25 October 2016
Business leaders in the West Midlands have renewed calls for expansion at Birmingham Airport to be the focus of future of aviation strategy in the UK.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling today gave the go-ahead for a new north west runway at Heathrow, with MPs expected to vote on the proposals late next year or early in 2018.
However, Mr Grayling made no reference to Birmingham in his statement.
While Heathrow is a solution to the immediate issues in the South East, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner (pictured) said Birmingham is the answer to growing national demand.
Mr Faulkner said Birmingham Airport remains ideally placed to service the country’s increasing air capacity needs.
And he hopes Birmingham will continue to explore options for growth.
He said: “This decision has been expected for a very long time. While this decision focused on solving air capacity shortages in the South East, greater connectivity for the regions remains a vital priority.
“National air passenger numbers have already surpassed the predictions made by the Davies Commission when recommending expansion at Heathrow and it won’t be long before further airport expansion is needed.
“We believe that Birmingham Airport remains ideally placed to service this growing demand. Once HS2 is complete, Birmingham will sit at the heart of a world-class transport network connecting eight of 10 of Britain’s largest cities.
“Expansion at Birmingham Airport could benefit the nation as well as pushing the accelerator on the growth of the Midlands Engine.
“We hope to see Birmingham Airport continue to push ahead with exploring options for growth and expansion and Government backing of their proposals in due course.”