Birmingham Airport Review 2011

Welcome to "BHX 2011 - The Year in Review" which brings the
"highlights" of the year at Birmingham together in a photo review
2011 was always going to be yet another challenging year for both
the airport and airline industry but that did not stop a constant
flow of interesting movements at BHX - Birmingham Airport....
.... the year started as 2010 had ended with Aero Contractors
EC-225 Super Puma 5N-BKH parked on the Elmdon apron
after it had diverted in while en route to Aberdeen! - one
of the star movements of both years!? - photo report here
Things did not stop there - set out below are some of the highlights
and major developments during 2011 at Birmingham Airport
together with links to more photos and reports ....
.... the year saw two new operators at Birmingham - Sky Wings
and Comtel Air - for what Sky Wings lacked in the way of a
colour scheme they made up with by way of a stream of sub
charters as they struggled to keep their programme of summer
IT flights on schedule - more Sky Wings photos here
Comtel Air commenced services from BHX to Amritsar via Vienna
on 1 October 2011 and ceased operations in mid November - photo
report here - no further comment!
The end of the year saw a new airliner type at BHX when flybe
finally commenced Embraer 175 operations - report here
Inevitability in the current economic climate we said farewell
to a number of airline operators - Air Malta and Cyprus Airways
succumbed to the arrival of Ryanair and Monarch on their BHX
routes while Viking (SX-) followed Viking (SE-) out of business....
.... Continental became United - again! - while City Airline is now
Skyways and CityJet have passed their Paris CDG services back
to Air France
Mahan Air made the news when one of their Airbus A310's
was seized at BHX by leasing company GECAS - while Mahan
subsequently managed to recover the aircraft it seems doubtful
if they will return in the foreseeable future not least given the
deteriorating relations with Iran - more photos here
On the positive side the network scheduled carriers - AF/CO
/EK/KL/LH/LX/SK/SN/UA etc - all had another good year
with Lufthansa in particular adding extra capacity as well as
celebrating 25 years of continuous service to BHX - report here
The passenger numbers were again predictable given the
economic climate - they continued to go down! - however
air cargo/priority freight had another boom year - and once
again from the aviation enthusiast point of view many of the
movements were quality - and classic - aircraft!!
Star freighter movement was National Air Cargo DC 8-71F N872CA
- just a pity it did not move in daylight! - photo report here ....
....while Egypt Air Cargo Airbus A300B4-622RF SU-GAS - photo
report here - and Star Air Boeing 767-25EF OY-SRI flying for
UPS - photo report here - completed the big jet line up
There were again Antonov 12's galore! - Meridian Aviation
Antonov 12B UR-CGV (illustrated) - more photos here -
and BHX even had a Let 410 based for part of the year while
other interesting freight movements varied in size....
.... from Air Marrakech Piper Cheyenne CN-TJL to Air Contractors
Hercules EI-JIV - photos here - and hords of ATR's!! - a big well done
to all at Blue City Aviation for putting BHX so firmly on the cargo map!!
Atlantic Airlines/West Atlantic finally moved their scheduled
freight operation back to Coventry Airport - it had moved to
Birmingham at short notice in December 2009 when the
previous operator of that airport went out of business
Diversions again brought a bit of added variety - most notable were
Airbus A300B4-608ST Beluga F-GSTD "The Super Transporter"
which diverted from Chester - photo report here ....
.... and Belle Air Airbus A319-132 F-ORAG which diverted
to BHX from a foggy Stansted - photo report here - while
falling into no particular category the visit by....
.... Bahrain Air Airbus A319-111 A9C-BAX to make two ILS
approaches to Runway 33 was another star movement even
if it never landed! - photo report here
Ad hoc charters again provided more variety - an influx of Italian
students over the summer provided a series of flights by airlines
not normally seen regularly in the UK including Blue Panorama
/Blu Express, Mistral Air- photo report here - ....
.... and Jetran Air MD 82 YR-MDS - photo report here
Air Caraibes also operated an Airbus A330 charter on a glorious
sunny evening making up for their previous visit on a (very) wet
Sunday morning! - photo report here and see header!
Air Finland returned for the summer again - this time basing two
Boeing 757's for general ad hoc charter work for the peak season
with OH-AFL in the basic scheme of US airline Allegiant Air
- to see there comings and goings see here
It was Birmingham City's turn in Europe this year resulting in
a varied selection of charters - Hifly Airbus A330-332 CS-TMT
took them to Funchal - as they made their way through the group
stage of the UEFA "Europa League" at which point they exited the
competition - !! - for some of the football charters/visitor see here
flybe again had their new Dash 8's delivered direct to their BHX
maintenance hangar which also saw two visits by Air Moldova
Embraer 190 ER-ECB - on the second time emerging from the
hangar wearing RAK Airways titles! - photo report here
Birmingham Airport saw a "UK first" when Thomson Boeing 757
G-OOBN operated the first commercial/passenger carrying
bio fuel flight from a UK airport - report here ....
.... and if that was not green enough the Goodyear Airship
made two flyby's during the year!! - more photos here
Delivery/transit flights can always bring surprises - this year two
Royal Moroccan Air Force Texan's decided Birmingham was a
good place for a weekend stop over - more photos here - while
later in the year two Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-900ER's passed
through on delivery from the USA- photos here
There was a steady flow of biz jet movements with a number
coming from afar to bring a touch of the exotic to the Elmdon
apron - Phenom CN-MBR (actually a freight charter!),
Falcon CN-TKN (ditto!) (see above), Global Express VT-JSK,
.... Gulfstreams LV-CAZ, VQ-BGN (first VQ- aircraft to visit)
and XA-RGB (illustrated), and Hawker 900XP TC-MOH while
"classic" Boeing 727 M-FAHD made a return visit
The VIP visitor of the year was Citation G-SPUR (!?) which
brought William and Kate on their first visit to Birmingham
after the Royal Wedding back in April - photo report here - ....
.... while Air China Boeing 747-4J6 B-2472 managed to attract
a bit more attention when it arrived with the Chinese Premier
at the start of his UK visit! - photo report here - unfortunately
the same aircraft had previously visited BHX back in 2006
Military movements again produced a few surprises the star
of which was US Air Force C17A 90-0532 which diverted in
from Mildenhall....
.... also falling under this category were a series of trooping flights
operated by Omni Air DC 10's - N603AX illustrated - photo report
here - always good to see "classic" aircraft at BHX!
Unfortunately Birmingham Airport continued to receive regular
visits of Royal Air Force medevac flights carrying injured service
personnel on their way to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine,
now based at the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
The airport skyline changed forever as the new ATC Tower sprung
up from the Elmdon site - photo report here - the first tangible sign
that yes the runway extension is going to happen!!
The new hangar for Eurojet has also been rapidly taking shape
- photo report here - while the new Travelodge Hotel on the
Elmdon site is another new landmark
Meanwhile over on the Terminal site "2 became 1" as the
"One Terminal" project was completed - photo report here - and
yes there are now even more - and bigger - shops than before!!
That completes the "highlights" of 2011 - for more information
on the above aircraft either "click" the links or to see photos of
the many other aircraft that visited Birmingham Airport during
2011 just "click" the heading in the index in the right hand
column which will take you to the original daily postings
To see a larger image of any of the photos above just "click" them
Happy New Year!
Gordon Stretch
Thanks to Mike Hollick and Ron Kosys for their photos
Birmingham Airport - Saturday 31 December 2011

