1. ITV Report

Birmingham Airport unveils proposal for long-term economic growth

The proposed Airport expansion could create a quarter of a million new jobs Photo:

Birmingham Airport, together with a coalition of business leaders and local councils, will today unveil proposals that could enable the Airport to expand in line with future demand, which it says would boost global connectivity and create over a quarter of a million new jobs in the Midlands, helping to rebalance the UK economy.

This proposal supports growth of up to 70 million passengers each year and up to 500,000 air transport movements from an expanded facility.

The Airport’s vision has been drawn up to support the development of a business park for the Midland’s manufacturing sector alongside the expanded site, and one of Europe’s biggest conference centres at the NEC, all based at the cross-roads of Britain’s road and rail systems.

The Airport says its long-term vision is a response to questions asked by the Airports Commission, which is examining the need for additional UK airport capacity and will recommend to Government how this can be met in the short, medium and long-term.

Paul Kehoe, CEO of Birmingham Airport, said:

“Great cities like Birmingham deserve great airports. In twenty years’ time British air travel will double and it is widely acknowledged that all the country’s long-haul traffic cannot be routed through one airport in West London.“Instead, we believe that the best thing for UK aviation is to create a network of long-haul national airports, each supporting the comparative economic advantages of that region to boost trade, foreign investment and tourism.”

– Paul Kehoe, CEO of Birmingham Airport

A high proportion of the country’s potential demand for business air travel comes from the Midlands catchment area. It is home to half a million businesses, 6.5 million employees and specialises in high-value manufacturing sectors.

Expanding Birmingham Airport alongside the M42 gateway project and High Speed Two is a once in a generation opportunity, according to airport bosses, to meet the UK’s aviation capacity needs.

The Airport’s vision is for London, Birmingham and Manchester to all have the long-haul airports that they need to succeed.The network proposal excludes expansion at Heathrow because airport bosses say that would expose too many people living in West London to unacceptable noise pollution. However, it is proposed that the network complements a new mega-hub in the South East or a more dispersed model.

Mark Garnier MP, Conservative MP for Wyre Forest and Chair of the West Midlands APPG said:

“A global travel hub at Birmingham Airport will bring long-haul air-travel to within one hour of the airport for 45 million people by 2032 when the HS2 network is fully operational. This will make it the most accessible airport in Britain”.

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council said:

“This vision will help bring trade and prosperity for Britain’s industrial base in the Midlands, just as Heathrow has helped the high-tech concentration along the ‘M4 corridor’ and helped support the global position of The City.”

Jerry Blackett, chief executive of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce said:

“At a time of our manufacturing renaissance, it makes no sense for business people to traipse to London to travel to major markets overseas. To succeed, our business people need direct, convenient flights to visit suppliers and clients in major new markets like China and India.”

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