Birmingham International railway station should be re-named "Birmingham Airport" - in a bid to boost the airport’s profile and help it expand, Ministers have been told.

Plane operators should also be charged higher tax rates for using congested airports in the south such as Heathrow, so that they make more use of airports in the north and Midlands, it has been claimed.

The ideas were presented to the Government by Birmingham Airport, which says it could provide a major boost to the West Midlands economy if it had more official backing.

They are part of the airport’s official response to a Department for Transport review into the future of aviation.

Ministers are under pressure to allow Heathrow Airport in London to build a third runway - a proposal which is fiercely opposed by local residents and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

But Birmingham argues it could expand from serving nine million passengers a year at the moment to 18 million without any new infrastructure. And by extending the existing runway - without building a new one - it could serve 27 million passengers.

The extended runway will allow larger long-distance planes to fly from Birmingham, potentially providing services to destinations such as China, India and the United States.

However, the airport also argues it needs official government backing to help it close deals with major airlines.

In its submission, it urged Ministers to rename Birmingham International station - so that passengers know the airport has a railway station nearby.

It also called on the government to market Birmingham Airport as a "national airport" overseas.

Air Passenger Duty, the government tax charged on planes with more than 20 passengers taking off from a UK airport, should be lower at airports with spare capacity to encourage airlines to use them, the airport said. In practice, this would mean taxes were lower at Birmingham Airport than at airports in the south such as Heathrow or Gatwick,

And there should also be an extra "congestion charge" at airports which are already over-crowded, such as Heathrow.

Paul Kehoe, Chief Executive of Birmingham Airport, said: "This submission is taking the Government for its word. If it is serious about making the best use of existing capacity at UK airports, it needs to balance capacity restrictions on airports in the South East with policies that encourage airlines to use other UK airports. This will help rebalance the economy away from a dependence on financial services and the South East as the sole engines of growth."

Providing direct air links with important emerging markets such as China, Brazil and India would boost West Midlands businesses, he said.

"Business leaders in the Midlands are calling out for greater long-haul connectivity from Birmingham Airport. They know that the economic fruit of aviation doesn’t fall far from the tree. It is time for the Government to branch out and pursue policies that unlock the potential of UK manufacturing."

The airport was responding to a Government consultation into the Draft Aviation Policy Framework, which will set out UK aviation policy for the foreseeable future. Ministers are expected to announce the results of the consultation next year.