This letter from Midlands chambers of commerce and local MP’s MEP’s and businessmen and women will hopefully focus the attention of parliament on the need to promote all of the UK to the world business community and give them thoughts of how best to go forward with any proposed increase in aviation capacity.
Wednesday. August 29, 2012
To: The Editor, Daily Telegraph, London
With the current debate raging about the future of the UK aviation, focus remains that a ‘hub airport’ in the South East offers a single solution to the future aviation needs of the United Kingdom. But this continues to favour a small, congested, and already economically strong part of the country. The current debate apparently ignores the immediate and future economic needs of the UK as a whole.
Economic rebalance around the regions will help resuscitate our wider economy. To secure growth, we need gateways close to the manufacturing, research and development of the Midlands and the north, linking these regions directly to BRIC and other emerging markets.
Evidence suggests overseas investors are discouraged from investing where there are no global links. For the UK, over-reliance on one large, full airport, risks national resilience and leads the rest of the world to believe there is just one gateway to this country.
Airports in our great industrial cities have huge spare capacity. In the West Midlands, Birmingham Airport’s current spare runway capacity is 27 million passengers per annum.
Birmingham is at the heart of the rail and motorway networks, and its airport is the most accessible in the UK. The Airport and NEC station will be the hub of the proposed HS2 network, potentially with half of the population less than one-hour away.
Longer-term, developing Birmingham as a major gateway at the centre of the UK would reduce unproductive surface travel time and leave Heathrow as a gateway for London and the South East.
With its proposed second runway, Birmingham’s spare capacity could rise to over 50 million and create 50,000 jobs in an area with some of the UK’s highest pockets of persistent unemployment.
We call on Government to encourage and assist Airports to work with Local Enterprise Partnerships and stakeholders to declare longer-term options to benefit UK Plc. They should examine how the impact on local communities can be mitigated, and a balance be struck between employment, economic growth, and local nuisance.
Government infrastructure planning needs to both recognise airports and provide sufficient confidence for airports to be able to plan well into the future both their contribution and connectivity. But in so doing, recognise that UK aviation is not just a South East issue, but is a driver for regional economic growth – growth in areas that have languished behind the South East. Importantly, Government must support expansion of Birmingham’s airport to maximise the regional growth opportunity.
We must encourage growth now. The solution should lie at the heart of the UK in the Midlands.
Conservative West Midlands MPs
Conservative West Midlands MEPs
Labour West Midlands MPs
Labour Council Leaders
Cllr. David Jamieson (Solihull)
Cllr. Tim Oliver (Walsall)
Cllr. John Mutton (Coventry)
Cllr. Darren Cooper (Sandwell)
Conservative Council Leaders
Councillor Mike Whitby
(Leader of the Conservative Group and former Leader of Birmingham City Council)
Chambers of Commerce
West Midlands businesses.
Neil Rami Marketing Birmingham
Charlie Shiels GeoPost UK LTD
Kate Beech Noble-Lancaster Partnership
David Smith Mezenet Solutions Ltd
David Sedgley Roadlink International Ltd
Fay Goodman, Goodmedia Limited
Dean Parnell Sydney Mitchell LLP
Michael Ward Gateley LLP
Steve Brittan BSA Machine Tools Ltd
Parveen Mehta Minor Weir Willis Ltd
Byron P Head Rical Group
Graham Eden Cognitor Ltd
Steve Allen Mills & Reeve LLP
Simon Topman, The Acme Whistle Co Ltd
Marc Stone Stone Consulting Ltd
Adrian Burton Erlsmede Consulting Ltd
Glenn Howells Glenn Howells Architects Limited
Terry Gibbs Harrow Green Ltd
Ian Greaves PMG LLP
Colin Leighfield Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd.
Paul Schnepper Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport
Bill Almen Al Fereej Trading UK Ltd
Stephen Jones Clear Solutions Wealth & Tax Mangement Ltd
Prof. Mary Carswell Birmingham City University
Balwinder Dhanoa Progress Care Solutions
K. Raindi K&K Clothing
Clayton Shaw Sampad
Ms Amina Bukhari Acorn Primary School
Sangeeta Nazran UK Property group
Levi Cheng Guerbet Laboratories Ltd
Mrs Joy Farrall Learning Impact International Ltd
Mark Tonks Mark Tonks & Associates Ltd
Mark Petty, NextiraOne UK
Rick Grain Effigy Blinds Ltd
Ronnie Brown Hotels.tv/Birmingham
David Caro Federation of Small Businesses
Craig Errington Wesleyan Assurance Society
Paul Thandi The NEC Group
Richard Holt Evans Derry Solicitors
Calum Nisbet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra