|IATA: BHX – ICAO: EGBB|
|Owner||Seven Metropolitan Boroughs of West Midlands (49% total)
(Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall & Solihull)
Airport Group Investments Ltd. (48.25%) (Teachers' & VFMC)
Employee Shares (2.75%)
|Operator||Birmingham Airport Ltd|
|Serves||Birmingham, United Kingdom|
|Location||Bickenhill, West Midlands|
|Elevation AMSL||341 ft / 104 m|
|Passenger change 12–13||2.2%|
|Movements change 12–13||3.3%|
|Sources: UK AIP at NATS
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority
Birmingham Airport (IATA: BHX, ICAO: EGBB), formerly Birmingham International Airport is an airport located 5.5 nautical miles (10.2 km; 6.3 mi) east southeast of Birmingham city centre, at Bickenhill in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull within the West Midlands, England. The airport is a base for Flybe, Monarch, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways.
The airport offers both domestic flights within the UK, and international flights to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, North America and the Caribbean. After handling a record 9.6 million passengers in 2008, passenger numbers declined to around 9.1 million in 2013, making Birmingham the seventh busiest UK airport.
Birmingham has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P451) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction.
- 1 Location
- 2 History
- 3 Future
- 4 Airlines and destinations
- 5 Accidents and incidents
- 6 Traffic and statistics
- 7 Ground transportation
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Birmingham Airport is 5.5 NM (10.2 km; 6.3 mi) east-south-east of Birmingham city centre, in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull. It is bordered by the National Exhibition Centre to the east, Marston Green to the north, Sheldon to the west, and the village of Bickenhill to the south.
It is primarily served by the A45 main road, and is near Junction 6 of the M42 motorway. It is connected by the elevated AirRail Link with Birmingham International railway station on the West Coast Main Line.
The airport's location south-east of the city, plus the only operational runway being north-west – south-east (15/33), means that depending on wind direction, aircraft land or take-off directly over Birmingham. The relatively short north-east – south-west runway (06/24) is not operational, and has been incorporated into the taxiway for aircraft departing the end of runway 33, or gaining access to runway 15.
1920s to 1939
- 1928: Birmingham City Council decided that the city required a municipal airport.
- 1933: Plans were submitted, identifying Elmdon as the site for the airport, delayed by the Great Depression.
- 8 July 1939: Duchess of Kent, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark opened Elmdon Airport. The airport was owned and operated by Birmingham City Council. Initial services flew to Croydon, Glasgow, Liverpool, Ryde, Shoreham, Manchester and Southampton.
World War II
- World War II: The airport was requisitioned by the Air Ministry and was used by the RAF and the Royal Navy as an Elementary Flying School and a base for the Fleet Air Arm. During this time, the original grass strip was replaced by two hard runways: 06/24 at 2,469 feet (753 m) and 15/33 at 4,170 feet (1,271 m). Avro Lancaster and Stirling bombers manufactured at the Austin Aero Company's shadow factory at Cofton Hackett could not take off from the short runways at Longbridge. Instead they were transported by road, minus the wings that would be attached at Elmdon. They were test flown from the aerodrome, and once declared airworthy they were flown to their operational units.
- 8 July 1946: The aerodrome returned to civilian use, though still under government control.
During the post-war years, public events, such as air fairs and air races were held on the site.
- 1 January 1960: The City of Birmingham took over responsibility again.
- 1 April 1960: The City of Birmingham assumed full responsibility.
- 1961: An additional terminal building to handle international traffic was opened, called The International Building.
- 1967: The main runway was extended to 7,400 feet (1.4 miles) to allow jet operations, including introducing VC-10 services to New York.
- 1970: The Birmingham Corporation Act 1970 gave the corporation the power to attest constables for the airport, creating the Birmingham Airport Police.
- 1974: Ownership of the airport passed to the newly formed West Midlands County Council.
