In the 1980s and 1990s there was one regional airport in Europe that was notably and successfully aggressive in its attempts to convince government of the value of this genus – Manchester. Since then, Munich has taken the baton, with even better results. Now attention swings back to the UK and to Birmingham Airport, which is going a step further, by attempting to persuade government that it should be the extra capacity provider for the southern part of Britain, rather than one or more of the London airports, which have been told that they cannot have any more runway space. CAPA visited Birmingham Airport to discover what it takes for a mid-ranking (8.6 million passengers in 2011) European airport to assume such a position of responsibility within a national air transport framework that hosts over 220 million passengers per annum through its 40 largest airports.
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