BIRMINGHAM Airport has unveiled plans to invest £500million over the next 15 years which it hopes will increase capacity by five million passengers a year.
Its new masterplan – entitled ‘The Midlands Gateway to the World’ – details how the investment will improve, modernise and extend facilities at the Airport for the planned 18million passengers by 2033.
Plans include to create a larger departure lounge with a mezzanine floor, new retail and restaurant units, more toilets and seating.
The ground floor check-in area is set for renovation with more self-service desks, the latest bag-drop technology and a new baggage sorting area aimed at improving efficiency.
The security area will be larger and a new arrivals section will be created.
There will also be 11 additional aircraft stands and improvements to public transport and road access for passengers and make better use of the recently extended runway capacity.
It is also planning to secure a greater choice of flights and destinations, both short- and long-haul services – adding to its existing 150 routes.
These planned changes would sit alongside a direct link to the HS2 Interchange station.
The Airport have quashed any questions over whether a second runway would be opened as it said these aims were all achievable on the existing single runway.
Simon Richards, acting managing director at the Airport, said: “Birmingham Airport is already the preferred national and international aviation hub for the Midlands and our ambition is to build on this to become one of Europe’s leading regional airports, acting as a key economic accelerator, delivering great service to passengers, and helping to showcase the region.
“Over the next 15 years, we will expand and significantly improve the Airport to maximise our potential as a single runway airport by investing £500 million.
“Our plans take account of our forecast growth and will increase operational efficiency for our airlines and partners and improve the experience for our passengers.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Birmingham Airport is a key part of an economy that is growing faster than anywhere else in the UK and it is important we invest and grow this asset to ensure it keeps being a driver of prosperity.
“These bold plans will not only see a huge investment by the airport but commit to using the existing single runway to drive this growth.
“For my part, I will work with the airport and key partners like HS2 and the NEC Group to ensure we deliver the world-class facility our region and country deserves.”
The launch of this draft Master Plan triggers the start of a 12-week public consultation.
There will be public exhibitions taking place across the region between November 12 to January 22.
The consultation period will end on the 31st January at 23:59.
To have your say email BHXmasterplan@birminghamairport.co.uk or write to BHX Master Plan TeamBirmingham AirportDiamond HouseBirmingham B26 3QJ.