Birmingham Airport: The Master Plan

Updated: Jun 15, 2019

Birmingham airport is an international airport situated in the middle of the United Kingdom, North of London. It has multiple daily international flights to various countries inside Europe. However, the airport severely lacks flights in the long haul sector.

The only operators of year round long haul flights are Emirates, Qatar Airways, TUI UK, Air India and Pakistan Airways. This means that the central UK area is disconnected from destinations further afield such as New York, Hong Kong or Los Angeles. Birmingham used to have two regular flights to the New York area with flights operated by United and American to Newark and JFK respectively.

Photo: AeroNewsX/Chris de Breun

The Birmingham airport Master Plan is a fifteen year long project that was announced last year to redevelop and redefine Birmingham and create a hub for the Midlands that can handle up to eighteen million passengers per year. To cope with the growing demand, Birmingham has said that they are to invest up to £500 million into developing the airports' current and future infrastructure. The main goal of the Master Plan is to act as a 'key economic accelerator' and to deliver 'great service to passengers'.

The airport plans to further develop several aspects of the area. This includes the terminal with improved baggage handing facilities, a larger departure lounge and an enhanced mezzanine level, all of which enhance the overall passenger experience. Some of the key benefits of the plan is that it will act as a 'catalyst for growth across the region' by providing jobs, bringing in more income to the region through duty free and other airport sales. Furthermore, Birmingham will be linked by rail to HS2 from a station located at the terminal building itself.

Birmingham airport still maintains that it strives for sustainability and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. For example, Birmingham has many strategies to limit its environmental impact such as 'Operation Pathfinder', whereby the airport works with airlines and air traffic control on a number of environmental issues. The airport has strict noise and night flying policies in place to reduce the impact on wildlife and the local urban areas as well.

Overall, the new Master Plan will help bring the airport into the modern world by being environmentally aware, committing to passenger comfort and keeping the highest level of security. The airport can only be hopeful of more intercontinental connections brought on by this development and reaching into untapped markets such as the Birmingham to Hong Kong route that has an estimated demand of 190,000 people a year - that's over 500 people a day!

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