Birmingham Airport – News

Some Recent News about Birmingham airport:

Stories about Birmingham airport can be found at the UK Airport News website
Also on the Birmingham airport news page 
Also on the UK Airport Information blog  Birmingham page

Birmingham airport getting £32.5 million in loans from 4 of the 7 councils that half own it

Seven councils of the West Midlands own a 49% stake in Birmingham airport, a further 48.25% is owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the remaining 2.75% belongs to an employee trust.  The councils are putting in a lot of money, as loans, to the airport to keep it going. The total so far is about £32.8 million. The airport is getting £18.5 million from Birmingham City Council, plus  £4.9 million from Walsall Council, plus £3.7 million from Solihull Council, plus probably a £5.7 million emergency loan from Coventry City Council.  Coventry’s cabinet will discuss a loan up to £5.7m on March 9th before approval at full council on March 16th. Earlier Sandwell and Wolverhampton councils confirmed they will not be offering loans to the airport but Dudley declined comment. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan will also provide a loan.  The Coventry loan “would be made available as and when needed by the airport to ensure it can have the maximum impact on Covid recovery.”  A Coventry cabinet member said the airport had “given us a return on income of over £1.6m in the last two years.”

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Birmingham Airport to get £18.5m emergency loan from Birmingham City Council

Birmingham Airport is to get an £18.5m emergency loan from Birmingham City Council, approved by the cabinet, to help avoid the threat of insolvency.  Since the start of the Covid pandemic, the airport has seen passenger numbers fall by 91%. However, some councillors questioned whether the airport would want more money in future, as the pandemic restriction on flying continues.  The fear is that if the airport becomes bankrupt, without a loan, even more money would be lost, and the councils could lose their control over it. The 7 councils of the West Midlands county – including Birmingham City Council – own a 49% stake in the airport’s holding company, BAHL; a further 48.25% is owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the remaining 2.75% belongs to an employee trust.  Four of the local authorities will contribute to the loan, with the other shareholder, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.  The airport is getting public money already, through the government’s Job Retention Scheme.

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Up to 546 Birmingham Airport jobs at risk as Swissport announces huge cuts to staff

By  James Rodger  – Head of Trends (Birmingham Live)
26 JUN 2020

Swissport’s announcement it is making drastic cuts to its workforce could result in almost 500 roles based at Birmingham Airport being lost. The baggage handler announced its plans to axe 4,500 roles earlier this week, after the coronavirus crisis affecting its operations. Birmingham Airport, situated near the NEC, in Solihull, has been hit hard.  It is the second hardest hit airport in the world for Swissport job losses.  As many as 546 jobs are at risk, which represents 65% per cent of its Birmingham-based workforce of 750. GMB union said: “Sadly this has not come as a shock to anyone, the aviation sector has been battered by coronavirus and will take a long time to recover unless the Government steps up and saves our industry … There are nearly 750 highly-skilled workers at Swissport Birmingham and they’re essential to making sure everyone gets on their holidays without a problem. The existing furlough scheme is not enough for aviation; we need extended support to keep our international airport and local economy healthy for the future.”  They want action to save their jobs, as a matter of urgency.

Solihull councillor expresses ‘real’ concerns about impact of Birmingham Airport expansion

The leader of the Green party group, Cllr Burn,  on Solihull council has said that Birmingham Airport’s expansion plans pose a grave risk to the environment. He said he had real concerns about the draft masterplan, which sets out a vision for annual passenger numbers to increase to 18 million by 2033. At a Cabinet meeting he said the Council needed to urge the airport to do far more to reduce and offset “huge” carbon emissions. Cllr Burn said: “It’s not popular to say, but we cannot have this growth in air travel and stick to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, we just can’t. The extra emissions here are just way above what we can combat in emissions reduction elsewhere. We have to be honest, it’s not sensible or responsible to grow air travel unless it can come with no additional carbon emissions and it just can’t – the technology for that is so far off.” The Leader of the Council said the council was “robust” in its discussions with the airport, but it gives a lot of people jobs. The council is a shareholder in the airport, and benefits from the council tax the airport pays, which “does help keep our council tax burden down and also allows us to spend money on frontline services”.  The expansion planned is 40% increase in passenger numbers and 21% increase in flights (ie. CO2), in 15 years.

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Birmingham Airport expansion plans criticised over rising emission concerns

Green councillors amid concerns over rises in greenhouse gas emissions.  They say the airport’s draft masterplan is ‘irresponsible’.  The increase in passenger numbers after the expansion could see the level of emissions rise to double that produced by the entire city of Wolverhampton every year. The masterplan – covering the next 15 years – includes proposals to increase use of the airport’s existing runway, expand the passenger terminal and baggage sorting areas. The investment aims to prepare the airport to attract 18 million passengers by 2033. This would make Birmingham Airport the region’s largest single source of greenhouse gases. Even before the airport expansion, it is projected to emit 1.7million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year by 2030, Department for Transport figures show.  By contrast, Wolverhampton’s carbon footprint is about one million tonnes per annum, according to latest government statistics.  Just at a time when humanity should be making every possible effort to cut CO2 emissions.

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Birmingham airport unveils draft Master Plan, for huge growth over next 15 years

Birmingham Airport has unveiled its draft Master Plan, with its hopes of expansion over the next 15 years. There is a consultation till 31st January. It wants to increase its capacity by 5 million passengers a year (mppa)  Much of the intended spending will be for a larger departure lounge with a mezzanine floor, new retail and restaurant units, more toilets and seating. Also more self-service desks (ie. fewer jobs…) and “the latest bag-drop technology and a new back-of-house baggage sorting area aimed at improving efficiency.” (ie. fewer jobs). This has been seen by the airport’s consultative committee on 5th November.  There is no plan for a 2nd runway, but the expansion will cause more environmental damage, more noise, CO2 emissions etc. – of which, no mention is made. (The usual airport attitude is “the majority of emissions are from planes in the sky and that is nothing to do with us…”). In the 2006 Master Plan the forecasts were for 25mppa by 2030; now they have reduced that to 18mppa by 2033. There were 12.9 mppa in 2017. Local campaigners suspect this will not be encouraging shareholders to fund expansion plans till the runway situation in the south east is sorted out. The airport is claiming the increased number of passengers will boost the local economy by £xx billion, and increase jobs by yyy.  (These claims never materialise).

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Transport Secretary admits Heathrow 3rd runway would be bad for Birmingham Airport

Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, in announcing formal backing by the government for the 3rd Heathrow runway, has admitted that this will be bad for business at Birmingham Airport.  He said Birmingham would face “greater competitive pressure” as a result of Heathrow having a 3rd runway.  The line Grayling is taking, to try and reassure regional airports, is that the 3rd runway will encourage more domestic flights. However, he knows perfectly well that it is up to airlines, not airports or government, to determine which routes they fly – unless given hefty public subsidies to keep unprofitable routes in operation. His assurances to regional airports are all qualified by statements like Heathrow will try, government will support etc. Nothing concrete. But as Birmingham Airport is so close to Heathrow, there  will not be domestic flights to Heathrow, and all that will happen is Heathrow takes passengers away from Birmingham, and long haul destinations will increasingly be served exclusively by Heathrow. The government is well aware of this harm an expanded Heathrow will do to long haul services from other UK airports.

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Birmingham flights to New York scrapped as United Airlines pulls out … Brexit to blame

Birmingham Airport flights to New York with United Airlines have been scrapped, from 5th October, as they do not make money.  United will no longer operate flights from Birmingham to New York.  Last year, American Airlines also discontinued its service to John F Kennedy Airport, New York. A spokesperson for United said it was down to poor take up on the flights. But it is also understood that the fall of the pound against the dollar after Brexit has played a part.  Talks have begun with 3 United staff working out of Birmingham Airport, on severance payments and opportunities for redeployment.  Anyone from the Midlands who wants to fly United to the US would now have to travel to Manchester or London.  There still seems to be a flight to New York from Birmingham, with Lufthansa.

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Birmingham Airport CEO Paul Kehoe to leave in July to work on regional business

Paul Kehoe, chief executive of Birmingham Airport, Paul Kehoe, will step down as chief executive of Birmingham Airport on 12th July.  He will then focus more on his regional commitments with business bodies. He has been CEO of the airport since October 2008.  Since then the annual number of passengers has risen from 9.5 million to 12 million, the airport is currently undergoing a £100 million programme of works, and is expanded its route network and the number of airlines operating.

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New Civil Engineer believes Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham set to get go ahead for runways

The NCE believes government will give the go ahead to new runways at both Heathrow and Gatwick – on 18th October. The NCE expects Heathrow would be allowed a runway immediately, and Gatwick could build a 2nd runway within the next 5 years. NCE also understands the government will urge Birmingham airport to plan a 2nd runway. The reason for this decision, other than the difficulties in making it, is ascribed to the forecasts of air passenger numbers being inaccurate. (Forecasts are, of course, usually inaccurate … and air passenger numbers depend on many variables, including oil price, and the strength of the £ and UK and global economy). The DfT produced very bullish passenger forecasts in 2007, which were way too high and knocked back by the recession. Lower forecasts were produced in 2011, and then lower again in 2013. The Airports Commission did its own forecasts, over a range of scenarios – and took account of the fact that aviation expansion would be constrained by the annual cap on CO2 emissions of 37.5 MtCO2. Because air passenger numbers have recovered to their pre-recession levels, it is believed by some that this rapid growth will continue and the forecasts are too low. The “predict and provide” scenario would require more runways. This sort of growth in UK aviation challenges our legally binding UK carbon targets under the Climate Change Act 2008.  Details of the various forecasts on the link below.

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West Midlands business & political leaders write to Theresa May urging support for regional airport expansion

Business and political leaders from across West Midlands have signed a letter to Theresa May, well before the government is due to make an announcement on building a new south east runway (or expanding airport capacity in some other way). West Midlands business and political leaders want the government to support the growth of a competitive network of airports in the UK, rather than expanding still more in the South East. They want local airports that “can act as drivers for local growth in their regions.” They say: “Allowing a third runway at Heathrow would re-forge its monopoly, undermining the benefits brought by the break-up of the BAA, and restrict the growth of direct flights to and from our great regional cities.” Among the signatories of the letter are the chief executives of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Marketing Birmingham and Birmingham Airport as well as MPs and educational leaders. Earlier this week, it emerged the Prime Minister was considering the possibility of expanding Birmingham Airport as a way of increasing UK airport capacity. Birmingham people hope they will benefit from HS2, in 10 years’ time, when the fast rail link would increase their catchment area and speed the link to London. The Midlands plan to boost their economy and need government to make decisions that rebalance the UK economy.

