UK’s Birmingham Airport CEO, Paul Kehoe, stated airport expansion projects in the UK are to become a thing of the past and airports will have to “work together” with the planned High Speed Rail (HS2) system (Insider Media Ltd, 31-Aug-2010). Mr Kehoe stated he is a “bug supporter” of the plans for the HS2 network as it will provide new opportunities for Birmingham Airport. However, the airport plans to continue with plans to construct a second runway, which is expected to become operational in 2014.
Birmingham Airport: “It may be the case that in the future, airports lose passengers to the train line. It may be more convenient for them to take a 300-mile journey to European cities on the train, and longer journeys will be taken by air. In the future, I don’t think there will be the capacity for airport expansion – which is why we need to work with the high-speed rail … In the future, I can’t see that airports will be able to expand with new runways – there just isn’t the capacity. So we need to work together with the high speed rail to deliver the services the customers need. I think that the process [of being linked to HS2] will show people that Birmingham has its own contribution to make as a regional airport - not London’s fifth airport, which is how we’re sometimes perceived,” Paul Kehoe, CEO. Source: Insider Media Ltd, 31-Aug-2010.