Paul Kehoe, Chief Executive of Birmingham Airport, has welcomed the Government’s announcement of the preferred route for the second phase of HS2 and stressed the need to establish an aviation strategy that “complements the investment in HS2”.
In response to the HS2 announcement, Kehoe said: “This announcement is a welcome step towards making HS2 a reality. It sets out how the full network connects eight out of ten of our key cities and will transform the economic geography of the UK. HS2 will enable our cities to work more efficiently together to help rebalance the economy and boost national growth.
“Airports are a critical part of this story and we need to build a vision for UK aviation that complements the investment in HS2. HS2 will bring Birmingham Airport within one hour’s journey time of 30% of the UK population and just over half an hour from London. By providing passengers with more choice of where to fly from, it will help us make best use of spare capacity at airports across the UK.
“But to support the growth of our great cities, we need to build a truly integrated air-rail transport system where HS2 links together a network of national airports. This will ensure that cities outside of the South-East have thriving airports to support local businesses to grow and prosper. We will continue to work with the Airports Commission to best establish how HS2 can complement the UK’s aviation strategy.”
In response to the decision to put on hold plans for a spur to Heathrow Airport until after the Airports Commission had delivered its conclusions in 2015, Kehoe said: “Building a new rail link to an airport that is already overflowing is clearly illogical, and so the decision to put on hold plans for a Heathrow spur is the right one. The Airports Commission must be given the space to conduct its inquiry outside of the political spotlight so that they can establish the best solution to UK aviation policy.”
Birmingham Airport's 'Shrinking Britain' map can be downloaded online here