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Possible re-consideration of expanding Birmingham airport, to rebalance UK airport capacity

The FT reports that Theresa May is considering expansion of Birmingham after, after the city is linked to London by the high-speed HS2 rail line. Jim O’Neill, the Treasury minister, has encouraged Number 10 to look at the growth potential at Birmingham airport, which would be about 40 minutes away from London when HS2 reaches the Midlands in 2026. Lord O’Neill, whose brief covers infrastructure and regional development, believes Birmingham would also offer good inks to the Northern Powerhouse cities of Leeds and Manchester once the HS2 northern extension is completed, perhaps by 2033. He thinks it would send “a massive signal on rebalancing the British economy,” away from just the south east. The Airports Commission very quickly narrowed down the sites it was considering for a runway to just Heathrow and Gatwick. Many believe this was a serious error, and they did not consider all the options fully. Now it appears there may be a free vote on the runway issue, as it is so contentious and many Cabinet members are against a Heathrow runway. The FT considers that though Mrs May’s administration believes it is too late for a Birmingham to be considered at this stage (why not?) expansion at Birmingham airport could be part of a longer-term airports strategy, for yet more future UK air travel.

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Birmingham airport getting some more long haul passengers, making use of its runway extension

Birmingham airport, in common with the majority of other UK airports, has been seeing high rates of growth over the past two years. The UK feels itself to be out of recession, flights are cheap and the price of oil (and jet fuel) is very low. With that combination of circumstances, airports are emerging from the fall in numbers of both passengers and ATMs that started in 2007 and continued till 2010, with a slow recovery. Birmingham opened its runway extension in May 2014, with hopes of many more long haul flights, as the runway was now long enough for heavy aircraft. Local campaigners say the growth in numbers reflects the aggressive marketing by Birmingham airport since then. The airport says it passed the 10 million passenger mark last year, and has now reached the 11 million mark. (If the airports cannot increase their passenger throughput now, after a deep dip, before we get into another recession and the price of jet fuel rises again, when can they?) Birmingham says over the past year their long-haul traffic increased by 26%, with particular growth to the Middle East (+34.1%), North America (+32.6%). That was, of course, what they paid all that money for the runway extension for. It can take flights that otherwise might have gone via Heathrow. Birmingham is keenly against a 3rd Heathrow runway, as it would be a bitter rival.

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Planned Birmingham flights by Beijing Capital Airlines to Beijing and Hangzhou scrapped

It was announced in late April that direct flights by Beijing Capital Airlines, from Birmingham to Beijing and to Hangzhou, some 60 miles from Shanghai, (once per week each), would start on July 19th. The new flights would have been by a Chinese travel company, Caissa Touristic, which owns Beijing Capital Airlines. The plan was to use an Airbus A330-200, with 211 seats (33 business and 178 economy). But under a month later, this seems not to be a reality, and Caissa Touristic has pulled out. The reasons are not known. [Likely to be competition from Manchester, 86 miles away?]  Birmingham Airport is seeking ‘clarification’ from Caissa. Birmingham Airport has been hoping for links to China, to use its newly extended runway, and to compete with Manchester. At present there are only direct UK flights to China from Heathrow, with flights 4 times per week from Manchester with Hainan Airways starting on June 10th 2016. Over the last two summers Caissa Touristic ran a popular charter services that brought Chinese tourists into Birmingham for package holidays in the UK. “And news of the takeover of Aston Villa by Beijing-based tycoon Dr Tony Xia last week raised the prospect of big-spending Chinese football fans flocking to Birmingham.” Paul Kehoe, CEO of Birmingham Airport, said: “Last year around 150,000 people flew between our region and China.”

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Birmingham gets weekly flights to Beijing and Hangzhou with Beijing Capital Airlines

It is expected that direct flights by Beijing Capital Airlines, from Birmingham to Beijing and to Hangzhou, some 60 miles from Shanghai, will start on July 19th. At present there are only direct UK flights to China from Heathrow, with flights 4 times per week from Manchester with Hainan Airways starting this June. The new flights from Birmingham will operate on Saturdays to Beijing and on Tuesdays to Shanghai (Hangzhou) using an Airbus A330-200, with a total of 211 seats (33 business and 178 economy). Flights to the Far East were a major target for Birmingham airport, after its £40 million runway extension allowing use by heavier planes. Birmingham also, from March 2016, obtained 8 flights per week by Qatar Airways Boeing 787s between Birmingham and Qatar. Birmingham also has a daily service by Emirates, using an A380, to Dubai. Birmingham airport says the two new scheduled service follows on from some direct charter flights, which saw over 7,000 Chinese visitors travel through Birmingham Airport during 2014 and 2015, and in 2015 “around 150,000 people flew between our region and China, with passengers preferring to travel from their local airport.”

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CAA gives approval to new PBN flight path from Birmingham airport to the south

At the start of April, the CAA approved changes to flight paths at Birmingham Airport, that were deemed necessary because of the runway extension. There were trials of new flight paths to the south in 2014, which generated a lot of anxiety and anger. The opposition was especially strong in the Balsall Common area, where a lot of people were newly overflown. Planes were taking off further south on the longer runway than before the extension, and also landing further south – so were lower on the approach. The CAA considered 2 route options using Performance-based Navigation (PBN) technology, creating narrow, accurately flown paths. The CAA has gone through a long process, and has now approved Option 6, rather than Option 5, and say this has noise impact on fewer residents. The village of Balsall Green will be less impacted by this choice and they campaigned very effectively against the route being over them. But the smaller village of Barston, nearer to the end of the runway, will get relentless noise. The CAA has also instructed the airport to trial the use of Option 5, which is not quite as bad for Barston, for turbo-prop aeroplanes, which are less noisy than jets. Birmingham will do more work on the departure routes to the north, and then formally submit them for approval to the CAA.

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Beijing Capital Airlines hopes to get permission for direct flights between Birmingham and Hangzhou

Beijing Capital Airlines has requested rights to introduce weekly services at Birmingham from Beijing, and also the first direct link to the UK from the Hangzhou, the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. The airline wants this from 2016, according to the CAAC. The airline entered the long-haul market in September this year having introduced a first Airbus A330 into its fleet. The aircraft, a former Garuda Indonesia A330-200, has been used on weekly flights from Beijing and Hangzhou to Copenhagen. Its debut in the UK would see it replicate this Copenhagen operation at Birmingham with weekly flights from both Beijing and Hangzhou from April 2016. The Beijing route has been served in the past two summer schedules by China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines, but Hangzhou will be a new market not just for Birmingham, but the UK. KLM currently is the only airline with a direct link from Europe, at Schiphol, to Hangzhou. Beijing Capital Airlines has only held informal discussions with Birmingham airport’s management and no agreement has yet been reached should it get the green light from Chinese authorities. More should be know later this month. If Birmingham gets China flights, that is one less reason why a south east runway is needed for “vital business connectivity” to China.

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Birmingham airport to get 8 flights per week to Doha by Qatar Airways

After the runway extension at Birmingham was finally opened in May 2014, the airport has been keen to get some long haul flights to justify it. Now from March 2016 there are to be 8 flights per week by Qatar Airways Boeing 787s between Birmingham and Qatar. There will be one flight per day, but two on Saturdays. This means there is capacity for 100,000 people per year to fly between Birmingham and Qatar. The 787s have 22 business class seats,and 232 economy seats (= 254 seats. Variants of 787 seating plans can be from 242 to 335 passengers, so this few passengers is not particularly fuel efficient). Birmingham says they are the 4th airport (with Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh) in the UK to have flights to Qatar. This is being sold as being a useful link for people from the Midlands wanting to watch the World Cup final in 2022. Birmingham airport’s CEO, Paul Kehoe is enthusiastic about “a choice of 152 destinations served by the airline, including South East Asia, China and Australasia” from Qatar, for “commercial and leisure links.” With more Qatar flights from Edinburgh and Manchester, it will operate 71 flights per week between the UK and Qatar from March 2016. Again, reducing the alleged need for a new south east runway, for this sort of flight.

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Leaked documents reveal secret plans for West Midlands Combined Authority to have control over APD at Birmingham airport

The Draft West Midlands Agreement, which was set to be used as a negotiation tool with Government, details what powers the new authority (the West Midlands Combined Authority, WMCA) – formed of Solihull, Coventry, Birmingham and Black Country local authorities – would seek to wrestle from Westminster. There would also be an elected metro mayor in order to qualify for the ‘full suite of powers’ offered by George Osborne. The mayor would chair the WMCA and have the ability to affect local council taxes and grant tax exemptions and discounts in order to support development. The mayor would also be granted powers to levy a Supplementary Business Rate on businesses – without the requirement for a referendum. And among other powers the WMCA could be given control over Birmingham Airport’s Air Passenger Duty (APD) and the ability to invest in growth of the local economy, and air connections with overseas markets. The WMCA will campaign for the Government to devolve more powers to the country’s regions in its upcoming Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill. In return for these devolved powers, the CA would look to form an £8 billion West Midlands Investment Programme to deliver specific housing and business funds.

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Birmingham airport passenger numbers rising, but total number of flights almost the same as in 1998

The total number of flights (ATMs) using Birmingham airport was around 89,000 in 2014, compared to around 88,000 in 1998. The number rose to a peak of around 116,000 in 2003. But due to larger planes and higher load factors, the actual number of flights has fallen in recent years. See below. The airport handled 6,607,000 passengers in 1998. In 2014, the number of passengers using Birmingham airport was about 9,698,340 (6.4% up on the 9,118,570 in 2013 – and 46.8% more than in 1998). ). By comparison, the growth in air passengers across all UK airports last year was 4.3%. Birmingham says the number of passengers in June was 2.8% above the number in June 2013, and the number in May was 1.3% higher than in May 2014. The airport says there was an increase of 20% in long haul routes compared to June 2014, and “demand continues to grow in this market.” The airport CEO Paul Kehoe said: “We’re expecting our long-haul traffic to increase further in the coming months, following the recent launch of direct charter flights to Beijing, which will operate throughout the summer with Hainan Airlines.” Most passengers are on European leisure flights. A single runway airport could handle over 30 million passengers per year, so Birmingham is very far below its capacity.

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Caroline Spelman says Birmingham Airport’s introduction of trial flight paths has risked permanently damaging relations with nearby residents

Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, has said that Birmingham Airport’s poor handling of the introduction of new flight paths has risked permanently damaging relations with nearby residents. After the runway extension was completed, new flight paths were tested from May 2014 and people newly overflown were not treated well; they were not listened to and their suggestions were ignored. More than 2,000 residents living near the airport signed a petition, saying their lives were being made a misery by the aircraft noise. People around the airport have now lost trust in it, and this will take a lot to restore. Mrs Spelman said many in the local community had traditionally supported the airport, but this was changing due to the bad feeling created by the introduction of new flight paths. Transport Minister Robert Goodwill told the Commons: “I hope that the airport will listen to the concerns raised tonight and will act on them.” Birmingham airport has now announced its preferred flight path, which will involve planes turning so that they minimise noise levels over the village of Hampton-in-Arden. However, there needs to be a trial period to ensure this route does indeed minimise the level of noise experienced by residents. The airport will submit its preferred Option to the CAA in May for approval by the CAA in September.”

