Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport CEO, urges MPs to back "great airports for great cities"

Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport CEO, addressing a cross party reception of MPs,
Lords and business leaders on the day of the Queen's Speech called on the
Government to get behind Britain's "great airports for great cities"

With the South East's airports increasingly congested and the Airports Commission
looking at long-term runway options, Paul Kehoe called on the Government to do
more to maximise use of what capacity the country has now, within its city regions.
In Birmingham's case, the airport is just 70 minutes from the capital and, with its newly
extended runway, can cater for long haul routes to China and the US West Coast

Paul Kehoe told the cross-party gathering of MPs:

"The West Midlands is the only region in the UK with a positive balance of
trade with China, with our advanced manufacturing base leading the way.
Businesses in the region and beyond tell us that they want to fly to growing
markets around the world from their local regional airport, not have to
travel through the congested South East"

"With air traffic set to double over the next fifty years, the Airports Commission
is rightly looking at expanding UK airport capacity, but we also need to see
Government action to make better use of the airports and runways we have
already. This means changes to tax rules to encourage airlines to use regional
airports for long haul routes, and a concerted government-led marketing push
around the world to let growing markets and foreign airlines know Britain's city
regions and our airports are open for business"

"With less than a year before the election, we are looking forward to continuing
to engage with political parties, businesses and across the aviation industry, to
debate how we can promote the role that the UK’s great and connected cities
and our regional airports can play in rebalancing the economy.”

Birmingham Airport will, on Tuesday 22 July 2014, become the country's first airport
outside London to host a flight to and from China. In 2013, Birmingham attracted
a record number of visitors: 941,000, up 32% on the previous year. In the same year,
£27 billion of goods and services were exported from the West Midlands
Wednesday 4 June 2014


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