EXPANSION plans by Birmingham International Airport may have to be abandoned in order for the Government to meet its climate change targets.
This warning has come from an environmental group, the Campaign for Better Transport, which said emissions from the enlarged Heathrow Airport would be so great that regional airports like BIA may have to cut thousands of flights to keep within the targets.
A study by the group revealed that three runways at Heathrow would use two-thirds of British aviation’s carbon quota by 2050.
BIA is seeking permission to extend its runway by 400 metres and chief executive Paul Kehoe said the planning application had been submitted with the Government’s White Paper for a third runway at Heathrow in mind.
“At a time when the Midlands’ economy is in great need of a boost, it would be madness if Birmingham was to suffer at the expense of Heathrow,” he said.
“The South East is not the whole of the UK and the economic benefits of our plans have been shown to improve the fortunes of our local community.
“Birmingham, as Britain’s second city, needs direct global connections, not an artificial constraint which forces businesses investing in the Midlands to fight their way out of Heathrow and up the M40.”
The Government has denied the Campaign for Better Transport’s claim on Heathrow’s carbon use and is confident the development of green technology will enable the continued expansion of regional airports.
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “The aircraft industry, through its Sustainable Aviation initiative, has already produced a road map setting out how it is possible to bring aviation CO2 emissions below 2005 levels by 2050 while still providing for the growth forecast by the Government.”
Solihull MP Lorely Burt said that skewing the aircraft industry towards the South East was a mistake. “It is absolutely crucial that people are given the opportunity to fly from their local airport,” she added.