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MANCHESTER TO TAKE OFF WITH NEW RUNWAY

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The government is expected to give the go-ahead for a second runway at Manchester airport, allowing it to double it...
The government is expected to give the go-ahead for a second runway at Manchester airport, allowing it to double its number of annual passengers to 30 million, the Independent reports (p6).

The runway was the subject of a long public inquiry which ended last summer. Supporters said it would create thousands of jobs and was essential for the economic well-being of the area. Opponents claimed it would cause widespread environmental damage.

The inspector's report is due to be published today.

Graham Stringer, chair of the Manchester airport board told BBC Radio Four's Today programme the expansion of Manchester airport would be good for jobs.

'It's going to be the largest boost to the local economy since 1945,' he said.

'The second runway is equivalent to about 10 car manufacturing plants. It will have a huge impact.'

If planning permission is given today, the runway could be in operation by the summer of 2000, he said.

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