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Report by Oxera for Birmingham Airport criticises Commission’s analysis on impacts of Heathrow runway on regional airports

Birmingham Airport has commissioned a study by economic analysts, Oxera, to look at the Airports Commission’s analysis of impacts of Heathrow expansion on regional airports – Birmingham in particular. Oxera believes a 3rd Heathrow runway would exacerbate, rather than reduce, regional imbalances and by sucking more business into the south-east, Heathrow expansion would just widen the north/south divide. Oxera say the methodology used by PwC, on behalf of the Airports Commission, could hide winners and losers in UK regions, and underplays the negative effect that Heathrow expansion could have on some UK regions. They believe there should be better analysis of where the national losses and gains would be, and how they would be distributed. CEO of Birmingham, Paul Kehoe, seems to be more in favour of a Gatwick runway, which presumably threatens Birmingham less. Kehoe said: “Whilst Heathrow is essential and must remain a world class airport for the UK and for the Midlands to grow, Heathrow must become complementary to Birmingham Airport. More capacity at Heathrow would limit our region’s ambitions.” The Midlands claims to be responsible for 16% of all UK exports.

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American Airlines to launch direct flights to New York from Birmingham

Birmingham Airport says it will have a daily service to JFK New York, by American Airlines, from next spring. It hopes to have nearly 100,000 seats on the route, per year. There is already a route from Birmingham to Newark, by United Airlines. The route is likely to be used by more people on leisure trips, than business, though some American tourists may come to places like Stratford and further afield. But the airport CEO Paul Kehoe said: “Last year, the West Midlands exported £4.5 billion worth of goods to North America and has the largest trade surplus with North America of any UK region… etc etc.” This is seen as the first test of the business model of the runway extension. The route will be operated by a Boeing 757 aircraft with 22 Business Class seats and 160 Main Cabin seats. Whether or not this new service actually needs the new runway extension, or could have managed on the old runway, is a moot point. 757s can use Luton’s runway (2160 metres), and Birmingham’s was 2,650 metres before the recent 400 metre extension, to now be 3,050 metres long. So justifying the extension?

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Birmingham delighted to get daily flight to India, largely for tourism and VFR

Birmingham airport’s is encouraged by a decision by Air India to increase the number of flights between Birmingham, Delhi and Amritsa from 4 per week to 7 per week. This will start from November, when its 18th Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is inducted into service. Birmingham has now had direct flights to India for one year, after having none for 5 years. Though some passengers are on business, the majority are tourists and people visiting friends and relatives in India. Having three more flights per week will mean an extra 1,500 seats a week, as the Air India Dreamliners have 256 seats (256 x 3 x 2 = 1,5360. Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s Chief Executive, said “The West Midlands receives more foreign direct investment from India than any other region outside of London and Birmingham’s VFR (visiting friends and family) market grew by 71% in 2013, now attracting more visitors from India than any English city other than London.” The runway extension, that opened in April, is enabling more flights to longer haul destinations. The flight path trials, due to the runway extension, are causing real concern and distress to those south of the airport, now finding themselves seriously overflown.

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Caroline Spelman MP calls for end to Birmingham flight path trials

Meriden MP Caroline Spelman has demanded the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, calls a halt to Birmingham Airport’s flight path trials across her borough, since 1st May, after being handed a petition with over 1,500 signatures. The petition, which has been signed by a number of local action groups, calls on Transport Secretary to intervene in the trial following complaints over noise. The airport has been trialling two options for new flight paths for the past 6 months as part of the new runway extension. But residents claim the aircraft are not sticking to the routes accurately, causing planes to fly closer to their homes. Caroline Spelman says the fact the planes are not flying the accurate routes has invalidated the trial, and a review is needed of what has gone wrong. “. If the airport plumps for a compromise route which is different from the original two options there would need to be a further consultation.” The airport claims its new runway extension, as well as creating distressing noise and disruption for several thousand people, will ” deliver global connectivity and thousands of new jobs in the future for local people.” The CAA will finally decide on the flight paths.

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Battle of Balsall Common’ over plane noise, from Birmingham flight path trial, goes to Parliament

The Battle of Balsall Common – which has triggered waves of complaints of noise nuisance from planes taking off at Birmingham Airport – is to go to Parliament. Angry residents are raising a protest petition to be sent to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, to ask him to look at this trial, and call it in. People affected say their lives are being made a misery by trials launched in May in advance of new flight paths being made permanent. This has happened because of the runway extension. People are deeply angry and anxious, because these flight paths are away from the NPR routes (Noise Preferential Routes), which everyone has known about for years. People have checked, in the past, to ensure they have not chosen to live near an NPR. Now, areas which nobody could have guessed would be overflow have planes overhead every few minutes. Campaigners took to the streets of Balsall Common last weekend to get signatures, in a bid to force a Government rethink of the new flight path. David Ellis, of the Balsall Common Action Group, said: ““We are told they are over 3,000 feet but that is not the point – the noise is the problem.” There will be a public meeting on July 16th on the problem.

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Balsall Common and nearby villages to petition Sec of State to get unpopular Birmingham flight path trial reviewed

After the opening of the Birmingham airport runway extension on 1st May, the airport has been doing a “trial” of a new flight path. This will last for 6 months, till the end of October. The effect of this trial is to create a lot of aircraft noise over villages, Balsall Common in particular. Now the local group, the “Balsall Common Airport Action group” has organised a petition to the Secretary of State, asking that the proposed flight path changes should be reviewed, in view of the sharp increase in noise nuisance to the communities living at the southerly end of the extended runway and the failure of the trial to ensure aircraft follow the new flight path options accurately. They are organising a protest on 5th July, and they will be going door to door, in the affected villages, gathering support and getting signatures for their petition. Local MP Caroline Spelman is backing the petition, as well as local politicians. People feel their complaints and constructive suggestions have been ignored, and that Paul Kehoe is wholly dismissive of residents’ views. “It’s all about the money and business profits,” residents claim.

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Birmingham Airport 6-month flight path trials – due to runway extension – to begin in May

April 11, 2014

It has been confirmed that controversial ‘alternative flight plans’ proposed by Birmingham Airport are to be trialled from May, for 6 months. Birmingham Airport has been developing an Airspace Change Proposal, required for a change to departure flight paths to the south of the Airport due to the runway extension. After considering two viable options in detail – and following extensive public consultations – the airport submitted its preferred route, Option 5, to the CAA in August 2013, saying it believed the overall environmental and operational attributes of both routes considered (Options 5 and 6) were ‘very marginal’. Perhaps due to news about the fury that has been generated in the Warham area by a new Gatwick flight path trial, Birmingham airport has agreed to carry out trials of both options, in order to better understand the actual impact of the proposed changes rather than theoretical modelling. The proposals sparked outrage in the affected villages when they were revealed last year. A final decision is expected in spring 2015 and the airport has reiterated that the trials are ‘not a further consultation’.

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Birmingham Airport wildly optimistic in anticipating 8,000 jobs from its runway extension

April 11, 2014

David Cameron has visited Birmingham airport, and effusively welcoming the announcement that 8,000 new jobs would be created, principally as a result of the long-awaited runway extension, with anticipated direct links to destinations like the West Coast of America and China. Shamelessly linking the airport jobs announcement with totally unrelated Government tax-cutting measures, the PM boomed: “The announcement of 8,000 jobs from Birmingham Airport is more great news in a week when we are cutting tax for 26 million hard-working people and taking over three million people out of income tax altogether.” Paul Kehoe used the PM’s visit for his PR purposes. Kehoe says by 2020 he forecasts Birmingham airport will have 15 million passengers a year, up from 9 million now. He claims this will create 4,000 jobs on-site and a further 4,000 in the immediate supply chain (doubtful figures, generally involving much double counting and optimism). “Politicians and business leaders are very good at talking the talk, but not always so assiduous at walking the walk.”

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Birmingham business leaders condemn Airports Commission for not recognising Birmingham Airport’s economic potential

February 3, 2014

Business leaders in Birmingham have criticised the Airports Commission’s interim report, released on 17th December, for overlooking the “crucial role” Birmingham Airport could play, in allegedly supporting the local and national economy. The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) said the potential for the airport to capture thousands of new passengers was not being considered. It has written to MPs Louise Ellman, chair of the Common’s Transport Select Committee, and committee member Chloe Smith to outline its view. The GBCC would like to invite Ms Ellman and other members of the Transport Select Committee to visit businesses in Birmingham “to showcase how Birmingham Airport can help drive the export-led recovery.” The GBCC says it is pleased that Birmingham Airport has been identified as a long-term option for development. They say that “the catchment area for Birmingham Airport is home to half a million businesses (approximately 25% of British business) and has the largest share of manufacturing activity of all airport catchment areas.” Also that the Commission “could have gone much further in exploring the role of both HS2 and other economic assets across the West Midlands.”

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Birmingham airport hands out £13 million share dividend to Birmingham City Council

January 23, 2014

Birmingham Airport managed to handle 9,119,709 passengers in 2013, which was the highest since 2008 and up + 2.3% compared to 2012. The 2013 number is still around 4.7% lower than the 2008 peak, but has been growing slowly since 2010. Most passengers continue to be on leisure trips, including long haul leisure, for example to Barbados and Gambia (those “seeking some winter sun over the Christmas break”). The airport hopes its runway extension will open during 2014, enabling flights by larger planes to long haul destinations. More passengers travel out from the area, on holiday trips, than travel in though the airport wants to attract more visitors from South-east Asia. Birmingham City Council, with 6 other West Midlands local authorities, owns 49% of the airport and has been handed a £13 million dividend after the airport had a “successful” year and reappraised its finances after the imminent completion of the runway extension. This will help fund the £5 million budget black hole in Birmingham’s 39 leisure centres and swimming pools. Birmingham and the other councils had earlier agreed to sacrifice dividend payments to help fund the £33 million runway scheme, and are now set to be rewarded for their generosity.     Click here to view full story…


17 January 2014

Birmingham Airport is celebrating yet another major milestone, as passenger numbers for the 2013 calendar year reach over nine million for the first time since 2009. Latest figures reveal 9,119,709 passengers chose to fly through Birmingham Airport in 2013, a 2.3% increase compared to 2012.  “Helped by a strong December, over nine million people have decided to take advantage of the Airport’s world-class facilities and its growing network of flights throughout the past 12 months. …We are now looking to build on this success in 2014, which will see the opening of our longer runway and with it, the capability to serve more long haul destinations than ever before.” The airport said “Over the past 12 months we have undertaken marketing campaigns with our tourism partners at VisitEngland and VisitBritain to strengthen links with countries including Germany and Italy. The significant recent growth in passengers from Stuttgart and Milan indicates that our work to grow the region’s profile and reputation is bearing fruit.”  The top scheduled destinations in 2013 were Dublin, Dubai and Amsterdam, and the most popular charter destinations were Dalaman, Palma and Tenerife.

