UK aviation needs “flexibility and resilience” – Kehoe

Aviation chief tells Airports Commission that UK aviation needs “flexibility and resilience” to respond to a changing industry.


As part of its response to the Airports Commission, Birmingham Airport has today argued that the UK needs a network of long-haul airports to provide the “flexibility and resilience” to respond to an aviation industry that is changing quickly and whose future shape is unclear.

The argument forms part of the Airport’s response to the Airports Commission on “Airport Operating Models” which was submitted yesterday.

This came the day after the Airport Chief Executive, Paul Kehoe, appeared in front of the Commission on a panel of industry experts to outline his approach to airport operating models and its implications for the future of UK aviation.

Paul Kehoe, Chief Executive of Birmingham Airport, said: “The incremental development of four major long-haul airports across Britain would represent a truly national aviation strategy by supporting the growth of businesses across the UK – something that a “one airport” solution in the South East can never deliver.

“And whether we have a constrained hub at Heathrow, or a new hub in the Thames Estuary, our approach would complement expansion plans in the South East.

“At a time when the aviation industry is changing quickly, a network approach provides the flexibility and resilience that the UK needs to respond to all future scenarios. It is a practicable solution in a complex aviation environment – one that would keep the door open at a time when the future shape of global aviation is unclear”.

Birmingham Airport is currently running a series of hard-hitting political adverts. One of the adverts argues that a third runway at Heathrow is not a long-term national aviation strategy and that the UK needs a network of long-haul airports across the country: “A third runway won’t solve our aviation problems. Four airports will”.

Find out more about Birmingham Airport’s campaign at or follow @balanceaviation.