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Glasgow to shut runway to help pay for £9m revamp


Glasgow Airport is to shut its short second runway and reinvest the money saved by doing this in extra security and upgrades to its main terminal. The £9m the closure will save is to be used help fund investment to improve airport forecourt security and to pay for new seating, flooring and lighting.

The secondary runway has operated since the 1960s but is rarely used - it handled just 257 flights in 2006 / 07 - less than one flight a day and just 0.3% of the airport's overall traffic. It is less than half the length of the main runway, can only accommodate small aircraft and would need significant investment to maintain it at the same standard as the main runway.

Glasgow Airport managing director Gordon Dewar said: 'It makes no commercial sense to invest in a facility that is scarcely used. We will instead invest our resources in front line staff and terminal improvements that benefit all of our passengers.'

The exact date of the closure has not been set. Owners BAA Scotland will consult aircraft operators, politicians and businesses this month to determine the timescale. The short runway land has been zoned for airport use but will be left as it is for the foreseeable future.

The plans to close the runway were released as BAA announced a 50% increase in capital expenditure for 2008, up from £16m in 2007 to almost £25m this year. Of this, £16m has already been committed to the massive 4000 square metre Skyhub project, which will see all passengers fly from the same terminal, tighter security and new bars, shops and restaurants. The remainder will be spent improving forecourt security, and on new seating, flooring and lighting in the terminal.

Mr Dewar said: 'This investment underlines BAA's commitment to Glasgow Airport for the long term. It is an investment plan that will deliver a higher standard of service for our passengers. When it opens in nine months, Skyhub will transform the experience for passengers.'

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