Birmingham Airport ‘ignored’ views of residents, say campaigners

Date added: August 25, 2013

Birmingham Airport has been accused of ‘totally ignoring’ the views of local residents over proposed flightpath changes to pave the way for the £65 million runway extension. The long-running Battle of Balsall Common looks set for further skirmishes, There is a Balsall Common Airport Action Group, and their campaigners have voiced their dismay at the airport’s preferred option for aircraft taking off to the south. The airport says this route avoids the most populated areas, Barston, Hampton-in-Arden and Balsall Common and is positioned further away from Catherine-de-Barnes and Knowle. The Action Group say the airport has ignored their comments in the consultation, and that the new flightpaths will see planes flying over their area at between 3,000 and 4,000 feet, increasing noise nuisance and pollution. The airport’s public affairs director said “We believe the best option has been put forward that impacts the fewest number of people in areas closest to the airport.”    Click here to view full story…


Birmingham Airport publishes proposals for its future growth – including 2nd runway – to the Airports Commission

July 26, 2013      Birmingham Airport has made a submission to the Airports Commission on its future growth plans. It hopes to grow from 9m passengers a year now to 70m, (the size of Heathrow currently) while allegedly reducing the number of people affected by night noise. They are aware that the Commission is looking at the number affected by noise in the proposals submitted. Birmingham airport says its current runway extension will allow it to handle 27m passengers a year and it has the potential for a 2nd runway to be built some time after 2030 – if the demand required it – costing under £7 billion. The airport estimates that by using the new runway for night flights, it would remove over 13,000 people from the 57dB night noise contour. Birmingham airport say they have support from a large number of businesses in the area, and are well placed for business travellers who are keen to avoid Heathrow and get direct flights to Birmingham. “We have recommended to the commission a network of great long-haul airports to serve Britain’s great cities. Our proposals show that Birmingham Airport is in a position to sit at the heart of this network, serving a valuable catchment area and relieving pressure on congested airports in the South East.”      Click here to view full story…


Emirates considers direct flights to the USA from UK northern airports, not Heathrow

July 26, 2013     Dubai’s Emirates Airline is interested in getting into the competitive transatlantic market, and offer flights from Dubai to the US via the UK. This market is currently dominated by BA, Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. Emirates will need to get regulatory approval first. Emirates believes there is strong unmet demand for flights from the north of England to the USA and last year carried 800,000 passengers on its routes in and out of its hubs in the north of England: Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham. There are growing numbers of Emirates passengers and services from these northern UK airports. In October, Emirates will launch flights from Dubai to New York via Milan. Their UK vice president said they are asking the Airports Commission to look at making all the regional airports completely open skies, so anyone can fly anywhere. If they use the northern airports, there is less pressure on the south east airports, and less rationale for building another runway. “Heathrow sits in the south of England, but Manchester has a bigger catchment area in terms of a two-hour drive.” If Emirates goes through with the plan BA and Virgin will be the big losers.    Click here to view full story..


Birmingham Airport launches ad campaign on its long haul network for manufacturers

July 8, 2013     Birmingham Airport has put together a series of political adverts on the importance of aviation to the UK manufacturing sector. This is to influence the Airports Commission. Paul Kehoe at Birmingham Airport has been very vocal in his opposition to the idea of a hub airport in London and these adverts – which will run until July 19th which is the deadline date for airport proposals to the Commission – reflect this. The campaign features a number of high-profile figures from across the manufacturing industry, including managing director of MG Motor who reiterates the point that some of Britain’s most important companies are based in the Midlands, south-west and north of the country. Birmingham is submitting its plans for massive growth and a new runway to the Airports Commission. Birmingham Airport’s Paul Kehoe said: “These adverts make a serious point – our aviation sector is currently failing to adequately serve the majority of UK businesses that are located outside of the south-east.”     Click here to view full story…


Birmingham Airport unveils vision for growth, up to 70 million passengers per year, new business park etc

June 10, 2013      Birmingham Airport has unveiled long-term growth plans to challenge Heathrow’s supremacy and help to what they say will ‘rebalance the UK economy’. The plan would see Birmingham catering for 70m air passengers a year and 500,000 flights a year – both slightly more than Heathrow now. A business park for the Midland’s manufacturing sector is also proposed alongside the expanded airport site and has the backing of some business leaders and local councils. It, of course, predictably, promises huge numbers of jobs – no less than a quarter of a million. Paul Kehoe, the airport’s CEO, expects that in 20 years’ time British air travel will double – though there is no evidence for this, and it is utterly at variance with the advice of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change that UK air passengers could perhaps increase by 60% on 2005 levels by 2050. For the whole of the UK. Birmingham airport thinks transport infrastructure acts as an economic enabler, “a pathway to a virtuous cycle of growth”, and “each major regional economy cannot succeed without its own meaningful international gateway.” They believe “the UK economy is large enough to support at least four major ‘national’ airports – London, Midlands, North West, Scotland”.   Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport expected to announce plans for 2nd runway and new terminal to the Airports Commission

June 8, 2013      Birmingham Airport is expected to announce shortly that it is considering building a 2nd runway, and submit its plan to the Airports Commission. The airport wants to be considered as a major part of Britain’s aviation plans for the future, and could be a hub for European airports. Back in 2007 the airport’s plans for a second runway, in its Master Plans, were dropped in favour of the runway extension – due to open in 2014. If HS2 is built, Birmingham airport intends to benefit from it. Proposals include another terminal, incorporating HS2, as well as the runway. It is thought that the airport will say, in its submission, that the runway may not be needed for a long time, even decades as it currently caters for some 9 million passengers and could take over 25 million on its one runway. The airport’s plans are reported to be supported by the West Midlands Economic Forum which will release a report expected to say that there is plenty more potential growth for Birmingham Airport as the world economy grows. MP Mark Garnier said the airport needed to capitalise on being at the heart of the motorway and potential high-speed rail networks.      Click here to view full story…


Birmingham Airport says British exports need network of long-haul airports, not only a Heathrow hub

May 14, 2013    Paul Kehoe, the Chief Executive of Birmingham Airport, has commissioned research to back his campaign to get more long haul flights to his airport. The 400 metre runway extension at Birmingham (taking the runway to some 3,000 metres) should be in use by spring 2014. The new report says that Birmingham is well situated for a large number of UK businesses that want to do business abroad and fly abroad. It says Birmingham has the second largest business catchment – within 2 hours travel – in the UK and the biggest number of manufacturers. Therefore Kehoe argues (as he has done consistently for years) that if this government is to fulfil its promise to rebalance the UK economy towards manufacturing and exports, there have to be more long haul flights from the Midlands and further north. Business people don’t want to land at Heathrow and have to treck up north by road or rail. The report says “long-haul airports at Heathrow, Birmingham and Manchester could serve and support growth in economies of their sizeable catchment areas. But unlike Manchester Airport, Birmingham Airport is uniquely placed to ease congestion at Heathrow.”    Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport consultation on new flight paths from 2014 due to runway extension

January 11, 2013     Birmingham airport’s runway extension was started in November, and is likely to be ready by early 2014. There is now a Birmingham airport consultation on new flight paths, that will be needed for the extended runway. The 3-month consultation has started over new departure routes which would need Civil Aviation Authority approval. The new routes have been designed using the latest technology that allows aircraft to fly more precisely (a sort of aircraft sat nav). As the runway will be extended further south, there will be a change to the routeing of aircraft after taking-off to the south. This is due to the earliest point that aircraft can turn after departure also moving further to the south, affecting the routeing of aircraft which will mean a change for some communities. There are already some very annoyed residents, who will now suffer a lot more noise. They are not reassured that planes are theoretically a bit less noisy than they used to be, as they are now larger and heavier, and more frequent. No date is given for the end of the consultation, but is is probably around the end of March 2013      Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport 400 metre runway extension work starts – to be ready spring 2014

November 29, 2012    Work has started to extend the runway at Birmingham Airport in a bid to compete for long-haul flights. It could be in use by spring 2014. Planning permission was granted in 2009 and in February final approval was given for the £40m project to extend the runway by 400 metres. Chief executive Paul Kehoe said the extension would allow Birmingham to compete with Manchester for flights to the US and the Far East and double capacity. Birmingham is currently England’s 2nd largest regional airport after Manchester, serving 9.6m passengers a year. David Learmount, from Flight International Magazine, said that although Birmingham could “theoretically” now become a “hub” airport and fly to destinations like China, it was “very unlikely to”.He said not enough passengers would fly into Birmingham wanting to go on to those sorts of destinations, unlike Heathrow – and it would benefit largely local “pleasure passengers” who would be able to choose from more holiday destinations. [So not increasing business, and increasing the tourism deficit].    Click here to view full story…

BA & Virgin say Birmingham Airport will never be international hub

November 22, 2012     British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways have hit out at Birmingham’s call for government intervention to encourage airlines to make better use of airports in the north and Midlands. They say Birmingham can never be a national hub airport, and that regional airports such as Birmingham could not provide an alternative to expanding capacity in the South East. BA and Virgin say Heathrow and Gatwick are full because people want to fly from them. Birmingham isn’t because people don’t. Also that Government should not intervene to force airlines and passengers to use airports they “do not want to fly from”. They also claim foreign governments are only interested in Heathrow in talks about opening new air routes and capacity. Birmingham Airport has launched a campaign to convince ministers that it can provide an alternative to expanding Heathrow without the need for a new runway – and it can double passenger numbers from 9 million today to 18 million without new infrastructure, and by extending its existing runway it will be able to serve 27 million people. The industry is fighting fiercely among itself on the capacity issue – and is likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.    Click here to view full story…


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

August 30, 2012     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.   Click here to view full story…


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.   Click here to view full story…


Vince Cable backs Birmingham, while Boris pushes for Stansted expansion (and the estuary)

June 19, 2012     The campaign to expand Birmingham Airport has gained a new ally – Business Secretary, Vince Cable. The airport recently launched a new London publicity campaign to persuade the Government to throw its support behind Birmingham at the expense of a third runway at Heathrow. Vince Cable said there was no resistance from residents to this expansion to Birmingham building up to being a “really serious international airport”, and this would be a “short-term, pragmatic solution that would bring an awful lot more flights to the country” while extra runway capacity at an airport in the South East could take years to deliver. So Boris has been suggesting a 2nd Stansted runway (opposed even by the aviation industry) and Vince is backing Birmingham, as interim “solutions” to an alleged problem of capacity.    Click here to view full story…


“Chocks away as Birmingham Airport hits road to London” – ad campaign

June 7, 2012    This is yet more publicity for Birmingham airport, to position itself as the solution to the airport capacity problem that is alleged for the south east. There are now roadside billboards in Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire or Oxfordshire warning motorists of “Heathrow: congestion ahead” and questioning whether or not they are “Going in the right direction?” if heading to a London airport. And the strap-line of this high profile advertising campaign delivers the main message: “Birmingham makes more sense.” Paul Kehoe continues his campaign to boost his airport, saying that after a £200 million investment programme, they could handle an extra 9 million passengers a year. etc   Click here to view full story.


