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Birmingham pushes airport expansion to boost passenger capacity by 44m

Birmingham City Council has put forward a case to expand the city’s airport to accommodate an extra 44m passengers a year.

The council said new terminals need to be created to cope with an expected increase in demand for airport facilities following the arrival of High Speed 2 in the region.

Thirty-five million people will be within two hours travel of the airport when the Birmingham Curzon HS2 station opens in the city centre – currently scheduled for 2026.

Source: Birmingham City Council

The council estimated the airport could accommodate 55 million passengers a year by 2050 if an expansion was to go ahead.

This would be an increase of 44 million from the 11 million passengers a year that use the airport at present.

Birmingham Council leader John Clancy said an expansion “simply has to happen” for the region to grow economically.

He said the £1.7bn that Birmingham Airport contributes to the economy could be increased “many times over” if an expansion was to go ahead.

“The government has made a decision on resolving congestion at London’s airports, and as a region, we must now develop our own plans for Birmingham Airport and HS2, to connect the West Midlands to global opportunities” Mr Clancy said.

He added that if the government is serious about growing the West Midlands economy and creating jobs, an airport expansion is an opportunity that the region “cannot turn down”.

The council’s call for a bigger Birmingham Airport follows the government’s approval of expansion at Heathrow on Monday.

Ministers approved the third runway, which will be the first new full-length runway in the South-east since the Second World War, in a Cabinet committee meeting.

Birmingham City Council is pumping nearly £1bn of investment into regenerating areas near the planned HS2 station.

Four thousand new homes and 600,000 sq m of commercial floor space will be created, as well as new neighbourhoods and retail space.

Metro extensions will be developed to connect the east side of the city, central Birmingham, Birmingham International Airport and Solihull together.

The regeneration plans were backed by prime minister Theresa May.

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