Birmingham Airport welcomes recognition from Davies Commission

But air report criticised by marketing chiefs. 

The Davies Commission report into the expansion of Britain’s airports, issued this morning, welcomed Birmingham Airport’s long-term vision and affirmed its importance in the UK’s long-term aviation strategy.

The Commission made key points that will support the future growth of the airport:-

– Potential building for a second-runway as a long-term option.

–  Rejection of a dominant hub-airport model as the only answer for Britain’s aviation needs

–  Making the most of Birmingham’s capacity in the medium-term.

–  The impact of HS2 on the airport’s future development.

Commenting on the report Paul Kehoe, CEO of Birmingham Airport, said: “Our hard work has paid off. Birmingham Airport has today been recognised as an integral piece of the long-term aviation puzzle, supporting the growth of aviation links across the UK, which is a positive step forward for the Midlands economy.  

“And whatever the long-term solution, the Commission has also recognised that Birmingham Airport can grow immediately and we will work with the Government on the policy recommendations set out in this report in order to deliver this [include some detail]. We will continue to work alongside our stakeholders to ensure Birmingham Airport delivers for local businesses, passengers and the economy.”

However, concerns remain that the report does not address the whole British economy. Kehoe added, “Despite the stated remit of the Commission to take a UK wide perspective, the Interim Report focuses disproportionately on the South East further entrenching the dominance of the South East economy to the detriment of the growth of the rest of the UK.”

However there was criticism from Birmingham’s business leaders. Commenting on the report, Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham, which operates inward investment programme Business Birmingham, said:

 “The London-centric approach recommended by the Davies Commission is at odds with the Government’s commitment to attracting investment into all parts of the UK. Birmingham has a strong manufacturing sector, growing export trade and record levels of foreign investment. Over half of foreign businesses recently surveyed for Business Birmingham said that their future investments in the UK rely on accessing airports outside London. There is clear demand for more routes and for greater long haul air options – a second runway in Birmingham would help facilitate growth across the UK; by focusing attention on London the UK could lose out.

“Regional cities like Birmingham have huge economic potential. It’s time for the Government to stop paying lip service to a rebalanced economy and invest in the infrastructure that will unleash the potential of cities right across the UK.”