Birmingham airport bosses have drafted a five-point ‘game changing’ plan to encourage best use of spare capacity in the UK and boost growth across the country.
In a submission to the Airports Commission inquiry, which is examining the need for additional UK capacity and how this can be met, Birmingham claimed it could have handled 27 million passengers by 2012 with only minor developments to existing infrastructure.
A submission by Birmingham said an increase in capacity at the West Midlands airport had the potential to create 20,000 jobs in the region. It also alleged that by fully utilising existing infrastructure, the airport would improve passenger choice and increase competition. The five-pronged plan to make best use of spare aviation capacity includes:
* Implementing a “congestion charge” at over-capacity airports
* Launching a ‘Great British Airports’ marketing campaign at the 2013 World Routes convention
* Allow a trial for non-EU carriers to operate long-haul services from airports outside the south east
* Introducing a differential tax regime at airports with spare capacity
* Promoting consumer choice through surface access improvements.
The submission was endorsed by representatives of business in the Midlands including local enterprise partnerships, transport groups and Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group.
Paul Kehoe, airport chief executive, said: “Birmingham Airport has been long been banging the drum for making better use of existing aviation capacity and we thank the Airports Commission for putting this centre stage in the short-medium term.
“The airport and our business partners have outlined five practical ways that we can make the most of existing resources – including better marketing, fiscal measures and surface access improvements.
“The results of this would be game-changing for the Midlands. Not only would we see more choice for passengers, but we’d directly create jobs and build better aviation links for our businesses to trade abroad. “I believe this is the first important step to getting the great airports that this country’s great cities need.”