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To handle the growing number of flights and passengers, construction on a new Airport terminal on the other side of the runway began in 1981 with a capacity for 3 million people. It opened in 1984 by Her Majesty the Queen and handles record passenger numbers during the first few years.

In 1986, after the West Midlands County Council was abolished, ownership of the Airport transferred to a newly formed West Midlands District Joint Airport Committee, still comprising the seven district councils of the West Midlands administrative area. The Airports Act 1986 introduced legislation requiring municipal airports, with a turnover in excess of £1 million, to become Public Airport Companies and on 1st April 1987, the ownership of the Airport transferred to Birmingham International Airport plc, a public limited company owned by the seven West Midlands district councils.

Eurohub Opens

July 1991 saw the opening of Birmingham Airport's second terminal - the Eurohub. A concept already developed in the United States for domestic operations, Eurohub took the 'hub and spoke' principle a stage further by solving the complications of Customs and Immigration control which previously demanded separate terminals. It was the first terminal in the world to combine domestic and international passengers.

New Ownership

In 1993, Government public sector borrowing restrictions meant that future development could only be funded by using private sector finance. The local authority owners therefore decided to reduce their shareholding to below 50% in order to restructure Birmingham Airport into a private sector company thereby making it possible to finance its £260 million development programme which began in 1997.

In August 1995 the seven West Midlands District Council shareholders agreed to begin detailed negotiations and in March 1997, when the Airport was handling some six million people a year, the restructuring of the ownership of the Airport Company was completed by Aer Rianta, in partnership with Nat West Equity Partners, taking a significant minority shareholding of 40%. The restructuring also saw the Acquisition by the Airport Company of the private sector shares in EuroHub (Birmingham) Limited.

By the year 2000, the Airport was handling more than 7.5 million people a year and the shareholding arrangement changed again, when Aer Rianta and Bridgepoint Capital (formerly Nat West Equity Partners) increased their investments in the Airport. The additional shares were acquired by John Lang Investments Limited and National Car Parks Limited who respectively held a 4% and 4.25% shareholding. In 2001 Macquarie Airports Group Limited acquired Bridgepoint Capital Limited shares.

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