During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, all non-essential work at Birmingham International Airport was either delayed or deferred, including the terminal extension.
Following the lifting of Covid travel restrictions, the work at the airport is now progressing. It’s easy to understand that the increased investment and development of Birmingham Airport, has also increased the demand for affordable property in the area. First time buyers are flocking to the area, and the demand for conveyancing solicitors Birmingham has soared in recent months. Firms such as Sam Conveyancing can offer a wealth of advice for those thinking of moving to the area.
As work continues, we take a look at the main changes coming to Birmingham Airport (BHX).
Investment in Security
Birmingham Airport is investing heavily into new security screening systems. These will comply with new government standards, set by the Department for Transport, in order to enable a greater number of passengers to be processed, especially at peak times. The investment also looks at better use of the current space, including a new security hall, the expansion of the pre-existing departures areas, adding additional retail facilities and further seating for customers. All of these elements are needed to increase passenger volumes to around 18 million a year by 2033.
Airport management hopes that as customers start to take more holidays abroad, after years of Covid uncertainty, the changes will reduce the long queues through security, caused by staff cuts and the struggle to recruit new workers fast enough to cope with increased demand. Passengers flying from Birmingham Airport will experience a quicker, smoother security process after the work has been completed.
The existing runaway was just 2,600m, which meant it was unable to keep up with increasing long-haul demand, and Birmingham Airport was unable to compete with its competitors such as Manchester and Heathrow. In order to establish flights with China, South America, the Middle East, Northern India, Pakistan and the US west coast, the runway had to be extended.
The controversial £55 million project had many challenges. The most significant being that any work undertaken, had to ensure that the airport could operate as normal. In addition, with housing close to the north end of the runway, the extension had to be in the southern region. This meant diverting the busy A45, by creating a 2km section of dual carriageway.
The 470m runway extension was completed by the Colas JV team. China Southern Airlines was the first long-haul airline to make use of the extended runway, operating flights between Birmingham and Beijing.
Birmingham Airport is about to expand its terminal with a two storey extension. This will provide an entrance foyer on the lower level, which leads seamlessly into the check-in area, with improved facilities, for a quicker customer experience. Lifts and a brand new stairway will take customers to the first floor departures concourse above.
Submitted plans also include a larger departure lounge with glazed mezzanine and quicker, more efficient baggage handling facilities. The current departure lounge will increase in size by 40%, providing customers with more natural light. The welcoming space will also benefit from upgraded toilet facilities and more customer seating. Retail outlets will also be built, together with increased numbers of cafes, bars and restaurants.