Airport unveils £500m investment plans

Birmingham Airport has revealed plans to invest £500m to grow its passengers to 18m a year by 2033.

Its draft masterplan, The Midlands Gateway to the World, sets out its ambitions to deliver self-financed investment of £500m over 15 years to increase capacity and enhance the passenger experience.

Simon Richards, acting managing director of Birmingham Airport, 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.”

Birmingham Airport, already the third largest UK airport outside of London, has created the strategy to maximise its potential as a single runway airport.

It has described its target of increasing passenger numbers by 40% as “ambitious”, although the annual increase would only be 2.1% from its peak. The current site and runway has the capacity to handle up to 30m passenger movements a year.

Birmingham Airport’s rolling annual total of passengers went above 13m people in October 2017. The collapse of Monarch a year ago ended its long run of growth and is the primary reason for a dip in traveller numbers during 2018.

The 15-year strategy has five pillars – to invest £500m, to increase its economic impact by one-third to £2.1bn, to reach 18m passengers through expanding its route network, facilitate worldwide connectivity, and to work with communities and stakeholders.

The latter point is particularly key for infrastructure work relating to the M42, HS2 and West Coast Main Line.

Neil Rami, Chief Executive, West Midlands Growth Company, added: “The region lies on the cusp of a period of great economic growth, supported by major infrastructure projects such as HS2, that will help attract more people and investment than ever before.

“To realise this potential, we are committed to working with our partners at Birmingham Airport to showcase the region to the world.”