Birmingham Airport plans take off

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Heathrow might finally lose its place as the UK’s busiest airport, according to new plans for the development of Birmingham Airport. The two-runway airport would open in 2026 and cater for an estimated 70 million passengers a year, slightly more than Heathrow’s current capacity.

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The opening date isn’t a coincidence, either. A new high-speed 225mph rail service will open that same year, providing Birmingham’s airport users connections to London in as little as 38 minutes. In this regard, Birmingham looks set to become “London’s fifth airport”.

Great effort has been made to ensure that the plans won’t require the demolition of existing properties, as it’ll be converting wasteland into the new facilities.

It’ll also have good transport links to Manchester and Leeds, especially after 2032 when the new high-speed rail service makes these destinations a mere 40 minutes away. This means that 15 million people will live within an hour of the airport, which ensures it will be popular as one of the UK’s most accessible international transport hubs.

A motorway network would further increase the airport’s accessibility, ensuring that it’d be a convenient destination to reach by car.

The airport would also build a new business park, with the combined developments expected to create 250,000 jobs.

However, it’s currently unknown how much the actual construction would cost, as these figures are expected to be released next month.

The plans are certainly bold, and would likely distinguish Birmingham as having the busiest airport in the world.

“In 20 years' time, British air travel will double,” said Paul Kehoe, the chief executive of Birmingham Airport.

“We believe that the best option is to create a network of long-haul national airports, each supporting the comparative economic advantages of that region to boost trade, foreign investment and tourism.”

It’s understood that the plans are partly a criticism of the government’s continued support of transport projects for London and the south-east while other parts of the country are left out.

Whichever airport you choose to travel from, remember to organise your travel money beforehand to avoid the expensive rates. Travel money cards are a great way to stick to a pre-determined budget whilst overseas.

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