Birmingham Airport today restated its desire to see the extension completed as soon as possible, should funding be put in place. Since 2007 the Airport has been working with a range of stakeholders, to see how the opening of the Runway Extension could be brought that much nearer.
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 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.
Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “I can both sense and understand the regional frustration over lack of progress with a runway extension. Although there aren’t shovels in the ground, behind the scenes we have already committed millions in project planning, and buying land that we might need. Other Stakeholders have also done their best to accelerate progress, so that an equitable funding solution can be delivered.
“Our people are eager to deliver a World-Class gateway; that’s why we have just invested £50 million in our new International Pier which can even take the World’s largest Airliner – the A380. A runway extension will see aircraft delivering passengers from distant locations – bringing investment and jobs to the Midlands.
“We have planning consent to extend the runway, and there is a general acceptance that a truly Global Gateway will generate economic activity and thus jobs in a region which, sadly, is unproductive compared with other parts of the UK and which has been in decline since 1976.
“We are aware of the enormous regional benefits from an extension – which could generate 2,500 jobs where they will be sorely needed. This was recognised back in 2007 by AWM, and continues to be recognised by a wide range of stakeholders”.