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Airport Plans Bombed Out

A Solihull councillor’s suggestion that Birmingham Airport’s long haul flights should use Coventry Airport, has been scornfully rejected by local objectors.

Councillor Jim Ryan says Birmingham Airport cannot continue to expand and extend at its current rate and that it makes sense to work in partnership with Coventry and with East Midlands Airport at Derby.

But the Rev. Terry Colling, vicar of St John the Divine parish, which is in the flight path to Coventry Airport, scoffed:

"It is a very impractical idea, but I am also against it on the grounds of safety and the impact on our environment.

"If Coventry was to take long haul flights then the runway would have to be extended, but it is already right up against one of the busiest and most heavily congested traffic islands in the country."

And the Rev. Colling who is joint chairman of Coventry and Warwickshire Airport Action Group, added scornfully:

"Councillor Ryan says Coventry Airport is in the country. He has either never been here or his geography is badly at fault."

Ryan’s suggestion is that both airports are in the West Midlands and are only ten miles apart. He says:

"I challenge anyone to name an airport in this country which has as such density of housing right up to the perimeter fence as Birmingham Airport.

"Houses are losing roof tiles now because of the vortex created by the bigger aircraft coming in to land. Coventry had an aircraft come down short of the runway a few years ago. If that happened at Birmingham there would be massive loss of life.

"Why shouldn’t the two airports and the two councils work in partnership? Long haul passengers could check in their baggage at Birmingham Airport and then be bussed to Coventry catch their flight.

"It would bring jobs to Coventry. There has to be more joined-up thinking, rather than this territorial thing where people say ‘this is my airport not yours’. That is outdated thinking. We need to work in partnership for the vibrancy and vitality of this region."

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CWN / Business / 18 Mar 99

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