Engineering employers say £130m scheme will boost local economy

Plans to expand the runway at Birmingham international airport have been given the green light by local councillors.

Solihull Council's planning committee gave the go-ahead to the £130m scheme, which will extend the runway by 400m towards Bickenhill and Hampton-in-Arden.

The project aims to boost the number of larger aircraft and non-stop flights to the US and Asia that are able to make use of the airport.

The decision was welcomed by the Engineering Employers' Federation, which said the expansion will provide “a much needed boost” for the local economy and will help businesses in the Midlands compete more effectively with their London rivals.

But the Green Party slammed the move as a “disastrous decision” which would have a “catastrophic and inexcusable impact on climate change”.

Plans for a second runway at the airport were shelved in September last year.