1980s – 2000
- 4 April 1984: The current airport was first used. A new terminal was opened on the east side of the runway adjacent to the Birmingham International railway station and the National Exhibition Centre, able to handle three million passengers a year.
- 30 May 1984: Elizabeth II opened it.
- It included a Maglev Airport Rapid Transit system, running between the airport and Birmingham International railway station on a 600-metre (1,969 ft) track.
- The original Art Deco 1939 terminal and control tower are still visible and are in use as aviation related offices, near hangars to the west of the runway.
- 1985: Take Off, a sculpture by the Polish artist Walenty Pytel, was set up, on a roundabout on the approach road. It is 1.4 m (4.6 ft) tall. The unpolished steel sculpture was designed to commemorate 40 years of peace in Europe.
- 1986: Ownership of the Airport transferred to the newly formed West Midlands Joint Airport Committee, comprising the seven West Midlands district councils. Shortly after this, the Airports Act 1986 was introduced, requiring municipal airports with turnover greater than £1m to become Public Airport Companies.
- 1 April 1987: Ownership of the airport was transferred to Birmingham International Airport plc, although still owned by the seven West Midlands district councils.
- 26 July 1991: A second terminal, "Eurohub", opened (with Concorde in attendance), more than doubling the airport's capacity. This second terminal was designed for the use of British Airways and its partners as part of a "hub and spoke" system whereby aircraft would arrive in waves from domestic and European destinations and allowed easy transfers so that a passenger from, say Edinburgh, could connect to a range of European destinations. In 1980, British Airways started operating a service to New York-JFK,and Toronto-Pearson.
- 1993: The Government limited public sector borrowing. This meant that the airport could only expand by using private sector finance. 51% of the local council shares were sold to restructure the airport into a private sector company, enabling a £260 million restructuring programme to begin in 1997.
- 1995: The Maglev Airport Rapid Transit system was closed due to high cost and problems sourcing parts.
2000 to 2010
- 3 March 2000: The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the £40 million redevelopment of the airport. The redevelopment introduced a new customs and immigration hall, twelve new shops, a new baggage reclaim area, a new arrivals concourse, a new pier with three air bridges, sixteen new check-in desks in Terminal 1. They also linked Terminal One with Terminal Two (previously "Eurohub") for the first time with the newly built Millennium Link. Following on from this, a total of £18 million was spent on a replacement for the Maglev; the AirRail Link people mover, which was the first in the world to be used at an airport. Along with this, the public transport interchange was built to extend Birmingham International railway station for airport users. This has since been named Birmingham International Interchange.
- 2000: Emirates launched a new service to Dubai, eventually going twice daily in 2005.
- 20 October 2003: Concorde made her final visit to Birmingham Airport on as part of her farewell tour.
- July 2007: Birmingham was voted the best airport in Europe in the 5 million to 10 million passengers per year category.
- January 2008: The shorter runway (06/24) was decommissioned. It had been used with less frequency due to its short length, noise impact, and its inconvenient position crossing the main runway making it uneconomic to continue operation. The closure also allowed for apron expansion on both sides of the remaining runway. However it remains open as a taxiway and a helicopter airstrip.
- June 2008: Work began on building the new three-story International Pier. It was officially opened on 9 September 2009. As part of the airport's 70th anniversary, the airport welcomed the Airbus A380 as the first user of the pier. The special service was the first commercial A380 flight in the UK to take place outside London Heathrow Airport.
- The new pier is a three-storey construction, 240 metres long and 24 metres wide. Departing passengers will be accommodated on the top level, with arriving passengers on the middle level and office accommodation for airline and handling agents on the ground floor.
- The new facility provides air-bridged aircraft parking for seven wide-bodied aircraft and enough space to serve 13 smaller aircraft at any given time and is capable of accommodating 'next generation' environmentally-efficient wide-bodied aircraft such as the Airbus A380, Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787 'Dreamliner' as well as the larger aircraft types such as the Boeing 777 which currently serves the airport daily. The new pier also hosts a new lounge for business class Emirates passengers.
