Council leaders across the West Midlands are calling for the extension of the runway at Birmingham International Airport to be brought forward from a planned date of 2015.
The seven metropolitan authorities say the regional economy must benefit from a longer runway sooner rather than later and are calling for the work to be completed within six years.
Members of Birmingham City Council's cabinet have backed efforts by BIA to bring forward the extension.
City council leader Mike Whitby said the issue was of crucial importance for the West Midlands.
The existing runway is not long enough to take direct long-haul flights to China, the Far East and the west coast of America. Planes taking off from Birmingham have to stop mid-way to refuel, reducing the attractiveness of BIA as a long-haul destination.
BIA could not afford to miss out on significant business likely to be generated by growth in the economies of China and India over the next decade, Coun Whitby added.
Coun Whitby (Con Harborne) said: "We need to bring forward the runway extension in order to take advantage of growth in international long-haul flights. The private sector investors in Birmingham International Airport need to realise how important this is.
"Certainly, the leaders of the seven metropolitan authorities are very much behind the extension of the runway."
BIA proposes to extend the runway by 400 metres, a project that would involve tunnelling part of the A45 underneath the runway extension.
The cost, along with a third terminal and second runway, is about £1.5 billion.
The forecast economic impact of the expansion is substantial, according to a report to the Birmingham cabinet.
Jobs at the airport would rise from 10,000 to 24,000 by 2030. Income from the airport would jump from £220 million to £957 million.
Traffic forecasts for BIA suggest passenger growth of 4.8 per cent per year, up to 33 million passengers by 2030.
Sir Albert Bore, leader of the Labour opposition, said although the second runway is unlikely to be built until 2020, the proposal should be fully supported.
Sir Albert (Lab Ladywood) added: "The economic case for a second runway is well made. The only debate is over the timing of this."
However, an alternative view was put forward by Mick Wilkes, chairman of the council's main scrutiny committee.
Coun Wilkes (Lib Dem Hall Green) said: "I have to say that the projected growth in passenger figures over 25 years is unsustainable environmentally. The fuel will run out."