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
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