Birmingham Airport in the West Midlands of England in the UK has announced that it is investing £100m (US$130m) on improving its facilities and infrastructure, including hold-baggage screening, self-service check-in, surface access, additional car parking and air traffic control (ATC).
The replacement of the hold baggage screening system is already underway and includes the installation of the latest advanced baggage x-ray sortation technology, which will more than double the hourly baggage processing capacity.
Other major improvements include developing a new drop-off car park, which will be free for 30 minutes and will be connected to the terminal entrance via a covered walkway. Existing car parks will also be upgraded and a brand new surface car park is planned.
The airport will also double the number of self-service bag-drop kiosks available to passengers. The ATC Surface Movement Radar will also be upgraded to enable critical safety enhancements and operational capacity.
Paul Kehoe, chief executive, Birmingham Airport, said, “We have seen enormous growth at Birmingham Airport over the last few years and we are currently welcoming 11 million passengers a year through our terminal.
“We’re therefore making this investment to enhance operational efficiency and improve the passenger journey in time for summer 2017, when we’ll welcome 15 new routes with Jet2 and anticipate in excess of 12 million passengers over the next year.
“Looking further ahead, Birmingham Airport is in a unique position as in 10 years’ time it will become the UK’s only HS2 [High Speed Two intercity rail line] connected airport, growing the catchment into London with high-speed trains and serving Birmingham from the capital in circa 30 minutes.
“We’re therefore working on our master plan to look at options which maximize the benefits of HS2 for Birmingham, the wider region, airlines and passengers.
“This will allow us to scope out how we can create a truly integrated transport network that can take the pressure off the overheated London system and transform our facility from a 25 million potential passenger site to 60 million plus in the future.”