Birmingham Airport calls for Government backing. Claims 36 million passengers by 2030?

May 1, 2012     Paul Kehoe is lobbying for his airport again. He is calling on the Government to endorse the ational status of Birmingham Airport, and dismissed claims from BAA that Heathrow is the only answer to forging new air links with the country. He says, after a trip to China, that Chinese airlines are now considering Birmingham as a new destination once the runway extension is completed in 2014. He says there is a partnership between Birmingham airport and MG Motors, owned by Shanghai Automotive. There is a large Chinese community in Birmingham, and thousands of Chinese students come to Birmingham each year. Kehoe says since 2003, after London, Birmingham has attracted more Chinese investment projects than any other UK city. And he claims the number of passengers using Birmingham airport will rise from 9 million per year now to 36 million by 2030. !? 36 million ??    Click here to view full story…

Birmingham sets sights on China flights

April 28, 2012    Paul Kehoe, the CEO of Birmingham airport, is planning to start direct flights to China as an alternative to services from the south-east. He visited the Chinese city of Chengdu for the Routes Asia aviation conference last week and met with airlines to discuss possible direct flights between Birmingham and China. Birmingham is hoping to attract long-haul services from the airport once its runway extension is completed in 2014, and said feedback from the airlines had been positive. Kehoe says direct China flights from Birmingham will bring investment to the region, and giving airlines and passengers an alternative to battling with London’s congestion problems.   Click here to view full story…


Kehoe says BAA claims are a con, and Chinese companies are happy to fly to Birmingham, by-passing Heathrow

April 22, 2012      We have heard many aviation lobbyists claiming that if business people cannot get direct flights from Heathrow to a multitude of destinations, Britain’s economy is doomed. Now Paul Kehoe, CEO of Birmingham airport, publicly disagrees, wanting to persuade those in power that flights to or from Birmingham will be quite acceptable to commerce, and can bypass Heathrow. And Birmingham gets the profit. He says BAA is “trying to conflate the wider British economic interest with the interests of Heathrow”. Kehoe says the claims that Britain’s economy requires new runways in the south-east are a “con” that an industry dominated by BAA will not question. He says he was in Chengdu recently, talking to Chinese airlines that were considering any entry point into the UK. Kehoe says the Chinese he had spoken to would be happy to come to Birmingham: “they see the UK as an important market and don’t care how they get there.” So lots of in-fighting within the industry, like dogs over a bone … They all want the money …   Click here to view full story…

Birmingham LEP chairman wants Heathrow 3rd runway as well as Birmingham airport growth

April 6, 2012     The Chairman of the Birmingham Local Enterprise Partnership, Andy Street, who is also MD of John Lewis, is a key member of the organisation called London First, which produced a report in Feb 2012, wanting a 3rd Heathrow runway, mixed mode on both Heathrow runways, as well as a new hub airport, more lax planning restrictions, and public subsidy for aviation. As well as pushing for growth at Birmingham airport, Mr Street is also pushing for a new Heathrow runway, and has somewhat upset his colleagues in Birmingham by not seeing “the issue from a national perspective and neglects the valuable role regional airports can play in satisfying this demand in both the short and long term.”     Click here to view full story…


Transport secretary pledges to ‘remove barriers’ to Birmingham Airport expansion

March 23, 2012    Justine Greening has said she wanted to “remove barriers” which prevented Birmingham airport growing. The airport has been lobbying ministers to be allowed to expand, and has argued that in the long term regional airports such as Birmingham should be considered as an alternative to a new airport in the Thames Estuary. Ms Greening said the planned high speed rail line, which will include a new station close to Birmingham Airport, would make it far more accessible to people from across the country. On the Aviation Policy Framework (consultation on which is now delayed till summer from March) she said “… we are quite keen to see what we can do to allow regional airports like Birmingham to flourish. They have a key role to play and we want to look at how we can take away some of the barriers that stop them doing that and look at how we can really put them in the best possible position to do well.”   Click here to view full story…


Birmingham Airport contractors selected for road improvement and runway extension

March 20, 2012    A £65 million project to improve the roads around Birmingham Airport was unveiled today, laying the ground for a runway extension. It was announced today that contractors VolkerFitzpatrick and Colas have been jointly appointed for both the A45 Transport Corridor Improvement and the runway extension. Work will start on the £32m road scheme in July, and it is expected to be completed by next summer, with work on the runway extension starting in June 2013. The £33m runway project is expected to be in operation by the spring of 2014.    Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport runway extension gets final green light

February 29, 2012   The final obstacle to Birmingham Airport’s runway extension project has been removed as shareholders gave the go-ahead to the £65m scheme. The 400 metre extension will give the airport the ability to offer long-haul flights to Asia and the US west coast. A long-awaited shareholders’ meeting signed off the airport’s business case for the scheme. Birmingham hopes to fly to business and leisure destinations such as China, South Africa and the west coast of America directly once its runway extension is built. The government has said it will contribute £15.7m from the Regional Growth Fund towards the cost of diverting the A45 to make way for the runway extension. Regional passenger body Centro will contribute £10m towards the work.    Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport to get solar panels, to save 22 tonnes CO2 per year – compared to the 900,000 tonnes CO2 the airport is responsible for each year

February 6, 2012    Birmingham Airport is getting some solar panels on its terminal roof, so will be emitting a tiny bit less carbon for its electricity generation. The 200 solar PV panels will perhaps save some 22 tonnes of CO2 per year, while perhaps generating some 40,000 kWh per year. Paul Kehoe says “…Managing our greenhouse gas emissions is a high priority for the company and we’re always seeking new opportunities to work with partners to reduce our carbon footprint.” So let’s put the CO2 savings into context. Planes using Birmingham airport in 2010 were responsible for about 0.9 million (= 900,000) tonnes of CO2. The DfT’s forecasts for passengers and carbon emissions by flights using the airport put Birmingham, on its lowest forecasts, as emitting 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030, or emitting 4.3 million tonnes of CO2 on its central forecast. So the 20 tonnes is lovely, but putting out publicity about this being significantly green is disingenuous.    Click here to view full story…

Work on Birmingham Airport’s long-awaited runway extension may start in summer

January 30, 2012   £100 million contract to build Birmingham Airport’s long-awaited runway extension and carry out major improvements to the A45 is expected to be approved within weeks. The airport and Birmingham City Council have shortlisted 4 construction companies for the work. The successful bidder is likely to be announced by March, with work likely to begin in the summer. The project claims it will bring jobs, boost the regional economy etc etc but has proved controversial with environmental groups including Friends of the Earth questioning the value of increasing the number of flights. FoE has been critical of the funding arrangements, with £26 million towards the £32 million cost of diverting the A45 coming from the public purse. Work to the A45 and the runway extension is expected to be completed by 2014.    Click here to view full story…


Chamber calls for investment in Birmingham Airport instead of ‘Boris Island’

January  27, 2012     West Midland business leaders are calling on the Government to invest more in Birmingham Airport instead of another airport in the South East.Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group (BCCG) said Birmingham Airport is a viable solution to London’s aviation capacity constraints. Mike Ward, president of BCCG, said: “Birmingham Airport can easily double its passenger numbers and when the runway extension is completed in 2014/15, business travellers will be able to take advantage of more direct flights.”    Click here to view full story ….


KCC opposes estuary airport but says Manston is the short term answer to airport shortage (or expand at Birmingham instead)

Date added: January 20, 2012

Both Medway Council and Kent County Council have described plans for a Thames estuary airport as a “pie in the sky” idea, and believe Manston airport should be developed instead. Kent County Council has recently said “The building of a new airport will take at least a few years to come to fruitition. Increasing the use of Manston airport could help the government’s initiative to boost airport capacity in the South East in the short term.” This is very troubling to people living around Manston. Leaders on Medway Council have called on Transport Secretary Justine Greening to look at “fully utilising the capacity of existing airports including Manston and Birmingham, which could both be joined to London by high speed rail.” Click here to view full story…


Birmingham business leaders jubilant on HS2 – but rail link does not go to the airport

January 10, 2012     Birmingham believes it will benefit from the HS2 link. However, the rail link will not go to the airport, or even to the main rail station but under the plans, a new station will be built in Curzon Street, which is about a 15-minute walk from New Street Station. This is the so called interchange station which is on the other side of the M42 and will be linked to the airport and international station by a people mover of which we know little else but it could be a futuristic monorail or something similar … Birmingham Friends of the Earth want money spent on transport within the city – what is the point in a super-fast link to London if it takes an hour to reach the station, across the suburbs?    Click here to view full story…

HS2 high-speed rail project gets green light

January 10, 2012    Justine Greening has given the go ahead for the rail link from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, on 10th January. It will cost at least £32bn. This is the first phase of the route on which high-speed trains will start running in 2026 and this first phase should be only the foundation of a future network. Opponents question the huge expenditure for time savings of just half an hour between London and Birmingham. Between 2026 and 2032 other northern cities (Manchester, Leeds, will get their high speed links from the Y shaped network. There will be huge opposition and anger in constituencies through which HS2 would pass, which will face the prospect of years of construction for no direct local benefit. Legislation to enable the building of HS2 would go through Parliament in 2013.    Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport hopes to offer cut price holiday escapes during Olympics

January 2, 2012    Another bit of opportunistic publicity from Birmingham Airport’s Paul Kehoe. He uses the opening of a new hangar at the end of January to get some publicity for hopes of growing the number of passengers this year. More business jets. More tourists during the Olympics, on cheap deals to escape Britain during August. And of course, the usual swipe at APD …   Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport Urges Government to Rethink APD

3.10.2011  BIRMINGHAM Airport and other regional airports and airlines have joined forces to urge the Chancellor of the Exchequer to abandon the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to APD following its decision to reduce taxation on long haul flights from airports in Northern Ireland. In a joint letter sent to Mr Osborne, they welcomed the Chancellor’s decision and said it trusted this would pave the way for reductions on services from all the UK regions outside of London.    Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport chief warns of Coventry rival’s impact

25th August 2011    Paul Kehoe has warned that plans to fly to growth economies like India and China could be hindered by proposals to resume passenger flights at Coventry Airport.  With progress being made on the £65 million runway extension, the possibility of flights to China, India and the west coast of America will become reality in 2014 – but Mr Kehoe said competing with Coventry at the short-haul end of the market could put that under threat by hitting profitability.  Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport increases profits 8-fold last year, after cost-cutting

5th August 2011      Cost-cutting helped the airport to post an 8-fold increase in profits last year – but its chief executive warned its long-term health is reliant on the region’s economy.  Birmingham Airport Holdings saw after-tax profits rise from £592,000 last year to £5.28 million in the 12 months to March 31 despite revenue falling by 0.8% to £103.3 million.  Employee costs were reduced by more than 11%, with number of people working at the airport reduced by 75.      Click here to view full story…


