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Birmingham Airport | Second terminal building 'not in our lifetime'

Birmingham HS2 The Hub  UK Central 3to2

Birmingham Airport will not build a second terminal building next to the nearby HS2 station “in our lifetime” according to Urban Growth Company boss.

Speaking at the New Civil Engineer Airport’s conference, Urban Growth Company managing director Huw Rhys Lewis downplayed the likelihood of a second terminal building at Birmingham Airport. 

Instead Lewis said the focus was “quite rightly” on maximising growth on the existing campus to allow the airport to accomodate up to 35M passengers per year on a single runway configuration.

“The idea of having a second terminal next to the station hasn’t gone away and the airport is fundamentally thinking about growth and capacity,” said Lewis.

”Longer term if the need ever came about it would probably be beyond our lifetimes. 

“But I think the focus is, and quite rightly in my opinion, to focus on maximising growth on the existing campus to get 35M passengers on a single runway configuration.”

The idea of building a second terminal next to the new HS2 Birmingham Interchange station had originally been mooted to smooth movement of passengers between trains and aircraft. The building would then be connected to the airport by an automated people mover (APM).

A masterplan for the airport is due to be published in the summer and is expected to follow government growth forecasts. This estimates the average growth of non-London airports to be around 2.5% to 2.8% per year until 2050.

The figures, taken from the UK Aviation Forecasts report published in October last year, predict that without an expansion at Heathrow, Birmingham Airport is forecast to grow from 12M passengers per annum (ppa) in 2016, to 31M to 36M by 2050. Should Heathrow expand, those numbers fall to 29M to 33M.

Both predictions fall short of the 45M to 50M ppa Lewis said would be necessary to warrant building a second terminal building.

However, Birmingham Airport saw a 4% increase last year which could bring plans to build the additional capacity closer.

“Birmingham grew at 4% and if it carries on growing at 4% there’s a risk challenge that that second runway timing may come forward from 2035 to 2040, we don’t know,” Lewis said.

“In terms of where we are today, clearly the investment and infrastructure that we’re putting in now and working with the airport there is no prospect of a second terminal or second runway in the foreseeable future.”

The proposition for the location of the terminal building is to sit to the west of the A452 and not on the Triangle Site itself. The area is a 2.1km long triangle of land to the east of the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and the M42 that is also bounded by the A45 Coventry Road and the A452 Chester Road.

It is not clear at this time whether Birmingham Airport is planning to safeguard the land around the station with a view to building a future terminal building.

The HS2 station is being designed by Arup and has recently been the subject of a change to the hybrid bill to redesign it to integrate into the site more efficiently. In March this year a £10M funding package to build extra elements including a plaza and public transport interchange was given approval.

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