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Birmingham International Airport, Birmingham, England

June 4th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Birmingham International Airport (IATA: BHX, ICAO: EGBB) is an international airport located 5.5 nautical miles (10.2 km) east southeast of Birmingham city centre, in the borough of Solihull, West Midlands, England. In 2007 it was the sixth busiest airport in the UK after London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Manchester and London Luton.

Birmingham has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P451) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction.

The airport is close to the M42 motorway and A45 main road. It is connected by an overhead transit system with Birmingham International railway station on the West Coast Main Line.

The airport handled 9,226,340 passengers in 2007, up 0.9% from 9,147,384 in 2006, and an 18% increase over the six years since 2001. It offers flights within the UK, Europe, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and North America.

The airport has published a master plan for its development up to 2030. This sets out details of changes to the terminals, airfield layout and off-site infrastructure. As with all large scale plans, the proposals are controversial, with opposition from environmentalists and local residents. In particular the requirement for a second parallel runway based on projected demand is disputed by opponents.

The first major element is an extension to the runway, targeted for completion in time for the 2012 London Olympics. The extension will increase the runway length to 3,000 metres (9,843 ft), as well as including a starter strip to provide a maximum takeoff run of 3,150 metres (10,335 ft). The airport owners believe there is likely to be sufficient demand for long-range direct services operated by aircraft whose operation would be constrained by the current runway. At 2,605 metres (8,547 ft), this is short for an airport with Birmingham's passenger throughput and range of destinations, and limits aircraft to destinations on the east coast or in the midwest of North America, in the Gulf and Middle East, or on the South Asian subcontinent. The construction of this extension to the southern end of the runway will require the A45 Coventry Road to be diverted into a tunnel under the extended section. Plans for the extension of the airport runway and the construction of a new air traffic control tower were submitted to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council on 7 January 2008.

Taxiways will be improved to allow for terminal expansion and to improve runway occupancy rates. One new turnoff was completed in June 2006 and has seen an improvement on traffic rates on southerly operations, where the only available option for landing traffic had been to travel to the end of the runway to turn off.

The development of Terminal 1 will see improvements made to the International Pier and a new satellite pier to the north of the terminals. The masterplan also details the need for a third terminal, which will coincide with the opening of the second parallel runway. The planned extension to the main runway will also require a new control tower to be constructed.

It was announced on 26 September 2007 that plans for a second runway had been scrapped but plans to build another terminal and increase capacity will go ahead with works expected to finish in 2012. It is estimated that 11 million passengers a year will use the airport by 2010 and 15 million by 2013.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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