A Midlands airport has announced ambitious expansion plans it hopes will challenge Heathrow.
Birmingham Airport, together with a coalition of business leaders and local councils, said proposals will create more than a quarter of a million new jobs in the Midlands.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
The airport's "vision" supports growth of up to 70 million passengers each year and up to 500,000 air transport movements from an expanded facility.
The plans for long-term economic growth will also support the development of a business park for the Midlands' manufacturing sector alongside the expanded site, and one of Europe's biggest conference centres at the NEC, all based at the cross-roads of Britain's road and rail systems.
Figures released by Birmingham Airport bosses said that in 2011 three million business trips were made from Birmingham Airport. Economic consultancy Capital Economics has predicted that by 2032 the airport could serve up to 18 million business travellers, second only to Heathrow
Paul Kehoe, chief executive of Birmingham Airport, said: "Great cities like Birmingham deserve great airports. In 20 years' time British air travel will double and it is widely acknowledged that all the country's long-haul traffic cannot be routed through one airport in West London.
"Instead, we believe that the best thing for UK aviation is to create a network of long-haul national airports, each supporting the comparative economic advantages of that region to boost trade, foreign investment and tourism."
Airport bosses said three million people making business trips from the airport's catchment area travel to Heathrow each year. The region is home to half a million businesses, 6.5 million employees and specialises in high-value manufacturing sectors.
Over the next 20 years annual passenger numbers will increase by 220 million passengers and plans for an additional runway at Heathrow only offers additional capacity for 20 million passengers.
Mark Garnier MP, Conservative MP for Wyre Forest and chairman of the West Midlands APPG said: "A global travel hub at Birmingham Airport will bring long-haul air-travel to within one hour of the airport for 45 million people by 2032 when the HS2 network is fully operational. This will make it the most accessible airport in Britain".
Top Ten Weirdest Holiday Home Insurance Claims
Airport unveils expansion scheme
The owner of a holiday home in Spain returned to inspect his property after he had let it to a group of young people in their 20s for two weeks, to find that they had created an indoor beach including sand and water to emulate the sea. The youngsters explained that the local beach “hadn’t lived up to their expectations”.
A slightly oblivious swan didn’t see what was coming his way. It was flying happily through the air, completely unaware of a set of high voltage power cables in its flight path which it duly hit. The swan had the shock of its life and dived straight for the roof of a holiday home underneath, crashing through the roof and leaving a massive hole in need of fixing.
At a holiday home in France, a cow walked over a swimming pool cover. As the cow was considerably heavier than the cover could hold, the cover broke and the unsuspecting cow took an involuntary dip in the pool; resulting in considerable damage to the pool and the need for a winch to rescue the distraught bovine.
Holiday guests staying in a Spanish property moved items of furniture from inside the holiday home they were renting, including a sofa, single bed and chest of drawers, into the shallow end of the swimming pool. The guests had been under the influence of alcohol when they’d decided to rearrange the furniture in such a way and claimed they "couldn’t remember" why they had done it.
A particularly passionate couple managed to not only badly scratch the wooden floor of their bedroom by causing the bed to move vehemently, but also caused the bed to break, as well as the bedside lamp and bedside table. The couple explained that all damage had been caused during one session of lovemaking and they apologised profusely.
Following a rental, a holiday home owner made a gory discovery; he found blood splattered all over carpets and walls. After further investigation, he discovered a makeshift cardboard coffin containing a pig’s head in the bin, suggesting that a sacrifice had taken place at his property.
A young couple tried to pursue a claim against the owner of their holiday apartment in Spain on the basis that both bed sheets and towels were "too hard" and caused scratches and irritations on the skin, which prevented them from using the pool and sunbathing comfortably.
A holiday cottage in Devon needed completely redecorating after the holiday guests had decided to have an indoor barbecue on the flagstone floor, as ‘the weather didn’t allow for having it outside’.
One unsuspecting holiday property owner in Italy was shocked to find out that his house had been turned into a brothel by his guests during a four week rental period, resulting in the need for a deep clean and replacement of soft furnishings.
A lady in her late 30s from Manchester sought compensation from the owner of her holiday home in Marbella as the gravel on the driveway "had wrecked" four pairs of her designer stilettos and forced her to replace them with new ones.