Airport scheme to bring in 1.4m passengers gets City Hall backing
PUBLISHED: 08:45 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:30 10 October 2019
A vision to treble passenger numbers at Norwich Airport has today been endorsed by city councillors, despite questions being asked over the scheme’s environmental impact.
The airport's draft master plan, which was unveiled in 2017, outlines bosses' ambitions to:
- Increase passenger numbers from 520,000 to 1.4m by 2045 - Boost the range of worldwide destinations offered to travellers - Expand the existing terminal building and increase car parking facilities - Build a 500m extension of the main runway
At a meeting of Norwich City Council cabinet on Wednesday, October 9, councillors agreed to endorse the draft masterplan, despite Green councillor Martin Schmierer querying the council's assessment of the decision as carbon and pollution neutral.
Labour cabinet member for sustainable growth, Mike Stonard, recommended councillors endorse the plan and said there were no direct financial implications arising from the report.
The draft master plan, which is available for public consultation, states that passenger numbers are hoped to hit 930,000 by 2030, with business aviation services expected to grow via Norwich-based operators such as Saxonair.
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Proposals within the first growth phase - prior to 2030 - could include the extension to the main terminal, an uptake in the average number of planes per hour, and increased car parking facilities.
Second phase plans could entail a 500m expansion of the main runway to the east into land in the Broadland council area and the relocation of the air traffic control tower south of the runway.
But, commenting on an impact assessment of the endorsement, Mr Schmierer asked the cabinet to justify why the scheme's environmental impact - in terms of transport, waste, pollution, sustainability, and climate change - had been mooted as neutral.
"I can't see how that conclusion can be supported," he said.
"As we know aviation is one of the biggest producers of CO2 emissions; the altitude at which planes fly damages the ozone layer and the impact on the environment cannot be overstated.
"I do have questions as to how the expansion of an airport will be carbon and pollution neutral.
But the council's regeneration director, Graham Nelson, told the cabinet the assessment was of the impact of the endorsement, and not of the actual master plan.
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