21 days before take off

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council has received a revised Section 106 Agreement for Birmingham International Airport's runway extension planning application; the revised agreement gives 21 days for further representations on the plan, from the 12th February, with Solihull's planning sub-committee minded to approve the extension subject to the application not being called in by the Secretary of State.

The move comes amid good news for the airport with LocateBirmingham reporting that January Passenger Figures from Birmingham International Airport reveal that at the end of January rolling 12-month figures show an increase of 4.2% year-on-year. During January the airport handled 561,648 passengers with 3.5% growth achieved on flights to the EU.

The ambitions of the airport are shared equally with it's CEO, Paul Kehoe, who is the first CEO to be appointed externally and who the Birmingham Post interviewed in January, Birmingham Airport's new MD has flying ambition. Kehoe has already run three British airports, Luton, Belfast and Bristol, while also having senior management roles in Austrialia, North America and the Far East.

“Developing new routes is a permanent challenge, but our biggest is to attract more passengers. It baffles me that BIA is in the centre of England, at the heart of our rail network and our motorway system, yet we capture only 37 per cent of the air travellers from our region.

“We must change the received wisdom of many people that they should drive to other airports outside the Midlands, and fly from there.”

Kehoe is also pragmatic and realises that the runway extension is no guarantee to attract new airlines with the need to pursuade operators and people who don't currently fly from Birmingham key to making the airport a success.


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