AMBITIOUS plans to extend Birmingham International Airport’s runway look likely to be grounded after the chief executive Paul Kehoe admitted that getting the money to pay for the £120million project is proving difficult while the business case ‘is marginal at best’.
The situation has been compounded by the possible withdrawal of a £25million grant to help finance the diversion of the A45 to accommodate the extra 400 metres the runway needs.
Formed at the height of the boom, the runway extension appeared to offer a gateway to a greater world for Britain’s second city.
However the reality of the recession shows a country in danger of losing its credit rating and desperately printing money to keep the economy going.
What is particularly worrying is the issue of the business case; if it’s marginal at best, when wasn’t it?
The news will come as a blow to those who saw the extended airport as just the shot in the arm for the regional economy. Opposers will be delighted that more green space isn’t about to disappear under tarmac.
Others might see it as a lucky escape from incurring more debt and more disruption and an opportunity to create a more sustainable and 21st Century solution to our transport needs.