Midland business leaders have urged planners to deal swiftly with Birmingham International Airport's bid to extend its runway.
Jerry Blackett, the chief executive of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry and chairman of the West Midlands Business Transport Group, has described the airport formal application to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council as "a vital step forward".
Mr Blackett said: "The continued expansion of the airport is hugely important to the city and the entire West Midlands.
"The runway extension will bring the entire globe closer to Birmingham, increasing the chances of overseas investment into the area and for our firms to spread their products and expertise around the world."
Mr Blackett acknowledged that the expansion of the airport raised environmental concerns. But he added: "It is very clear that the management at BIA have addressed this issue thoroughly and sensitively.
"Modern aeroplanes are quieter and greener, and the airport has put a number of measures in place to ensure its neighbours are inconvenienced as little as possible."