Midlands MPs and business people say a 2nd runway at Birmingham would boost regional growth

A letter in the Telegraph, signed by 35 MPs and 41 business people from the Midlands area, backs the expansion of Birmingham airport.  The letter says the Midlands needs global air links to emerging markets, rather than just having the national hub airport in the south of England. They say airports in the great industrial cities in the Midlands, such as Birmingham, have huge spare capacity. They also talk of Birmingham having a second runway, and with that its capacity could rise from the current 8.6 million passengers annually (in 2011)  up to 50 million.  They are calling on the Government to support expansion of Birmingham’s airport to maximise regional growth.  Back in September 2007 the airport abandonned plans for a 2nd runway, saying it was not needed and there would be enough capacity for up to 27 million passengers per year up to 2030.


Expanding Birmingham airport would help to encourage regional growth

A second runway at Birmingham airport would help the regional economy

30 Aug 2012


SIR – A “hub airport” in the South East favours a small, congested and already economically strong part of the country. We need gateways close to the manufacturing, research and development centres of the Midlands and the North, linking these regions directly to emerging markets.

Overseas investors are discouraged from investing where there are no global links. For Britain, over-reliance on one large, full airport leads the rest of the world to think there is just one gateway to this country.

Airports in our great industrial cities have huge spare capacity. Birmingham airport’s current spare runway capacity is 27 million passengers per annum. Birmingham is at the heart of the rail and motorway networks, and its airport is the most accessible in Britain. The airport and NEC station will be the hub of the HS2 network. With its proposed second runway, Birmingham’s spare capacity could rise to over 50 million and create 50,000 jobs.

As local politicians and business leaders, we call on the Government to encourage and assist airports to work with local enterprise partnerships and stakeholders. Infrastructure planning needs to provide confidence for airports to be able to plan well into the future. The Government must support expansion of Birmingham’s airport to maximise regional growth.


(See below for the list of signatories)


 Comment from an AirportWatch member:

So Birmingham airport’s current spare runway capacity is 27 million passengers per annum. … With its proposed second runway, Birmingham’s spare capacity could rise to over 50 million and create 50,000 jobs’ it states. But since Birmingham’s only turning over 9 mppa at the moment that’s 33% capacity utilisation.  Good reason therefore to double capacity so that it can then be 80% empty.


This is a reminder of what happened in 2007 when the airport abandonned plans for a second runway, and said it would not be necessary before 2030:


Second airport runway abandoned

26.9.2007  (BBC)

The airport now wants to extend its existing runway. Officials at Birmingham International Airport have scrapped plans to build a second runway.

Airport chiefs had originally said an extra runway would be needed to cater for a three-fold increase in passenger numbers to about 27m a year by 2030.

The airport has now said instead it wants to extend the existing runway and build a third passenger terminal.  It says with these extra services it would not have to re-consider having another runway until at least 2030.

The latest plans will be submitted later this year and are expected to be completed in time for the 2012 London Olympics.

‘Aware of concerns’

The airport’s acting managing director Joe Kelly said the extra flights each year could be just as well catered for by the extension as they would be by a second runway.  He added that the airport was also hoping to run more long-haul flights to areas such as the US.

Mr Kelly said they would be consulting local residents in nearby Catherine de Barnes, near Solihull, over the redevelopment work.   “We will do everything we can and consult with people before we put in the planning application,” he said.

“We will make sure we’re aware of all of their concerns. The airport has always done that and will always continue to do so.”





Letter signatories:

(35 MPs)

Mark Garnier MP (Con)

Michael Fabricant MP (Con)

Mark Pritchard MP (Con)

James Morris MP (Con)

Jesse Norman MP (Con)

Richard Shepherd MP (Con)

Aidan Burley MP (Con)

Andrew Griffiths MP (Con)

Chris Kelly MP (Con)

Harriett Baldwin MP (Con)

Paul Uppal MP (Con)

Robin Walker MP (Con)

Dan Byles MP (Con)

Marcus Jones MP (Con)

Daniel Kawczynski MP (Con)

Gavin Williamson MP (Con)

Margot James MP (Con)

Philip Bradbourne MEP (Con)

Malcolm Harbour MEP (Con)

Anthea McIntyre MEP (Con)

Ian Austin MP (Lab)

Gisela Stuart MP (Lab)

Steven McCabe MP (Lab)

Valerie Vaz MP (Lab)

Dave Wright MP (Lab)

Adrian Bailey MP (Lab)

Tom Watson MP (Lab)

Khalid Mahmood MP (Lab)

Liam Byrne MP (Lab)

Emma Reynolds MP (Lab)

Cllr Mike Whitby (Con)

Cllr David Jamieson (Lab)

Cllr Tim Oliver (Lab)

Cllr John Mutton (Lab)

Cllr Darren Cooper (Lab)


(41 business people)

Jerry Blackett  Chief Executive, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group

Neil Rami   Marketing Birmingham

Charlie Shiels  GeoPost UK

Kate Beech  Noble-Lancaster Partnership

David Smith  Mezenet Solutions

David Sedgley  Roadlink International

Fay Goodman   Goodmedia Limited

Dean Parnell   Sydney Mitchell

Michael Ward   Gateley

Steve Brittan   BSA Machine Tools

Parveen Mehta   Minor Weir Willis

Byron P Head
Rical Group

Graham Eden

Steve Allen
Mills & Reeve

Simon Topman
The Acme Whistle Co

Marc Stone
Stone Consulting

Adrian Burton
Erlsmede Consulting

Glenn Howells
Glenn Howells Architects

Terry Gibbs
Harrow Green

Ian Greaves

Colin Leighfield
Wedge Group Galvanizing

Paul Schnepper
Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport

Bill Almen
Al Fereej Trading UK

Stephen Jones
Clear Solutions Wealth & Tax Mangement

Professor Mary Carswell
Birmingham City University

Balwinder Dhanoa
Progress Care Solutions

K Raindi
K&K Clothing

Clayton Shaw

Ms Amina Bukhari
Acorn Primary School

Sangeeta Nazran
UK Property group

Levi Cheng
Guerbet Laboratories

Mrs Joy Farrall
Learning Impact International

Mark Tonks
Mark Tonks & Associates

Mark Petty
NextiraOne UK

Rick Grain
Effigy Blinds

Ronnie Brown

David Caro
Federation of Small Businesses

Craig Errington
Wesleyan Assurance Society

Paul Thandi
The NEC Group

Richard Holt
Evans Derry Solicitors

Calum Nisbet
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra



See also

Birmingham airport promoters boosted by Lib Dem enthusiasm for regional hub airports

August 25, 2012

Those lobbying for Birmingham Airport to expand to become a regional hub are expecting their campaign will get a major boost when Liberal Democrats urge the Government to block new runways at Heathrow – and expand regional hubs instead at their autumn party conference in September. A motion by Julian Huppert calls for UK aviation to be based on accessibility from north and south; moving non-hub flights away from Heathrow, and making best use of existing airport capacity with improved transport links to Gatwick, Stansted, Luton,Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

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