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Midlands hungry for more

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Page last updated: 23rd Oct 2009 - 04:07 PM

Birmingham International can handle up to nine million more passengers a year, according to chief executive, Paul Kehoe, effectively doubling the airport’s passenger traffic. Officials believe that the Midlands site could help ease congestion at the UK’s busiest airport, London Heathrow.

Mr. Kehoe was responding to claims that the British Aviation Authority (BAA) would abandon plans for a third runway under a Conservative government – a claim that has since been proved untrue, or at least, inaccurate.

David Cameron vowed to suspend plans for a third runway at Heathrow, ending years of angry campaigning, but leaving the capital in a fix; with the airport operating at 99% capacity, the BAA is desperate to create additional space for aeroplanes.

Officials claim that Birmingham would be able to handle a significant passenger boost, without having to resort to a costly runway expansion.

Despite their differences, both Labour and Tory parties want high-speed rail links to serve UK airports, reducing the demand for environmentally unsound short-haul flights, and cutting travel time between Birmingham and London to just forty minutes.

Birmingham City Council is a vocal advocate of the super-fast rail network, claiming a lengthy relationship with modern railways, stretching back to the launch of the very first intercity train in 1837.

Mr. Kehoe was keen to start the ‘high-speed renaissance’ in the Midlands: “Birmingham is uniquely positioned to not only claw back people from our own region, who make the long journey to Heathrow, but to attract passengers from the overheated south-east.”

Birmingham aims to attract a further eighteen million passengers by 2030, boosting revenue, and developing links with airports in China, India, and the Far East.

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