Birmingham means business

News that Birmingham airport has scrapped plans for a second runway have been welcomed by people living near the airport, but despite this the airport seems set to grow over the next few years.

Birmingham airport is already the fifth largest in the UK, and nine million people live within an hour's drive of it. Plans for a second runway may have been shelved for now, but the airport still wants to extend the existing runway in time for the 2012 Olympics and build a third passenger terminal by 2018.

birmingham airport plane
More than one million passengers used the airport in August, with international passenger numbers up by 6.4% helped by the poor summer weather. Annual passenger figures to August stand at 9.7 million but this is well short of the numbers expected by 2030. Experts forecast that by then passenger numbers will have reached 27.2 million as air travel takes off.

The expansion plans at Birmingham have been welcomed in particular by the local business community. "The runway extension will bring the entire globe closer to Birmingham, increasing the chances of overseas investment into the area and allow our firms to spread their products and expertise around the world," says Jerry Blackett, chief executive of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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Nick Purdom

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Birmingham Runway Extension Planned