- 2009: The airport introduced charges for passengers using its luggage trolleys. Passengers now pay a non-refundable charge of £1/€2 for the use of a baggage trolley with payment accepted in coins or by card. The airport explained that the provision of a free bus service should reduce demand for trolleys.
2010 – present
In September 2010 an announcement was made that following the merging of Terminals 1 & 2 in 2011, the airport would drop the International from its official name to become Birmingham Airport. A Midlands based marketing agency was recruited to "create a new corporate identity that reflects [Birmingham Airport's] current position in the market place, as well as its future potential". Figures from Birmingham Airport show that 8 million people live within a one hour's drive of the airport, but less than 40% of them use it. It is hoped that the rebrand will make the airport "more visible to the market". The new name was used from November 2010. The new logo, interlocking circles in shades of blue, and slogan, "Hello World", were designed to reflect the airport's new positioning as a global travel hub.
In January 2011, the airport merged its two terminals into a Single Terminal Building. This involved the construction of two new floors been added to the airports terminals (& Millennium Link). The 3rd floor was built in the Millennium Link (also in the two terminals) accommodating the new Centralised Security Search area and a/the Lower Ground Floor, accommodating the new Arrivals and Meeting & Greeting (Meet & Greet) area. There are also plans to extend both terminals, adding an additional Departures and Arrivals.
The airport has published a master plan for its development up to 2030, called "Towards 2030: Planning a Sustainable Future for Air Transport in the Midlands". 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 was disputed by opponents.
Although initial plans for a second runway were scrapped, this is now firmly back on the airports agenda ahead of the report into Britains aviation strategy being published. Plans for a 2nd runway on the other side of the M42, along with a new terminal building and business park have been published and it's hoped they could help create around 250,000 jobs.
It's also been estimated that if these plans were to go ahead, the airport could handle around 70,000,000 passengers annually, and around 500,000 aircraft movements.
Originally, the target for completion was in time for the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. However, work began in late 2012, and the runway was completed in early May 2014,  with the first long haul airline that made use of it being China Southern, when it operated it first charter flight between Birmingham & Beijing on 22 July 2014.
Plans for the extension of the airport runway and the construction of the new air traffic control tower were submitted to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in January 2008 and approved in March 2009. The construction of the runway extension and a new air traffic control tower began in March 2011. The extension to the southern end of the runway originally required the A45 Coventry Road to be diverted into a tunnel under the extended section, but to cut immediate costs, it will be diverted to the south of the runway until 2020, when it'll be moved into a tunnel.
The extension increased the runway length from the previous 2,605 m (8,547 ft) to 3,003 m (9,852 ft). The main plan was to have a 150m starter extension along with the 400m extension but due to the costs, the plan for the tunnel had been cancelled and so the runway length is 3,050 m (10,007 ft). There is a loop taxiway from which planes will taxi to the runway and then takeoff. The airport owners believe there is likely to be sufficient demand for long-range direct services operated by aircraft whose operations were constrained by the previous runway length. The previous runway length was short for an airport with Birmingham's passenger throughput and range of destinations, and limited 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.
Taxiways will be further improved to allow for terminal expansion and to improve runway occupancy rates. A new turn off was completed in June 2006 and saw an improvement in traffic rates on southerly operations, where the only available option for landing traffic had been to travel to the end of the runway to exit.
The runway extension was officially opened on 22 July 2014, when China Southern Airlines operated its first charter flight between Birmingham and Beijing. This was the first aircraft that had to make use of the new runway length.
The extension caused controversy as more than 2,000 local residents complained about the increased noise levels due to the new flight path around the airport that was required after the runway was extended.
