Business leaders in Birmingham have urged the Government to look again at existing airport capacity following its decision to delay a final verdict on whether to add a third runaway at Heathrow.
Paul Kehoe, chief executive of Birmingham Airport, wants the Government to put forward a strategy for making best use of existing capacity after spending the past five months reviewing the conclusions of the Airports Commission.
In July, the commission recommended that the Heathrow third runway scheme should be taken forward with the Government due to act on this recommendation by the end of this year.
It has now announced it will wait until summer 2016 to decide whether a third runway should be built.
Birmingham Airport has argued for a strategic network of long-haul airports throughout the UK, each supporting the comparative economic advantage of that region, rather than all the focus being on a hub airport.
Mr Kehoe said: "The UK needs a proper aviation strategy if we are going to succeed in plugging every region into global business opportunities.
"We have said throughout the Airports Commission process the review was failing to consider the whole UK economy, the changes that HS2 will bring, or any policies for making best use of existing capacity in the ten to 15 years it will take to build a new South East runway.
"This fresh delay is making a new runway look more distant than ever. It is therefore vital the Government comes forward with plans to support the UK's network of long-haul airports now to relieve pressure on the congested South East."
Paul Faulkner, chief executive of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said the situation with Heathrow had become a "farcical mess" and this was now the time to reconsider the role Birmingham Airport and HS2 could play.
He said: "The Government must consider the impact that HS2 will have in the future.
"You cannot plan for a sea-change in the UK's transport infrastructure without taking into account the difference high-speed connections between London and Birmingham will make.
"It will put Birmingham Airport in prime position as the UK's most convenient airport for long-haul flights. To ignore this is nonsensical."