BIA has been planning a runway extension since 1995, but that was overtaken by the Government Green Paper on the Future of UK Aviation in 2002.
The often fraught and bitterly-contested consultation exercise that followed culminated in December 2003 with the Aviation White Paper.
It endorsed the important role of regional airports in supporting regional economic development and regeneration, increasing regional choice for air travel, and relieving congestion in the south-east.
In the Midlands, the option of a new airport was rejected and the White Paper supported further development at BIA, including an extension of the existing main runway and a new "short, wide-spaced" second runway.
Residents opposed to the development had already mobilised, especially in villages like Catherine-de-Barnes and Bickenhill, towards which the new two-runway BIA would be moving a great deal closer.
Development of smaller airports, such as Coventry and Wolverhampton, was left in the hands of the local planning authorities.
The Government forecasted traffic levels would increase to between 32 million passengers and 40 million passengers per year by 2030, dependent, in part, on the level of growth at airports in the south-east.
It suggested the new runway might be needed by 2016, although it left the final decision to the airport company as to when it felt it would be commercially viable.
After considering these proposals, BIA published a refinement of the Government's option of a second, wide-spaced runway.
This had a number of advantages over the Government's proposal: reducing land take by half, the number of properties lost, and the number of people affected by noise.
Earlier this year BIA published a 'High Level Statement of Intent' which revised Government figures suggesting there would be 350,000 aircraft movements a year at the airport by 2030, creating a need for a second runway by 2016. The new study carried out by the airport, which has been adopted in the draft master plan published today, now predicts there will be 278,000 movements per year by 2030.
This has been put down to a change in the industry over the last few years, with the development of the 'no frills' carriers and a move towards larger aircraft with higher load factors.
"Airlines will not be carrying too many empty seats through the sky in the future," managing director Richard Heard said.