The West Midlands Aviation Opportunity

 

Thousands more jobs and millions of pounds in growth possible according to new report into Birmingham Airport

• HS2 can help attract 750,000 additional passengers to Birmingham Airport, delivering £52 million per year and 1,300 jobs across the UK
• Cutting Air Passenger Duty by 100% at Birmingham Airport would attract 2.9 million additional passengers, delivering £521 million per year and 12,000 jobs across the UK
• Expansion of long-haul connections to Birmingham could deliver £425 million per year and 8,000 jobs across the UK

Paul Faulkner (Birmingham Chamber of Commerce), James Brass (York Aviation), Paul Kehoe (Birmingham Airport) and Andy Street (GBSLEP)

Latest research has found that if the West Midlands and Birmingham Airport are able to make the most of HS2, reform Air Passenger Duty and support the continued growth of new routes, the Airport will be able to deliver millions of pounds in growth and thousands of jobs to the region and UK as a whole.

The report titled ‘The West Midlands aviation opportunity’ highlights the economic impact and potential of Birmingham Airport. Launched six weeks after the region released its HS2 Growth Strategy, this new report by York Aviation looked at five different scenarios for growth in first of is kind research.

Key findings of ‘The West Midlands Aviation Opportunity’ report include:

 

Scenario

Resulting growth in the UK - GVA* per year

Resulting jobs in the UK

Cutting Air Passenger Duty by 100% at non-congested English airports including Birmingham Airport, alongside predicted cuts in Scotland and Wales, would result in the Airport serving 2.9 million more passengers by 2025.

£521 million by 2025

£331 million by 2025 in the West Midlands

12,000 by 2025 7,650 by 2025 in the West Midlands

When complete, HS2 can enable Birmingham Airport to attract around 750,000 additional passengers.

£52 million

£34 million in the West Midlands

1,300

950 in the West Midlands

If Midlands east-west journey times to Birmingham Airport were improved by 15 per cent via new road and rail investment, passenger numbers at BHX could increase by 900,000.

£63 million

£41 million in the West Midlands

1,600

1,150 in the West Midlands

Expansion of long-haul connections to Birmingham Airport.

£425 million

£248 million in the West Midlands

8,000

5,100 in the West Midlands

Having a Middle Eastern or Asian airline basing a hub at Birmingham Airport.

£292 million

£173 million in the West Midlands

5,400

3,550 in the West Midlands

Paul Kehoe, CEO of Birmingham Airport said: “This report clearly demonstrates the vast potential of Birmingham Airport as an economic driver, not only to the West Midlands, but to the UK as a whole. The impact of the Airport is in the same bracket as the positive impact HS2 will have on our region and, as a region, we need to do everything we can to make as many of these scenarios become a reality.”

Paul Faulkner, CEO of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce added: “Birmingham Airport is a vital cog in driving the Midlands Engine for Growth, providing the connectivity that our thriving businesses need to trade, export and secure investment. The central message of this report is that, to build on this success, our region must work hand in hand with central government to grasp new global opportunities for the country.

“Now is the time to work together to make the most of HS2, reform Air Passenger Duty and support the continued growth of new routes to destinations around the world, to plug our region into new markets and enable us to play our full part in rebalancing the economy.”

Andy Street, Chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP said: “The scenarios highlighted in this report show the contribution Birmingham Airport is making, and can make, to the future of our region. If we all work together I am confident we can create the right conditions for the Airport to contribute significantly to the GBSLEP region in terms of growth and job creation over the next few years.”

“We are currently working closely with Birmingham Airport and other partners across the region to maximise the benefits of HS2, and are calling on the Government to invest in the new transport connectivity we need to make the most of this opportunity. This report shows how important getting this right is for our economy.”  

Notes:

*GVA stands for Gross added value

The economic benefits of Birmingham’s aviation connectivity are felt by a wide range of sectors, including:

a. Transport services (£230 million in GVA to the West Midlands and £331 million to the UK).
b. Manufacturing (£180 million in GVA to the West Midlands and £299 million to the UK).
c. Accommodation and food (£139 million in GVA to the West Midlands and £200million to the UK).
d. Wholesale and retail (£122 million in GVA to the West Midlands and £185 million to the UK).

36% of West Midlands residents use Birmingham Airport (BHX) for long haul compared to 38% who use Heathrow. 87% of West Midlands residents use BHX for domestic flights while 59% use the Airport for short haul flights. BHX is the airport of choice for West Midlands residents and if there were more long haul routes available, BHX could eclipse Heathrow as the long haul airport of choice in the region.

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