New control tower
Building a new control tower for the airport began in July 2011, to replace the old tower which has stood at the airport since it was opened in 1939. The tower was completed in March 2012. As soon as the equipment was installed, testing and training began in summer 2012. The tower was fully operational by summer 2013. An Olympic ceremony was held at the airport on 23 April 2012, the Olympic rings were unveiled on the tower and could be seen from the A45 road and the main terminal building. This was to commemorate the build-up to the London 2012 Olympic games. These rings were removed once the Olympic Games officially closed, just before 2012 Summer Paralympics began.
High Speed Two
As part of the proposed High Speed Two rail link, a new railway station called Birmingham Interchange would be built to serve both the airport and the National Exhibition Centre. The station would be built on the far side of the M42 motorway and connect to the airport using a "rapid transit people mover". If the project is given the go ahead, High Speed Two is currently planned for completion by 2026.
On 23 February 2011, it was reported that Birmingham Airport had announced the HS2 extension could be a solution to runway capacity problems in London, citing that will be quicker to get to London from Birmingham than from London Stansted once completed and claimed that the airport had capacity for nine million more passengers.
Airlines and destinations
|Aviavilsa||Vilnius, Minsk, Plovdiv, Saarbrucken|
|FedEx Express||Manchester, Paris-Charles de Gaulle|
|Atlantic Airlines||Isle of Man|
|BinAir||Oporto, Bilbao, Katowice, Cologne/Bonn|
Accidents and incidents
- 4 January 2002A Bombardier-CL604 business jet crashed on take-off from runway 15 at Birmingham. The aircraft with registration N90AG was on lease by AGCO corporation and was carrying two company executives, two pilots and an observer. After arriving from Palm Beach International Airport the previous evening, the aircraft was parked overnight at Birmingham where ice formed on the wings due to the cold weather conditions. The following morning the pilots did not request de-icing of the aircraft before their flight to Bangor Airport in Maine. The ice on the wings caused one wing to dip on take off, the aircraft inverted, crashed into grass beside the runway and caught fire. There were no survivors. Sleeping pills taken by both pilots the night before the crash are thought to have been a factor in reducing the pilots' judgment. –
- 23 February 2006Mahan Air Airbus A310 operating a flight from Tehran, Iran, was involved in a serious incident while on approach to Birmingham International Airport. The aircraft descended to the published minimum descent altitude of 740 ft despite still being 11 nm from the runway threshold. At a point 6 nm from the runway the aircraft had descended to an altitude of 660 ft, which was 164 ft above ground level. Having noticed the descent profile, Birmingham Air traffic control issued an immediate climb instruction to the aircraft, however, the crew had already commenced a missed approach, having received a GPWS alert. The aircraft was radar vectored for a second approach during which the flight crew again initiated an early descent. On this occasion, the radar controller instructed the crew to maintain their altitude and the crew successfully completed the approach to a safe landing. The accident investigation determined that the primary cause was use of the incorrect DME for the approach, combined with a substantial breakdown in Crew Resource Management. Three safety recommendations were made. –
- 15 June 2006A TNT Airways cargo 737-300 made an emergency landing at Birmingham with damaged landing gear. The aircraft, registration OO-TND, had been flying from Liege in Belgium to Stansted. Due to poor visibility at Stansted the flight diverted to East Midlands Airport. As the weather at East Midlands was also poor, the aircraft performed a full autopilot approach. During this approach the autopilot momentarily disengaged causing it to deviate from the course. The aircraft hit the grass to the side of the runway, which caused the right main gear to detach. The crew initiated a go-around, declared an emergency and diverted to Birmingham. After it landed on Birmingham's main runway, the airport was closed for a number of hours. The pilots were unharmed. However, the company ascribed the incident to human error and both pilots were dismissed. The official report into the accident highlighted a number of factors contributing to the accident – poor weather forecast information; a message passed from Air Traffic Control to the aircraft at an "inappropriate" time; the pilot accidentally disconnecting the autopilot when attempting to respond to the message; the pilot losing "situational awareness" and failing to abort the landing. –
