim to be the Greenest Government ever is beyond us.”      Click here to view full story…