Birmingham airport plans runway extension

Plane taking off

The runway at Birmingham International Airport will be extended by 405 metres if the airport receives planning permission from Solihull Council.

Last September Birmingham airport scrapped plans to build a second runway. But the airport believes extending the existing runway will allow it to welcome larger aircraft as well as offering more long haul routes from the UK's second city.

Just last month the Cross runway at Birmingham airport was officially closed, one of the few runways at an international airport ever to be shut. Now Birmingham airport will focus on extending the remaining runway in order to cope with the expected increase in airport passengers. The airport believes that passenger numbers could treble by 2030, and hopes the runway extension will be completed in time for the London Olympics in 2012.

Announcing the planning application, Birmingham International Airport MD, Joe Kelly said: "The connectivity that the runway extension could bring is vital for the future economic well being of the region and equally important to further establishing the region on the world stage".

The plan to extend the runway at Birmingham airport is sure to be opposed by local residents and environmental campaigners. Already the Birmingham Airport Anti-Noise Group (BANG) and Friends of the Earth have expressed their concerns to Solihull Council. It is feared that extending the runway could treble carbon dioxide emissions caused by aircraft, and double the number of people exposed to aircraft noise pollution.

Birmingham International is the sixth largest airport in the UK and in 2006 handled more than nine million passengers. The airport claims to be the third largest UK airport for charter traffic, and to have the highest proportion of business traffic after Heathrow. Over 50 airlines fly from Birmingham to more than 100 destinations around the world. Seven low cost airlines fly from Birmingham including Flybe, bmibaby, Ryanair and Monarch.

Written by: Nick Purdom

 

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Birmingham Airport Plans Runway Extension