Birmingham Airport Parking
Birmingham airport history
The fifth busiest airport in the UK, Birmingham handles (as of 2005) nine million passengers a year. The airport offers many domestic flights in addition to destinations across Europe and some flights to the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and North America.
The airport is next to the M42 motorway and A45 main road; in addition it is also served by Birmingham International railway station on the Birmingham to London line.
The airport was first opened in July 1939 by Birminham City Council. It was requisitioned by the Air Ministry during WWII and was used by the RAF for military purposes. In July 1946 it remained under government control but was returned to civilian use.
Public events such as air fairs were held on the site during post-war years. In 1960, the City of Birminham took over responsiblity and in 1974 ownership was passed to the newly formed West Midlands County Council.
The airport gradually expanded as the airport became busier and international flights more popular. As a result, a new terminal which could handle 3 million passengers annually was opened in 1984. In 1991, with the Concorde in attendance, the first terminal in the world to combine domestic and international passengers was opened. This was nicknamed "Eurohub", and more than doubled the airport's capacity. Despite the new buildings, the original art deco 1939 terminal and control tower are still present, alongside hangars to the west of the main runway.
In 1983 the airport was made private, although the local authorities still own a 49% share. On 1 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.
Concorde made a final visit on 20 October 2003 as part of her farewell tour.
The airport has published a development plan up to 2030. The first major step is a planned extension of the main runway, to increase the runway length to 3000 meters. The aim is to complete in time for the 2012 London Olympics.
The airport company believes that 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 2605 metres, this is relatively short for an airport with Birmingham's passenger throughput and range of destinations.
The construction of this extension to the southern end of the main runway will require the A45 Coventry Road to be diverted into a tunnel under the extended section.
The second element will be the construction of a shorter (2000 metre) runway parallel to the existing one. This is scheduled for "some time after 2016".
Both proposals are very controversial, with much opposition from environmentalists and local residents. In particular the requirement for a second runway based on projected demand is vociferously disputed by opponents.
The master plan also proposes the development of a satellite extension to the current Terminal 1, and the construction of a third terminal.
In addition a new high-speed turnoff has been completed (as of June 2006). This allows aircraft to save time and fuel by letting them turn straight off the runway and into the parking areas without forcing them to travel to the end of the runway or to other existing turnoff strips.
A new food court has been constructed as well, which comprises a smart seating area, a self-service bar, a coffee bar and an American/Italian restaurant. As well as this new redevelopment, the airport also has a number of other food establishments, including a Burger King, a Wetherspoons bar and several cafe bars. Airside a new Yates wine lodge has recently opened. It also has a substantial airside and terminal-side shopping area, including shops such as The Body Shop, Ladbrokes bookmakers, Music Zone and Boots The Chemist.
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