Birmingham Airport to “talk to its neighbours” about its plans to increase night flights

Consultation started 1st June – closes 24th August 2011

8th June 2011     The airport is inviting members of the local community to discuss all airport-related activity, particularly its night flying policy at several community meetings.  The airport is trying to get more night flights (23.30 – 06.00), above the number it had previously agreed to. It wants dispensation to increase numbers over 5% of the total, as flights were down last year, so it feels the restriction is too tight.  Also meeting a tighter noise level of 85 db (a) would be too hard for them.     Click here to view full story…


Eurojet to create 50 jobs with £5m Birmingham Airport expansion

19th May 2011     Eurojet Aviation has announced expansion plans with a new 41,000 sq ft complex at the airport. It will feature a full-service fixed base operator (FBO) which means it has hangars on site and can look after airplanes and private operators. The maintenance facility is set for completion by the end of the year. It claims there will be 50 new jobs.  Kehoe is pleased about the establishment of an aircraft maintenance cluster in the West Midlands.      Click here to view full story…


Birmingham  airport aspiration to be a major air transport hub

17th May 2011     Birmingham airport is being promoted as the solution to capacity constraints as the government seeks to rebuff criticism that it lacks a coherent aviation policy. There is pressure to build more airport capacity in the south although there is enough already. Philip Hammond was present at the opening of the latest phase of the £100m redevelopment of the airport, and said Birmingham would become an even more important part of the UK national airport infrastructure.    Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport runway extension expected to be ready by 2014

20th April 2011     The airport agreed this week, when its board met, to go out to tender for its runway extension and is confident the £65 million project will be started in 2012 and completed by the end of 2014. It  hopes to then be able to offer non-stop flights to China, India and the west coast of America. Chris Crean, from West Midlands FoE said the airport is only going to pay a paltry £7 million and should pay more. “The only reason the A45 needs realigning is to enable the runway extension to proceed.”      Click here to view full story…

 Key meeting over Birmingham Airport runway now the A45 money is secured

13th April 2011     Now that the Government’s Regional  Growth Fund has allocated £15.7 million for upgrading the A45, in order for the runway extension to go ahead, there will be a meeting to decide on next moves.  The airport will pay around £7 million itself.  There is the wild claim that the project “promises to create up to 3,400 new jobs and deliver a £631 million boost to the local economy.” From previous experience elsewhere, this figure is wildly over optimistic.     Click here to view full story…


More State aid for under-taxed aviation industry as Birmingham Airport to benefit from £15.7 million for A45 upgrading

12th April 2011     Just 1 in 10 of the bids to the government’s flagship regional growth fund have been approved – 50 in total. One is on behalf of Birmingham City Council.  It is for  £15.7 million towards upgrading the A45 around Birmingham Airport, “bringing hopes of an enlarged runway closer to being realised.” FoE said this shows “the hand of the Government and with its financial support of the aviation sector how it can claim to be the Greenest Government ever is beyond us.”      Click here to view full story…


New £10m control tower to built at Birmingham Airport

1st April 2011    A new state of the art control tower is to be built at a cost of £10 million. Work on the new landmark building will start in May but it will be 2 years before it is operational because of the complexity of the new equipment being installed in it.  The new 115ft tower will dominate the western side of the airport and be easily visible from the A45.  Once commissioned it will take over from the original control tower which has been in use since 1939.     Click here to view full story…

 Kehoe says work on Birmingham Airport runway extension to begin this year

4th March 2011     The chief executive of Birmingham Airport said plans for a long-awaited runway extension would be implemented this year. Paul Kehoe said everything was in place to get the £65 million project under way, allowing long-range jets to serve the city from as early as 2014. The 1,312ft extension would put Birmingham within a direct flight of emerging markets including China. But the airport is awaiting confirmation of how to raise the £32 million project to divert the A45.  Click here to view full story…


Birmingham region – including airport – will be asked to pay costs for high speed rail

4th March 2011     Birmingham’s employers and council tax-payers face massive bills after the Government revealed they will have to help pay for the £44 billion high speed rail line.  Ministers cannot yet say how much money will come from teh Treasury and how much has to be locally funded. The Government warned that a planned planned new railway interchange station near Birmingham Airport will not be built unless the airport helps pay for it or obtains the support of a third party.     Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Friends of the Earth call for fairness and transparency in public funding

11th February 2011    Birmingham FoE welcome the fact that the Birmingham LEP’s bid for £15 million from the Regional Growth Fund  to subsidise the airport’s runway extension was ruled ineligible under round one, but is looking for more transparency in future rounds. The money, which would be used for the diversion of the A45 Coventry Road to enable the 350-metre runway extension, is still likely to be asked for in future rounds, but FoE believes public money should not be sought.     Click here to view full story…



Birmingham LEP; Short-term ‘quick win’ projects given priority

28th January 2011     Plans to raise money to support the expansion of Birmingham Airport and to regenerate the former MG Rover site have been put on hold after the Government changed the rules over using cash from the Regional Growth Fund. Only schemes likely to create significant numbers of jobs in the short term would be considered. The airport was “surprised” said it would be seeking clarification from the LEP and hope to get money in the 2nd round.      Click here to view full story…

£15m growth fund boost for Birmingham Airport runway plans

14th January 2011    A new Gov Regional Growth Fund for economic development could contribute £15 million to start the airport’s runway extension. Councils and business leaders in charge of the Birmingham-Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership want the RGF to meet almost half the £32 million cost of diverting the A45 Coventry Road to enable the 350-metre runway extension to be built. Uncertainty about how the road diversion will be paid for is holding back the runway project.  (Birmingham Post)   Click here to view full story…


Council claims “Diverting A45 for Birmingham Airport runway will provide £631m boost to economy”

2nd November 2010    The airport and Birmingham City Council are claiming that the planned extension of theAirport runway and diversion of the A45 will create almost 3,400 new jobs and deliver a £631 million boost to the local economy. Forecasts produced for the Council by consultants Arup suggest that the 2 projects combined will trigger significant long-term economic and transport benefits, boostingknowledge-based business parks around the M42. (Post)    Click here to view full story…


 Taxpayers to pay yet more to fund road scheme to help Birmingham Airport runway extension

25th November 2010   Taxpayers will be asked to pay £10 million more towards the cost of moving a major road to allow Birmingham Airport’s runway to be extended.  The long-awaited project can only go ahead once the A45 Coventry Road has been diverted at a cost of £32 million. Regional transport body Centro’s CEO, Geoff Inskip, said Birmingham City Council would be asked to decide next month whether to contribute £10 million towards the scheme. (Birmingham Post)     Click here to view full story…


Birmingham Friends of the Earth letter to Birmingham City Council on use of public funds

16th November 2010    In response to the news that Birmingham City Council may give £10 million or more to help with road alterations to enable the airport to lengthen its runway, Birmingham FoE have written an open letter to councillors at BCC questioning their use of public funds to pay for the runway extension. At the same time BCC are looking to save £300 million pounds from their budget.  The road project they are paying for is outside the boundary of Birmingham.   (Birmingham FoE)    Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport spreads its wings as “powerful driver of growth and jobs” … (Kehoe)

31st October 2010     Paul Kehoe continues to claim Birmingham Airport could be “London’s new airport” and with HS2 cutting journey times from London, and a new runway extension, the airport will be booming.  He says the airport is currently operating at around half its current capacity and is a “vital yet underused piece in the National Strategic infrastructure.” He hopes to get the 400m runway extension built by 2014 even involving moving the A45.  A lot of puff ….      Click here to view full story…


Birmingham set for two high speed rail links heading north

4th October 2010     Transport Secretary Philip Hammond told delegates at the Conservative Party conference that there would be 2 high speed rail lines, running from Birmingham to the NE and NW. They would connect to the planned high-speed service between London and the West Midlands, creating a Y-shaped network with Birmingham at its heart. Birmingham would have 2 new stations, a Birmingham Interchange with 40,000 parking spaces near Birmingham Airport nd a new city centre station.   Click here to view full story…


Birmingham International Airport announces name change

22.9.2010 (Birmingham Post)     Birmingham Airport is changing its name – by officially jettisoning its “International” tag. Airport bosses have agreed an extensive re-branding exercise which will see the complex revert to Birmingham Airport instead of BIA.  Logos and signage will be changed ahead of next spring’s merger of the complex’s two terminals into one facility as part of a new £13 million redevelopment.  link


London’s new airport “could be in Birmingham”

15th August 2010     Birmingham airport is continuing its publicity drive to persuade people that it could become another London airport. The airport hopes high speed rail will cut the journey time from central London to Birmingham to 38 minutes, making it as easy to reach as Heathrow. Birmingham wants to be the “solution” to an alleged lack of airport capacity in the south east … The airport’s Chief Executive, Paul Kehoe, has huge ambitions for the airport.    Click here to view full story…


Birmingham Airport receives funding for expansion plans

10th July 2010    Birmingham Airport has secured the £45 million funding it wants to extend its runway, which would allow for bigger planes, as well as a long-haul service to destinations in Asia and on the west coast of the US. The funding was obtained from provided by Santander Corporate Banking and Royal Bank of Scotland. Work is also ongoing on the merging of Birmingham Airport’s two terminals.     Click here to view full story…


VIP airline Cello Aviation launches in Birmingham

27th May 2010    A new VIP private jet airline has launched in Birmingham, and says it is getting ready to fly footballers, pop bands and wedding parties in and out of the city. Cello Aviation will be starting its 1st flight soon, after 18 months of preparation. It employs some 20 people in management and cabin crew positions and will use a 46-seater Avro Business Jet which Cello claims has a low noise footprint. (B’ham Post)    Click here to view full story…


Birmingham Airport says it “Offers Solution to the ‘Heathrow Problem'”

12th May 2010    Birmingham Airport’s CEO, Paul Kehoe, has wasted no time in putting in his plug about the airport benefitting from the decision to scrap plans for a 3rd Heathrow runway. The airport says it now handles 9 million passengers per year, and there is enough spare capacity to take another 9 million passengers immediately – and another 21 million passengers in future years, with its runway extension, for which Planning Consent has already been given.    Click here to view full story…


Birmingham Airport using the plane-free period to boost its runway hopes

26th April 2010    Birmingham airport expansion supporters are using the 6 days without flights to boost their campaign to get the runway extension paid for. They claim the “extremist green lobby” are completely misguided and out of touch. It says “The time has come to redouble efforts to make sure Birmingham gets its runway extension”. (Birmingham Post)    Click here to view full story…

£32m Birmingham Airport road scheme gets city council backing

20th April 2010    Plans for a £32 million diversion of the A45 to allow the runway extension to be built have won Birmingham City Council’s backing. Council leaders agreed to pay half of the cost after seeking legal advice, though there had been questions whether the council had the powers to make a £16 million contribution to Solihull Council to get the A45 scheme off the ground. Lawyers said Birmingham could go ahead, and felt there were other transport benefits. (Birmingham Post)   Click here to view full story…