- 19 November 2010A Cessna Citation aircraft, registration G-VUEM, crashed at Birmingham Airport during final approach in thick fog. Reports from West Midlands Police were that there were two casualties, one critical. The aircraft was bringing a human liver from Belfast airport, for a transplant operation which was subsequently completed successfully. The airport reopened at around mid-day the following day. –
- 6 June 2007The Tonight with Trevor McDonald programme exposed serious security flaws at Birmingham Airport over a six-month period. Fifteen members of staff working for the security contractor "ICTS UK Ltd" were suspended and subsequently dismissed for gross misconduct. Members of security were filmed asleep on duty, reading magazines whilst operating x-ray scanners, leaving aircraft unguarded, and ignoring bags sent for extra security checks, as well as being understaffed. The security lapse was deemed so serious, that it was commented upon in the United States Congress by Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the US Congress Homeland Security Committee, who advised that all flights to and from Birmingham Airport should cease. Despite dismissing the members of staff in the programme for their actions, ICTS still claimed that the footage had been "contrived to exaggerate and sensationalise" the issues. –
- 8 June 2009The West Midlands Police helicopter (G-WMAO) was destroyed by arsonists, and subsequently written off. A year later, a new Eurocopter EC135 similar to G-WMAO was handed over to West Midlands Police at the Farnborough Airshow. Thousands of pounds have now been spent upgrading security surrounding the new police helicopter. –
- 14 February 2010A faulty Archway Metal Detector (AMD) was switched off in Terminal 2 and not switched back on again, allowing hundreds of passengers to pass through unchecked. The "serious failure" was not spotted until police officers wearing metal equipment passed through and the AMDs did not sound. Birmingham Airport commented that a full and thorough investigation was under way. –
Traffic and statistics
|Birmingham Airport Passenger Totals
|Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority|
|6||United Arab Emirates||499,573||5.4|
|Rank||Airport||Passengers handled|| % change
|7||Isle of Man||41,676||4.0|
|Rank||Airport||Passengers handled|| % Change
2012 / 13
|4||Paris-Charles de Gaulle||365,784||1.3|
|8||Palma de Mallorca||258,959||9.2|
Birmingham Airport is served by Birmingham International station. The station is on the West Coast Main Line between Birmingham and London. London Midland and Virgin Trains operate from Birmingham New Street station to Birmingham International station approximately every 10 minutes (during the day time), with a journey time of 10 to 15 minutes. There are three services per hour to and from London Euston, the journey time being around 70 minutes. Access between the railway station and the airport terminal is provided by the free AirRail Link.
|Preceding station||AirRail Link||Following station|
|Birmingham International||AirRail Link||Terminus|
Bus and coach
National Express West Midlands operates the main bus routes calling at Birmingham Airport, those being the 900 to Birmingham city centre and Coventry, and the 966 to Erdington and Solihull. Additionally service 97A to Birmingham via Chelmsley Wood now runs to the airport 24hrs a day. Other smaller operators also call at the airport. Bus stops are situated outside Terminal One. Most buses are operated by National Express West Midlands, who do not give change when selling tickets, so foreign travellers will need to ensure they have British coins when taking a local bus.
Birmingham Airport is accessible from the north and south via Junction Six of the M42 motorway. From Birmingham city centre, the A45 runs directly to the airport. There are no pick-up or drop-off areas available outside the terminal. Instead, there is a "Drop & Go" car park outside the terminals for which there is a charge of £1 for 10 minutes, plus another £1 for each subsequent 10 minutes. Alternatively, the first 15 minutes parking in Long Stay 1 is free. The airport offers short and medium stay car parks close to the terminal, and long stay car parks with a free bus service to the terminal. The airport suggests using Short/Medium car parks 1/2/3 for arrivals.
Birmingham Airport is the location of six global car-hire firms with a dedicated return and collect car park near to the terminals.
The only cycle route available heads south over the A45 travelling towards Solihull. Birmingham Airport have however published "recommended routes" for cyclists. Free short term cycle parking is available close to Terminal One. For longer stays, bicycles must be stored in Left Luggage for a charge.
