The Davies Commission published its interim report on airport capacity in the South East yesterday. The report has shortlisted three options for airport expansion, none of which include Birmingham or even Stansted. The options were a new runway at Heathrow, a new one at Gatwick, or an extension of one of the existing runways at Heathrow. The Birmingham options may be looked at for after 2050.
Birmingham Friends of the Earth are pleased that Davis has kicked Birmingham Airport expansion proposals into the long grass, but we point out that wherever there is airport expansion there will be a detrimental impact on the environment globally, as well as local implications for local communities.
Julien Pritchard, our Campaign Support Worker, said:
“We are pleased to see that the Davies Commission has not prioritised the Birmingham scheme for a regional hub airport. These plans, for a new terminal and runway to try and turn Birmingham into a hub airport, would have done little for the regional or local economy, and only served to damage the climate through to increased Carbon Dioxide emissions.
“People lauded this scheme as great investment in the region, but if people would merely use Birmingham Airport to change planes, how will that help the region’s economy if they’re not leaving the airport and actually spending money in the region?
“However, we also recognise that wherever we expand airport capacity, there will be an impact on local communities through increased noise and air pollution, as well as wider environmental impacts such as increasing in Climate Change emissions.
“Instead of investing in a massive transport hub in the middle of the countryside in the Midlands, or more runways in the choked-up South East, we should be improving transport links to and between local and regional centres.
“Strong local and regional economies are created by having good local and regional public transport links, not by making it easier for people to leave the region.”