The UK’s Birmingham Airport is set to invest £500m over the next 15 years to increase its passengers’ handling capacity to 18 million people per annum by 2033.

The investment strategy was outlined by the airport in its latest draft master plan known as ‘The Midlands Gateway to the World’.

According to the master plan, the airport will self-finance the investment to improve, modernise and extend its facilities to boost its capacity and improve the travellers’ experience.

Funds will be spent on the expansion of terminal facilities, as well as construction of additional new aircraft stands.

The airport will also collaborate with national agencies and regional partners to offer improved public and road transport access for passengers.

Birmingham Airport acting managing director Simon Richards said: “Birmingham Airport is already the preferred national and international aviation hub for the Midlands and our ambition is to build on this to become one of Europe’s leading regional airports, acting as a key economic accelerator, delivering great service to passengers, and helping to showcase the region.

“Our ambition is to build on this to become one of Europe’s leading regional airports.”

“Over the next 15 years, we will expand and significantly improve the airport to maximise our potential as a single runway airport by investing £500m.

“Our plans take account of our forecast growth and will increase operational efficiency for our airlines and partners and improve the experience for our passengers.”

Together with the draft master plan, Birmingham Airport will consult on a new draft Surface Access Strategy that will show the airport strategy to meet growth requirements and targets.

With the launch of the master plan, the airport has initiated a 12-week consultation programme to seek public views on the development plans.

The final version of the master plan is expected to be published early next year.