Saturday 31 December 2011 - New Years Eve

A final look at Birmingham Airport for 2011 - the terminal
has now become a "One Terminal" facility....
.... while on the Elmdon site the new ATC Tower and the hangar
being built for Eurojet (far right) have changed the skyline
.... ATC services will be moving from the tower in the historic
Elmdon building to the new facility in early 2013
That was 2011 at Birmingham Airport!

Friday 30 December 2011 - Lauda Boeing 737 OE-LNK flying for Austrian Airlines

Lauda Air Boeing 737-8Z9 OE-LNK operated the weekly
Austrian Airlines ski IT flight from Innsbruck
Netjets Citation XLS CS-DQA was an afternoon
arrival on the Elmdon apron

Thursday 29 December 2011 - flybe Embraer 175 G-FBJA now BHX based

flybe Embraer 175 G-FBJA was an afternoon departure to Dusseldorf
- it arrived from Paris CDG on the Monday/Boxing Day evening
service replacing G-FBJC as the BHX based flybe Embraer 175
Eurojet Citation's G-IPAX and G-EHGW spent the day parked
on the Elmdon apron with Citation G-CBRG....
....Citation Bravo G-EHGW was previously registered G-FCDB

Wednesday 28 December 2011 - Ryanair Boeing 737 EI-DWT with "Comunitat Valenciana" titles

Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS EI-DWT operated their lunchtime service to
Dublin - the aircraft wears additional "Comunitat Valenciana" titles

Tuesday 27 December 2011 - Phenom G-VKGO makes first visit to BHX

Embraer Phenom 100 G-VKGO positioned in from East Midlands
to operate a flight to Sion, Switzerland - its first visit to BHX
Mint Airways Boeing 757-28A EC-LBC which arrived on Christmas
Eve spent the day parked up - the aircraft is now BHX based and
is available for general charter work
Emirates Boeing 777-36NER A6-ECA operated their lunchtime
service from Dubai - its first visit to BHX

Monday 26 December 2011 - Boxing Day

Netsjets Falcon 7X CS-DSA was a morning visitor to the Elmdon apron
..... while many of the based fleet had another day off!

Sunday 25 December 2011 - Christmas Day

Emirates Boeing 777-21HER A6-EMI operated their
.... Christmas Day lunchtime service from Dubai
.... while most of the based fleets had the day off!
Happy Christmas!!
Sunday 25 December 2011

Saturday 24 December 2011 - Falcon 900EX G-JPSZ parked on the Elmdon apron

Falcon 900EX G-JPSZ which had arrived on Friday spent
the day parked up on the Elmdon apron while....
....Netjets Falcon 7X CS-DSB was an early morning arrival
from Gander Photos: Mike Hollick
West Air Europe/Atlantic Airlines BAe ATP G-MANO positioned in to
operate the newspaper flights to the Isle of Man over the holiday period


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