Birmingham Airport today launched its draft master plan which outlines ambitious plans to grow passenger traffic by 40 per cent to 18 million passengers a year by 2033.
The Midlands gateway welcomed 12.9 million passengers in 2017 and the plan, titled ‘The Midlands Gateway to the World’, sets out how the airport will make a self-financed new investment of £500 million to improve, modernise and extend facilities that will deliver increased capacity for airline customers and enhance the passenger experience.
Birmingham Airport said greater choice of flights and destinations, alongside improved regional connectivity and a direct link to HS2, are vital to the continued growth of the region’s thriving economy. The global markets to which the airport connects help to drive international trade, investment, employment, inbound tourism and the success of the region’s many universities.
The airport said it will continue to improve air links for people in the region, providing more flights to cultural hubs, business centres and a greater choice of outbound holiday destinations. It will continue to expand the existing wide range of short-haul and long-haul scheduled and charter services and destinations, with both full-service and low-cost airlines.
This ambitious yet sustainable plan is focussed on addressing the key constraints to more rapid growth. This will involve a major expansion of the terminal facilities, the construction of additional new aircraft stands and working with national agencies and regional partners to deliver improved public and road transport surface access for passengers.
All of the forecast demand growth the gateway said is achievable on the existing single runway which has the capacity to handle 25 to 30 million passenger movements a year. The draft master plan also follows recently restated Government policy of making the best use of the UK’s existing runways.
Birmingham Airport acting managing director, Simon Richards said: “Birmingham Airport is already the preferred national and international aviation hub for the Midlands and our ambition is to build on this to become one of Europe’s leading regional airports, acting as a key economic accelerator, delivering great service to passengers, and helping to showcase the region.
“Over the next 15 years, we will expand and significantly improve the Airport to maximise our potential as a single runway airport by investing £500 million. 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.”
The launch of this draft master plan triggers the start of a 12-week public consultation for stakeholders to feed back their views on the plans. The consultation period will end on the 31 January.
The final version of the master plan will be published in early 2019.