Birmingham airport should come clean over expansion aspirations

9th April 2010    The runway extension planned for Birmingham will not be built for 5 years at least. But it is still not clear who will pay for it, and for associated road improvements. Birmingham and Solihull councils have both offered to pay £16 million of public money for this. Details remain private. Expansion of the airport goes against UK climate targets and guidance from the CCC in December. FoE are asking that the airport makes details of its plans public. (FOE)    Click here to view full story…

Obstacles pile up for Birmingham Airport runway extension

6th April 2010     Birmingham’s campaign to market itself as Heathrow’s 3rd runway could turn into a money-spinner, but only if legal difficulties can be resolved. BIA has already said the business case for the extension doesn’t stack up in the current straitened circumstances and is resisting Birmingham City Council’s insistence that a longer runway, allowing non-stop flights to China, India and the west coast of America, must proceed immediately. (Birmingham Post)      Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport extension in doubt over road row

1st April 2010    A £32 million road improvement plan to kick-start the airport’s runway extension is in doubt – because funding arrangements may not be lawful. The A45 Coventry Road must be moved from the airport perimeter before work on the extension can begin. Birmingham City Council intends to split the cost with Solihull Council. There are concerns that the city council cannot be seen to directly fund the airport, which is a private company. (BP)   Click here to view full story…

Birmingham: Time to scrap runway plans

26th March 2010     Following a High Court judge’s ruling against the decision to approve Heathrow’s 3rd runway local environmental campaigners said the same should apply to plans for the expansion of Birmingham Airport. Lord Justice Carnwath ruled that the 2003 ATWP is obsolete because it is inconsistent with the Climate Change Act 2008. The government must prepare an NPS to establish the case before large infrastructure expansion can go ahead. (B’ham FoE)    Click here to view full story…

7.4% fall in passengers flying from Birmingham Airport in January

18th February 2010    Passenger numbers fell by 7.4% at Birmingham Airport in January but managers said it “still out-performed rivals”. During Jan, the airport handled 521,566 travellers through its two terminals, including 424,912 scheduled passengers and 96,654 charter passengers. The CAA figures show that by contrast, for all the UK airports that  have report figures for Jan (almost all of them) the air transport movements are down by – 9.9% compared to Jan 2009, and passengers down – 6%.    Click here to view full story…

Heathrow faces threat from plan to link high-speed rail route with Birmingham

8th February 2010    A Birmingham station could become a serious competitor to Heathrow under government plans for a 200mph high-speed rail network.  A site near Birmingham airport is being considered as a station on a new route that will link the 2 cities by a 50-minute train ride.  If the government pushes ahead with the plan it would take no longer to reach Birmingham from Euston station than it currently takes to get to Heathrow. The route would link to Crossrail, from Heathrow to Canary Wharf to open in 2017. (Guardian)    Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport announces plans to merge two terminals

20th January 2010     Birmingham Airport has announced plans to merge its 2 terminals as passenger numbers fell by 5.5% compared to 2008. The airport said it will invest £13m in the new facility in a bid to improve its passenger flows and operational efficiency as well as creating larger areas. This scheme is in addition to another £1.5m project to merge the current four control rooms which will be operational at the beginning of March.
Click here to view full story…


Birmingham Airport announces plans to merge two terminals

20th January 2010         Birmingham Airport has announced plans to merge its 2 terminals as passenger numbers fell by 5.5% compared to 2008. The airport said it will invest £13m in the new facility in a bid to improve its passenger flows and operational efficiency as well as creating larger areas. This scheme is in addition to another £1.5m project to merge the current four control rooms which will be operational at the beginning of March.   Click here to view full story…

After 2 days in the job, new bmibaby boss makes a quarter of staff redundant

5th November 2009       A quarter of the staff at bmibaby have been told they are to lose their jobs,
only 2 days after Lufthansa, its parent, put a new boss in charge of the loss-making
airline. The company said that 158 of its 633 employees would go after a 90-day
consultation period. The job losses will include 54 pilots and 82 cabin crew based
at Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff. There will also be 22 management redundancies.
(Times)  Click here to view full story..


Birmingham International Airport sets out to lure flights from Heathrow

20th October 2009       Birmingham chief executive Paul Kehoe has stepped up his campaign to lure passengers and flights from Heathrow by pointing out that BIA could handle twice as many passengers a year immediately without engaging in any costly reconstruction work.
He said using Birmingham would be far more efficient than the proposal to build
a new London airport in the Thames Estuary – and take the pressure off Heathrow
by making more use of BIA. (B’ham Post)     Click here to view full story…


A380 Super jumbo comes to Birmingham

10th September 2009     An Emirates A380 – the largest commercial airliner – landed at Birmingham, on the airport’s 70th anniversary. The plane can potentially carry 800 passengers, though instead it has 2 onboard showers and 1st and business class passengers can also use an onboard lounge and bar on the plane’s upper deck. The day also saw the opening of the new £45m International Pier. The extended runway could
be in place by 2013, if funding for the project can be finalised. (BBC)         Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport launch Noise Action Plan consultation

4th July 2009         The airport has launched a 16 week Public Consultation, to seek the public’s
views on Birmingham International Airport’s Draft Noise Action Plan. The Public
Consultation ends on 21st October 2009. Following the Public Consultation, the
Airport will review the responses and produce its Noise Action Plan.    Click here to view full story…


Birmingham Airport urged to drop plans for second runway

1st June 2009         Campaigners have called for Birmingham Airport to forever banish all plans for
a 2nd runway. Chris Crean,(West Midlands FoE), and Gerald Kells (CPRE), asked
for assurances from the airport during the Examination in Public into the West
Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy. They were calling for an amendment to the
draft document which appears to give local authorities the option to &lquot;safeguard&rquot;
land near the airport that could be used for a 2nd runway.(Post)         Click here to view full story…


Birmingham Airport plan prepares for take-off – 400m extension allowed

31st March 2009     Plans to extend the runway at Birmingham finally got the go-ahead from Solihull
Council. Birmingham Airport had to resubmit its proposed Section 106 agreement,
which explained how it planned to counteract noise pollution and to protect the
environment. The planning committee approved the 400-metre extension in December
– subject to the amended guarantees now agreed. Expansion will enable bigger jets
to fly non-stop to long-haul destinations. (B’ham Post)   Click here to view full story…


Recession dashes hopes of passenger increase at Birmingham Airport

27th February 2009       Hopes for a dramatic increase in passengers using Birmingham Airport have been
dashed by the recession, according to its chief executive, Paul Kehoe who took
over running the airport last July. Growth had ground to a halt and may not pick
up until 2012. The airport was expected to miss its target of reaching 18 million
passengers by 2017, but will still press ahead with plans to extend its runway,
to allow long-haul flights. (Birmingham Post)         Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport runway extension plans approved

16th December 2008         Solihull’s planning sub committee said they would back the 400 m extension of
the runway, subject to planning gain constraints on noise and environmental protection,
to be agreed at a later meeting. In a unanimous vote they agreed to grant planning
permission providing the Section 106 agreement met their approval. They said they
had to consider the needs of the airport and the business sector, which wants
B’ham to compete on the ‘global stage’.(B’ham Post)     Click here to view full story…


Airport claims “Businesses must support Birmingham’s runway plans”

12th December 2008         A property consultant puts his case for supporting Birmingham airport expansion.
One quote is: “I’m not looking for an easy life, but I cannot overstate how much
easier my job would be in making the case for the Midlands, which has so much
going for it in terms of its workforce and skillbase, if we had a more impressive
destination map for the region’s main airport”. Solihull Council will be deciding
next week on a runway extension. (B’ham Post)         Click here to view full story…

Birmingham – Hoon urged to support BIA plans

11th December 2008         West Midland business leaders are pressing transport secretary Geoff Hoon to
voice his continued backing for the expansion of Birmingham International Airport
(BIA). Support organisations, led by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry
(BCI), are urging the minister to publicly support the airport, whose application
to extend its runway by 400 metres goes before Solihull council on Monday evening.
(Birmingham Post)    Click here to view full story…


Celebrities join petition against Birmingham Airport runway extension

3rd December 2008         Comedian Mark Thomas and the novelist Will Self are among celebrities opposed
to a planned 400-metre extension of Birmingham Airport’s main runway. The pair
joined 1,000 protesters to sign a petition urging Solihull Council to throw out
the £120 million scheme on environmental grounds. Campaigners dressed as pilots
delivered the petition, in the form of postcards, to Solihull Borough Council
on top of a duty-free shopping trolley. (Birmingham Post)         Click here to view full story…


Five routes suspended from Birmingham by Bmibaby

27th November 2008         Bmibaby is suspending 5 of its summer services from Birmingham Airport. The routes
affected are to Rome, Milan, Lisbon, Madrid and Bordeaux, with the flights to
be put on hold between 29 March and 24 October 2009. This is in response to a
lack of demand, with travellers cutting down on city breaks, but still wanting
sun destinations. The suspension of the flights could lead to 65 jobs losses in
Birmingham, as well as 5 in the East Midlands. (BBC)       Click here to view full story…

Solihull Council to consider Birmingham Airport’s runway extension

20th November 2008           Solihull Council to decide the fate of Birmingham controversial plan to extend
its main runway on 15th December. Councillors will then hear arguments for and
against the £130 million scheme. The planned 400-m runway extension has the backing
of many local politicians and business leaders. Environmental groups like FoE
oppose it because people living near the airport will be subjected to more noise
and pollution – as well as increase CO2 emissions.(Solihull News)       Click here to view full story…


New runway at Birmingham Airport could take six years

1st November 2008         Birmingham’s direct gateway to the West Coast of America and China could be delayed
6 years if the Government calls in a £130 million runway extension scheme. The
new CEO, Paul Kehoe, said Government intervention could mean a delay on a decision
of up to 3 years – as well as a 3-year building programme. But if Solihull Council
approves the scheme before Christmas – and GOWM nods it through – building could
start by mid 2009. (Birmingham Post)         Click here to view full story…


Second consultation on Birmingham Airport runway extension

Date Added: 11th October 2008         Opponents fighting plans for a 130ft extension to the main runway at Birmingham
Airport have a second chance to voice their disapproval after Solihull Metropolitan
Borough Council reopened public consultation on the contentious proposals for
another 20 days. Environmental campaigners welcomed the decision after complaining
not enough people were aware of the airport’s intentions. The deadline is now
some time in December. (UK Airport News)         Click here to view full story…

Paul Kehoe named as new Birmingham Airport chief

4th July 2008       Birmingham Airport has announced that its new chief executive will be Paul Kehoe,
currently in charge at Bristol Airport. No date has been set for Mr Kehoe to take
up his new appointment, and there is no comment about the future of the current
acting managing director, Joe Kelly. Mr Kehoe was previously managing director
at Luton and Belfast Airports. (Birmingham Post)       Click here to view full story…

