The expansion decision of Heathrow Airport has forced calls for maximisation of airports within the midlands. With the third runway at Heathrow becoming a certainty, the Managing Director of East Midlands Airport Andy Cliffe has said attentions should switch to regional airports; an example which has been put forward from Barton and Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant for the expansion of Birmingham Airport.
He told Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport: "With the third runway decision made in London, I am keen that we turn our focus to Birmingham."With more new jobs being created in the West Midlands than anywhere outside London, the only area in Europe enjoying a trade surplus with China, and the only airport actually linked with HS2, we need our airport to expand to take full advantage of the economic prospects now on offer."
There is currently no timescale on when the new Heathrow runway might be built but progress is now expected to be made after Theresa May’s Government backed the plan. The exact location of the runway also remains unclear with some speculating it may be built above the M25.
Mr Cliffe, said: "Aviation’s role of connecting Britain to the world is vital for our economy. Now that this important decision has been taken, the government should focus on a new aviation policy to maximise the contribution of regional airports and increase global connectivity across the country.
"Airports up and down the UK, including East Midlands, play a vital role in their regional economies and are critical to the future prosperity of the regions they serve and the country as a whole. For example, at East Midlands Airport we plan to double the number of passengers flying from the airport and triple the amount of freight handled.
"Utilising this capacity and bringing global connections nearer to local businesses is what will drive the Midlands Engine and our economy forward during the decade this runway will take to deliver. Figures show that utilising East Midlands Airport’s capacity would more than double our economic contribution to £600m a year."