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Airport expansions take flight
The UK’s airports are now busier than ever and with planning applications in for runway extensions, are set to get even busier in the future. This article looks at some of the issues affecting Gatwick, Heathrow and Birmingham airports today.
Some people say that large airports are already taking the strain and cannot cope with the increased demand of flights.
It has often been argued that in a bid to tackle the problems the UK aviation industry is having, developments tend to focus on the South East for expansions and new sites.
Heathrow Airport recently applied for a third runway and a new terminal to be built, although plans were rejected.
The Government are often supportive of expansion in general as long as it runs with the EU targets. Airports are a key source of trading and international links for the UK as well as a common method of private travel.
There are now rumours of improvement plans for rail links and other infrastructure which will create easier and quicker roots to existing airports via public transport systems.
Though this may be a great alternative for large airports, smaller regional ones may miss out of rail link connections as the focus seems to be on the likes of Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow.
Applications to extend runways and expand airport facilities in larger airports are continuously being made. Although residents often campaign against such developments because of flight path noise, the risk of air pollution and climate change.
Birmingham airports chief executive urges that regional airports should be allowed to expand to take some of the strain from the bigger sites.
Birmingham’s plans to expand its runway would mean an increase from a yearly nine-million to a twenty-seven million people capacity. It would also mean a boost to the local and regional economy by encouraging more tourists into Birmingham and by recruiting more staff.
The hotels in Birmingham near the airport and also the Birmingham NEC hotels will also have to expand to cater for the larger amount of air passengers that may require a nearby room.
As an application to extend Birmingham’s airport has been filed to the Government, it is up to parliament to decide whether it will go ahead or not. It is true to say that expanding airports costs a lot of money, but it is an investment which aims to gain returns with the capacity for more passengers.
Environmental campaigners are against a majority of airport expansions because of the supposed damage that is caused through congestion, pollution and the loss of national heritage.
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