Birmingham International Airport today unveils a £1.5 billion vision of the future which includes a second runway and a third terminal.
The airport forecasts that, by 2030, it will handle 33 million passengers a year - more than three times the current figure - create more than 27,000 jobs, and generate almost a £1 billion for the wider regional economy each year.
The plans, designed to cope with this future demand, begin with the long-proposed extension to the current runway, which bosses aim to have in place in time to take advantage of the London Olympics in 2012.
This initial £120 million stage would include the realignment of the A45 - including a tunnel so it passes under the runway - and the introduction of a metro interchange at nearby Birmingham International railway station.
The introduction of the controversial second runway, which the Government predicted would be needed by 2016, may now slip back by more than four years because of the airport's own demand forecasts.
In February, managing director Richard Heard said it would be built between 2016 and 2020. He now envisages 2020 as the "earliest" it will begin operating.
The airport also claims to have reduced the number of properties which would be affected by noise from the new runway to almost half the initially predicted number.
A Government Green Paper in 2002 showed 117,000 affected homes, which a BIA alternative runway proposal in 2003 reduced to 102,000.
However, further work on maximising the future use of the existing runway and bans on night flights and older, noisier aircraft on the second will reduce the number to 67,000, the airport claims.
In the face of harsh criticism from both residents and Solihull Council during initial consultation last year, BIA has also improved the compensation packages on offer to affected home owners.
It will also make the householder package - hand delivered to residents last night - available to all homes within the initial noise contours, despite its claims that noise will affect far fewer properties.
Richard Heard, BIA managing director, said: "In the ever changing and increasingly international world we live in today, standing still is not an option.
"We believe the airport should continue to grow and develop, as it has over the last 20 years, to continue to support the growth and development of the region.
"However, we believe that a coherent, comprehensive and effective policy, which deals with the environmental impact of our operations and future growth and development is also essential."
The presence of Coventry Airport just 11 miles away continues to "undermine" BIA's long-term development, according to the airport.
BIA will be the most significant organisation opposing Coventry's attempts to expand to two million passengers a year at a public inquiry in January because of the conflict in airspace both airports share.
Mr Heard said: "We have made offers to Coventry to enter into an agreement that would allow us priority but they have not accepted those.
"If Coventry becomes a two million passenger a year airport, our issue is airspace capacity.
"The physical proximity is unique. You only have to look at Heathrow and Northolt, which are similarly close to each other. Northolt has not been allowed to expand because of that.
"The Government has made it clear we are the established regional airport that will handle the growth in passenger demand over the next 25 years.
" Our competition in attracting foreign carriers to introduce routes is Heathrow, Geneva, Toulouse and Amsterdam, not Coventry.
Recent reports have suggested Coventry Airport owners TUI have offered BIA the chance to buy the Baginton airport.
However Mr Heard declined to comment on "speculation".
Consultation on the draft master plan begins in November and runs until the end of March, when the airport will begin work on the plans.