THE Government’s go-ahead for a third runway at Heathrow Airport will make no difference to Birmingham International Airport’s expansion plans.
This was made plain by John Morris, the airport’s head of corporate affairs, who emphasised that the £130 million extension of BIA’s single runway was still very much on course.
“Frankly, Heathrow is a massive red herring,” he said on Monday. “It has no effect on our plans for increasing flight capacity.
“We have got a development strategy in line with what the Government has outlined and will stick to it. In any case, the third runway at Heathrow is a long way off, possibly more than a decade away.”
BIA is hoping that its extended runway - which will enable the airport to handle more long distance flights - will be up and running by 2012, in time for the London Olympics.
Transport Secretary, Geoff Hoon announced in the Commons last week that the Government was backing the £9 billion expansion of Heathrow, the UK’s biggest airport.
He also made clear the Government’s support for a new high-speed rail line between the West Midlands and London, with direct links to Heathrow. Trains would run at speed of up to 200mph and journey times could be cut to well under an hour