- "Birmingham Airport". Airport Watch. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Birmingham – EGBB
- CAA: UK Annual Airport Statistics
- "We're Saying 'Hello World' As We Relaunch Our Brand". Birmingham Airport.
- "BIRMINGHAM – British Pathe". Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "The History of Birmingham International Airport". Birmingham International Airport. Retrieved 29 April 2008.
- The Aeroplane and Astronautics. Temple Press. 1959. p. 252.
- Vladimir Zakian (2005). Control Systems Design: A New Framework. Springer. p. 328. ISBN 1-85233-913-6.
- Noszlopy, George Thomas; Jeremy Beach (1998). Public Sculpture of Birmingham. Liverpool University Press. p. 12. ISBN 0-85323-692-5.
- "Birmingham Airport Award". Airports Council International. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
- "Airport closes its oldest runway". BBC. 28 December 2007. Archived from the original on 4 April 2014.
- "Emirates opens £1,3 million lounge for passengers at Birmingham". Birmingham Mail.
- "Baggage Trolleys". Birmingham Airport.
- "Birmingham Airport changes name". Birmingham Mail.
- "New Agency to Manage Rebrand Announced". birminghamairport.com.
- "Birmingham Airport (home page)". Retrieved 4 November 2010.
- Communicate magazine Birmingham Airport says 'Hello' to a new identity, Communicate magazine, November 2010
- "Birmingham Airport Master Plan". Birmingham Airport.
- http://www.businesstraveller.com/news/100462/birmingham-airport-runway-extension-ready-next-. Missing or empty
- Birmingham Airport Runway Planning Notice
- "runway scheme back on track". Birmingham Mail.
- "Birmingham Airport runway extension work starts". BBC News Online. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "Preferred Contractor Announced for Runway Extension Scheme".
- . 21 July 2014 http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/birmingham-airport-flight-paths-petition-7467128. Missing or empty
- "High Speed Rail Command Paper". DfT.
- "HS2 'will bring Birmingham Airport closer to London'". BBC News. 23 February 2011.
- "Icelandair to start flights from Birmingham to Iceland" (Press release). Icelandair. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- Monarch New Route To Hurghada
- "AAIB Report on N90AG accident"
- "Report on the serious incident to Airbus A310-304, registration F-OJHI, on approach to Birmingham International Airport on 23 February 2006". UK AAIB. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
- "AAIB Report on OO=TND incident"
- "Aviation safety network summary of TNT accident"
- "BBC News article, 27 July 2006 – Cargo plane crash pilots sacked"
- "Cargo flight 'a near catastrophe'". BBC News Online. 29 April 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2008.
- "Birmingham airport plane crash: Liver transplant operation goes ahead successfully – Top Stories – News – Birmingham Mail". Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- "Airport at centre of security row". Birmingham Mail. 4 June 2007.
- "AIRPORT SECURITY WHO WOULD RATHER READ SLEEP THAN X-RAY BAGS". The Express.
- "Airport security lapses exposed". BBC News. 4 June 2007.
- "Arson attack on police helicopter". BBC News. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "west midlands police ready to take off with new chopper". Birmingham Mail. July 2010.
- "Birmingham Airport investigates security breach after staff switched off metal detector". Birmingham Mail.
- Number of Passengers including domestic, international and transit.
- Number of Movements represents total takeoffs and landings during that year.
- "Birmingham International Station". Birmingham Airport.
- "Network West Midlands". Route 97.
- "Coach or Bus". Birmingham Airport.
- "Car Parking". Birmingham Airport.
- "Car Parking". Birmingham Airport.
- "Car Hire". Birmingham Airport.
- "recommended cycle routes". Birmingham Airport.
- "By Bike". Birmingham Airport.
Media related to Birmingham Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Birmingham Airport – Official website
- Airport Consultative Committee
- Birmingham Airport companies grouped at OpenCorporates
- Opening ceremony, 1939 Pathé Newsreel