After the furore surrounding the controversial decision to go ahead with the third runway at Heathrow, it is not only the environmentalists who are complaining. It has just come to light that the proposed plans to increase the length of the runway at Birmingham airport may also suffer as a result of the decision.
The concerns have arisen as a result of the government’s targets in relation to global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. If the third runway at Heathrow does finally go ahead, as is now widely expected, then this might mean that the government will have to prevent schemes at other airports from going ahead which could see it miss its strict targets.
Birmingham wants to increase the length of its runway by 400 metres, and this will mean that it can increase its capacity enormously from 9.6 million to 27 million flights a year by 2030.
Not only will Birmingham airport have to scrap its plans for the increased length of the runway, but many other smaller regional airports could be forced to reduce their flights to prevent the government from missing its targets.
The environmental group Campaign For Better Transport has released research suggesting that Heathrow alone could be responsible for two thirds of the British aviation quota by the middle of the century, which would clearly affect the ability of the other airports to increase their own flights.
However, the government has dismissed the findings, claiming that it has a clear plan to bring increased aviation with reduced carbon emissions by 2050, and that Birmingham and other UK airports are not going to suffer.