Diggers have started work extending the runway at Birmingham Airport. The longer runway would mean the airport can take long haul direct flights to major business markets like China and Brazil.
One report has claimed the increased trade could create almost a quarter of a million jobs in the Midland over the next thirty years.
But there's doubt that it will attract enough airlines if the government decides to increase airport capacity in the south east. Our business correspondent, Mark Gough reports.
Birmingham Airport has officially began the extension of it's runway today.
405 meters of tarmac will be added on to the end of the existing runway.
It will mean that more lang haul flights can take-off and land at the airport, connecting the city to destinations like China, South America, South Africa and the West Coast of the USA.
Work is due to be complete by early 2014.
Work on the new runway at Birmingham International Airport begins today. Bosses say the extended runway will unlock the Far East and the rest of the world for the airport as it means long haul flights can go direct to and from there.