Wales

Cardiff Airport assurances over runway extension fears

Cardiff Airport Image copyright Cardiff Airport
Image caption Cardiff Airport is hoping to attract new airlines and offer new routes over the next 20 years

Plans to extend Cardiff Airport's runway are not on the horizon despite being included in a 20-year masterplan, the airport's boss has said.

The 2040 vision for Rhoose includes a new terminal building and hotel.

Campaigners opposed to a longer runway fear it would bring more noise, pollution and lower flying planes over Bridgend, Llanblethian and Cowbridge.

But airport chief executive Deb Barber said she wanted to "put to bed any fears" the runway could happen.

"There are no immediate plans at all to extend the runway," she told Cardiff Airport Consultative Committee.

"We do not envisage that happening unless there's a massive change in the way airlines operate.

"Because of the huge amount of time that this plan covers if there's any thoughts we might need at some point in the future to extend the runway we have to include it in the masterplan as a potential option.

"I would like to put to bed any concerns about extensions to the runway. It's purely a method to safeguard that option if it ever becomes a requirement.

"It is not our intention at all at the moment.

"None of it can happen without full planning consent and approval of our regulator."

A spokeswoman for environmental group Vale Communities For Future Generations said: "If the runway is extended it would change the whole way in which the airport operates.

"It would be bringing in different types of aircraft at a different height than currently.

"We would see possibly a lot more noise, a lot more visual pollution and a lot more air pollution. People do need to be concerned and keeping a careful eye on pollution."

The group also warned if more freight flights are brought to the airport these would be in "older, nosier, less fuel efficient" planes, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

But the airport said freight is mainly carried in the belly of commercial aircraft.

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