Aberdeen Airport's £10m runway extension to take off

Aberdeen Airport The airport runway extension is expected to begin in March

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A £10m extension of Aberdeen Airport's main runway is to finally take off, it has been announced.

Aberdeen City Council has already approved the extension and now airport operator BAA has said work will begin in March.

It is expected to finish in the summer of 2012.

The total length of the runway extension is 124m. Airport managing director Derek Provan said it followed years of "planning and hard work".

He said: "It is impossible to understate the impact that this could have on the whole of the north east.

"It opens up new destinations at the same time as allowing our existing carriers to work more efficiently."

Bob Collier, chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: "This long-awaited announcement is fantastic news."

Tom Smith, chairman of Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (Acsef), added: "Transport and connectivity are key to achieving economic growth and enhancing the quality of life in the region.

"We hope it will act as a catalyst for further infrastructure and development that will encourage businesses to remain in this region and attract new businesses here in the future."

Groups including Aberdeen Against Climate Change had objected to the plans.

And nine protesters from campaign group Plane Stupid, were convicted after causing disruption at the airport in March last year.

They were seeking to stop any airport expansion, claiming it would raise carbon emissions.

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