Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham Airport: More passengers and flights plan

Artist's impression Image copyright Birmingham Airport
Image caption Artist's impressions show a revamped and larger airport in 2033

Birmingham Airport has announced an ambitious £500m expansion plan to grow passengers numbers by 40% over the next 15 years.

In a bid to become one of Europe's leading regional airports, bosses want to attract 18 million passengers by 2033, up from the current 13 million.

The plan will mean more long and short haul flights, a larger terminal, new aircraft stands but no new runway.

The airport said it was confident airlines would follow demand.

HS2, the £55.7bn planned high-speed rail link, initially running between London and Birmingham by 2026, as well as additional capacity on the West Coast Mainline will help increase passenger numbers, the airport said.

Image copyright Birmingham Airport
Image caption The HS2 high-speed rail link will cut travel time from the airport to London to 38 minutes the airport says
Image copyright Birmingham Airport
Image caption The £500m plan will see more shops and bars and glass mezzanine feature

HS2 will cut rail journeys between the airport and central London from the current 70 minutes to 38.

A new junction on the nearby M42 motorway will also benefit those travelling by car, bosses said.


What will the £500m plans bring:

  • A larger departures lounge with more seating, shops and restaurants and a glass mezzanine. A new baggage sorting area, larger security area and improved arrivals area
  • More aircraft stands, increasing capacity from 58 to 69
  • Connection to the new HS2 Interchange Station
  • Direct long-haul services to Asia and on the north Atlantic routes, as well as to more European cities and the Middle East

Simon Richards, acting managing director, said: "Over the next 15 years, we will expand and significantly improve the airport to maximise our potential as a single runway airport by investing £500m.

"Our plans take account of our forecast growth and will increase operational efficiency for our airlines and partners and improve the experience for our passengers."


Analysis:

Peter Plisner, BBC Midlands Business and Transport Correspondent

Growth in aviation has continued apace, despite several recessions and passenger rises at Birmingham Airport appear to have followed a similar pattern.

Having said that, current projections are lower than when the last airport masterplan was published. Back in 2007, it was thought there would be 27 million passengers per year by 2030. Now it's just 18 million.

Clearly the projections have been reworked and the recent collapses of airlines like Monarch and Primera Air, probably haven't helped.

It was thought the plan might include a bid for a controversial second runway, but in light of a third runway at Heathrow and a lower than expected passenger forecast those plans have been kicked into the long grass.

Environmentalists will be pleased with that news but they're still opposed to the latest masterplan.


Image caption There will be a new, larger departures lounge as part of the plan

Mr Richards said the growth was achievable despite industry volatility, including the collapse of budget airline Primera Air, which operated out of Birmingham until last month.

"The aviation industry has always been like that," he said.

"Some airlines do come and go, we are conscious of that.

"But we have a set of airline partners with great stability all the way through the economic downturn since 2008 with actually very stable volumes, that's most of [our] airlines partners, and that's the firm foundations on which we'll build."

A 12-week public consultation on the expansion is now under way.

Image caption The airport, which has more than 150 direct scheduled and charter routes, is the UK's third largest outside London

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