Airport unveils ‘International Pier’

Birmingham Airport is set to unveil an impressive new terminal building – the "International Pier", the first investment of its kind in over two decades.

Constructed under the auspices of Buro Happold, an engineering firm, the expansion will help boost passenger numbers by eleven million a year, a two-fold increase over the current terminal, which saw nine million people pass through its doors in 2008.

Airport director, Will Heynes, revealed that the Pier was built to accommodate further expansion, becoming a magnet for large department stores, and providing officials with an opportunity to experiment with additional security modules.

“This investment provides the airport with the facilities to meet growing demand for international services to global destinations.” Mr. Heynes explained.

At a cost of £45m, the International Pier is a modest expansion, falling some £105m short of the renovation planned at Bristol, for example.

Officials are keen to introduce the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Birmingham, a factor that further influenced the design of the Pier. Six new aircraft stands, each capable of holding next-generation aircraft, are key aspects of the expansion.

Buro Happold, a British company, has also built terminals at Gatwick and Heathrow, favouring minimal, functionalist designs over bells and whistles.

The new terminal was born out of blueprints used at Gatwick’s Pier 6, ensuring that Birmingham is capable of handling millions of passengers, their luggage, and future expansions with greater ease.

At 230m long, the International Pier is an unassuming, but prominent feature of the Birmingham Airport landscape. The official opening ceremony will take place on September 9th 2009.

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