Work begins on Birmingham Airport extension

22nd June 2008         Work has begun on the construction of a massive £45 million extension to Terminal
One at Birmingham Airport. The new pier will is the single biggest investment
that the airport has made in more than 20 years. The new International Pier will
be a three-storey building 240m long and 24m wide. (UK Airport News)     Click here to view full story…


Birmingham becomes Ryanair’s 25th base

17th June 2008       Ryanair announced that Birmingham will become its 25th European base, to be launched
on 17-Jun-08 with an initial two Boeing 737-800 aircraft which will deliver 20
new routes from Birmingham. Ryanair will operate from Terminal 2 at Birmingham
Airport, where it recently relocated. (Peanuts)       Click here to view full story…



Birmingham Airport backs Brazilian rainforest project

7th March 2008                             Beware Greenwash !           A corner of a Brazilian rainforest will be forever Birmingham after the airport
invested £20,000 to protect 180 acres of endangered forest. Birmingham Airport
has spent the money to both protect the trees and lock away nearly 50,000 tonnes
of CO2. (* However, this amounts to the emissions of just a few % of the planes
using the airport annually). (from Cheap Flights)     Click here to view full story…


Birmingham – Airport threat misses target

6th February 2008               Villagers were left stunned by letters which appeared to tell them they would
have to give up their homes for an expansion of Birmingham International Airport.
Up to 30 households in Bickenhill were sent what seemed to be Compulsory Purchase
Orders by a company working on behalf of the airport. (Birmingham Mail)     Click here to view full story… 


Some of the stories from UK Airport  News:


 14.10.09 Birmingham Council ‘will not sell airport’

07.10.09 Birmingham Airport boss welcomes Tory Heathrow stance


23.09.09 Birmingham Airport reach Carbon Trust standard

18.09.09 Birmingham Airport noise down

17.09.09 Birmingham Airport passengers down 6%

17.09.09 Vortex strikes see hundreds of houses near Birmingham Airport re-roofed

16.09.09 Birmingham Airport job losses expected

24.08.09 Birmingham Airport to open terminal development

22.08.09 Birmingham Airport wants high speed train links

12.08.09 ASM to help Birmingham Airport with route development

07.08.09 Birmingham Airport dismiss Government rail plans

04.08.09 Birdstrike for Ryanair Birmingham bound flight

25.07.09 Monarch announce winter Birmingham – Larnaca flights

24.07.09 Passengers down 4.1% at Birmingham Airport

24.07.09 Hellenic confirm Birmingham – Athens / Jeddah flights

04.07.09 Flybe overtakes easyJet to become UK’s biggest domestic airline

01.07.09 Monarch to maintain US Airways planes at Birmingham Airport

21.06.09 Birmingham Airport plan ‘super terminal’

15.06.09 Bmibaby puts summer 2010 flights on sale

01.06.09 Birmingham Airport urged to permanently drop second runway plans

25.05.09 Ryanair to create 700 Birmingham Airport jobs

25.05.09 Hellenic confirm Birmingham – Athens – Jeddah flights launch

25.05.09 Bmibaby celebrate Birmingham – Newquay flights launch

13.05.09 Aer Lingus celebrates 60 years at Birmingham Airport

12.05.09 Birmingham Airport introduce continual decent landings to cut emissions

10.05.09 Greek airline plans Birmingham – Athens flights

09.05.09 Birmingham Airport axe trolley staff

08.05.09 Government backs Birmingham Airport runway extension

04.05.09 Birmingham Airport boss defends runway plans

03.05.09 Development director leaves Birmingham Airport

29.04.09 50 jobs at risk at Birmingham Airport

17.04.09 Birmingham Airport passengers down 7.7%

07.04.09 Emirates ups Birmingham capacity

01.04.09 Birmingham Airport runway extension plans approved

29.03.09 Strong demand for new Birmingham – Cyprus flights

15.03.09 bmibaby increase Birmingham – Nice flights

07.03.09 Birmingham Airport boss expects passenger decline

19.02.09 Birmingham Airport passengers up?

18.02.09 bmibaby adds flights from Manchester, East Midlands and Birmingham

06.02.09 Flybe axe IT staff

30.01.09 bmibaby add one Birmingham route, axe another

24.01.09 Birmingham Airport monorail plan

21.01.09 NEC boss downbeat on Birmingham Airport expansion

16.01.09 bmi add Birmingham – Aberdeen flights

15.01.09 Record year at Birmingham Airport

01.01.09 Up to £5 to drop someone at the airport


23.12.08 New Birmingham Airport rail link

20.12.08 Milestone for Birmingham Airport

16.12.08 Birmingham Airport runway extension ‘to be approved’

15.12.08 Record November at Birmingham Airport

15.12.08 Turkish Airlines begin flights to Birmingham

07.12.08 Birmingham Airport published ‘misleading’ emissions figures

05.12.08 Ryanair ‘rescue package’ for bmibaby passengers

02.12.08 Flybe announce summer schedule; performance ‘ahead of last year’

30.11.08 Flybe in talks to buy bmi regional units

26.11.08 bmibaby axe 5 Birmingham Airport routes

25.11.08 Passengers down 0.7% at Birmingham Airport

14.11.08 Solihull Council to decide Birmingham Airport runway extension on December 15

03.11.08 Job cuts at Birmingham Airport

31.10.08 Birmingham Airport runway extension ‘could take 6 years’

30.10.08 Ryanair prepares to launch new Birmingham Airport routes

27.10.08 New boss at Birmingham Airport

22.10.08 US Airways announce Birmingham – Philadelphia flights

15.10.08 Two new Birmingham Airport hotels

13.10.08 SAS offer links to Delhi via Heathrow, Manchester and Birmingham

12.10.08 bmibaby expects busy half term from Birmingham Airport

11.10.08 Second consultation on Birmingham Airport runway extension

09.10.08 Birmingham Airport passengers up 1.5%

09.10.08 Birmingham – India flights fail to take off

02.10.08 Ryanair cancel Birmingham flights

 17.09.08 New airline to operate Birmingham – Amritsar flights

15.09.08 Cyprus a favourite from Birmingham Airport

14.09.08 Flybe cut growth plans on business passenger fall

12.09.08 Busiest month ever at Birmingham Airport

11.09.08 Air India axe Birmingham flights

08.09.08 Flybe profits up 14%

06.09.08 Housing schemes hit by Birmingham Airport expansion


23.08.08 Monarch announce Birmingham – Larnaca flights

08.08.08 Birmingham Airport break 1m passenger mark

07.08.08 Turkish Airlines announce Birmingham – Istanbul flights


30.07.08 Ryanair announce Dusseldorf flights from Manchester and Birmingham

29.07.08 Flybe invests £2m to attract business fliers

22.07.08 Air tax changes ‘put Birmingham Airport runway plans at risk’

15.07.08 Passengers up 2.8% at Birmingham Airport

15.07.08 Arriva plan Wales – Birmingham Airport train link

08.07.08 Flybe launch winter schedule and ‘connections’

05.07.08 Paul Kehoe new Birmingham Airport boss

25.06.08 Ryanair announce Birmingham – Prague flights

25.06.08 First Choice winter Aruba flights from Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham

23.06.08 Ryanair to add 10th Birmingham Airport destination?

21.06.08 bmibaby announce winter flights from Birmingham Airport

19.06.08 Work begins on Birmingham Airport extension

18.06.08 Ryanair announce nine new Birmingham Airport flights; open new base

17.06.08 Record May for Birmingham Airport

17.06.08 New appointment at Birmingham Airport

10.06.08 Birmingham Airport says runway extension will benefit economy and health

06.06.08 Ryanair announce 12 new UK routes

04.06.08 Emirates to offer Birmingham Airport – China link

03.06.08 bmibaby launch Birmingham – Warsaw route

26.05.08 Community programme for Birmingham Airport

22.05.08 Loganair Dundee – Belfast / Birmingham flights take off

18.05.08 Flybe add airline partnerships

15.05.08 Birmingham Airport dismiss WWF business flights fall claims

13.05.08 Record April for Birmingham Airport

13.05.08 Flybe axe UK – Ireland routes

10.05.08 Flybe extend Birmingham – IOM route

09.05.08 Lufthansa launch Birmingham – Hamburg flights

08.05.08 Ryanair launch Birmingham – Marseille flights

08.05.08 Thomas Cook add Birmingham – Greece / Egypt flights

 22.04.08 bmibaby announce summer schedule

20.04.08 Birmingham Airport runway extension could hit homes

20.04.08 Flybe fastest growing airline to Germany

18.04.08 Flybe: pay us to collect APD

17.04.08 Record March for Birmingham Airport

08.04.08 Monarch boost Canaries flights from Luton and Birmingham

05.04.08 Meeting on Birmingham Airport expansion

03.04.08 Ryanair launches first route from Birmingham Airport

07.03.08 Birmingham Airport rainforest donation

04.03.08 Loganair / Flybe announce Dundee – Birmingham and Belfast flights

13.02.08 Reus 26th Ryanair base; Birmingham flights announced

13.02.08 Flybe to relaunch Birmingham – Toulouse flights

12.02.08 Birmingham Airport passengers down 0.1%

06.02.08 MPs back Flybe eco-labeling scheme

02.02.08 Eastern axe Inverness – Birmingham flights

29.01.08 Prime Minister approves for Flybe qualifications

28.01.08 New Birmingham Airport boss to be offered £200,000 salary

26.01.08 Birmingham Airport runway plan ‘could move the goalposts’

20.01.08 What an extra 405m means to Birmingham Airport

18.01.08 Residents fear extra noise from Birmingham Airport runway plan

Ryanair to open Birmingham base (16.1.2008)

15.01.08 Ryanair to launch new base at Birmingham Airport

15.01.08 Lufthansa to launch Birmingham – Hamburg flights

12.01.08 Passengers up 2.3% at Birmingham Airport

11.01.08 Anti-Birmingham Airport runway campaign aims to ‘keep it up’ with Flyagra website

10.01.08 Business leaders back Birmingham Airport runway extension

09.01.08 bmibaby announce Birmingham – Warsaw flights

08.01.08 Birmingham Airport submits runway extension plans

Birmingham airport applies for longer runway (4.1.2008)


Birmingham Post story   1.12.2007       Birmingham Airport shelves plans for second runway

Story about BIA interim statement   26.9.2007   and Comment by BANG   BANG comment 

Stories from UK Airport News at


Monthly passenger figures at Birmingham Airport:

  CAA monthly figures for Birmingham Airport passengers:   Terminal passengers   (CAA statistics)  (CAA data, Table 9 each month)     2011 figures compared to 2010   May 2011     778,552  – 1.2% compared to May 2010 which was itself down – 5.2% on May 2009 Apr 2011      685,236  + 27% compared to April 2010 (but affected by […]

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