Birmingham International Airport (IATA: BHX) is all set to undergo a major terminal transformation and airfield reconfiguration as part of the airport’s 2018 Master Plan.

The airport will self-finance the investment of £500m ($649.1m) for improvement, modernisation, and extension of the current facilities to increase its annual passenger handling capacity to 18 million by 2033.

Construction is expected to begin with the terminal expansion project in the second quarter of 2019 and is scheduled for completion by 2033. The new developments at the airport are expected to create 3,500 new jobs.

The airport offers aviation services to more than 140 destinations served by 50 airlines. It handled 12.5 million passengers and 111,828 aircraft movements in 2018.

Birmingham International Airport 2018 Master Plan details

Titled ‘The Midlands Gateway to the World’, the 2018 Master Plan of the airport mainly aims to meet the increasing demand for passenger capacity.

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

A series of phased developments under the masterplan will continue over the next 14 years. Projects being executed will include terminal extension, a new bus lounge to serve the re-configured stands, and relocation of the car hire village.

Existing stands will be reconfigured and new stands will be added to increase capacity for larger aircraft by 2033, while the existing arrival area will also be expanded. Upgrades will also involve the construction of an early bag storage facility for easy check-in and layout improvements. The security gate in the Hangar Road area will also be reconfigured for accommodating four security lanes.

The existing Elmdon building, which includes freight, catering, aircraft engineering, and cleaning, will be refurbished.

Birmingham International Airport will have a new terminal connection to the proposed HS2 interchange station. It will be linked to the North terminal from the HS2 Interchange Station via Birmingham International Station.

The project will also include the addition of 2,000 car parking spaces in order to accommodate increasing passenger traffic. Airside infrastructure additions will include a new parallel taxiway and aircraft stands.

Birmingham International Airport terminal extension details

The airport’s terminal extension will result in a larger departure lounge with glazed mezzanine floor, and improved baggage sorting facilities and check-in area.

“Atkins will employ virtual reality and 3D technologies to ensure minimal disruption on airport operations during the expansion of the infrastructure.”

Departure lounge in the north terminal will be expanded by approximately 40% by creating additional space. It will also allow more natural light into the terminal by transforming it into a bright, modern, and relaxing place for passengers.

Existing baggage belts and the reclaim hall will be extended by 2028. The terminal will also feature a new international arrivals corridor, which will link the South terminal stands to the North terminal UK Border Force. The corridor will enable the consolidation of immigration operations in the North terminal in the future.

The expanded terminal will also feature a range of retail facilities and various bars and restaurants. Amenities such as toilets, public seating, and circulation space will be improved significantly.

The check-in area of the terminal will be expanded and fitted with the latest technology to enable quick check-in. The back of house baggage sortation systems at the terminal will also be improved to enhance operational efficiency.

Contractors involved

Birmingham Airport selected Atkins as the lead designer and project manager for the first phase of the terminal transformation project in March 2019.

The company will replace and upgrade the existing terminal infrastructure by installing innovative technology and will also reconfigure the airfield infrastructure.

Atkins will employ virtual reality and 3D technologies to ensure minimal disruption on airport operations during the expansion of the infrastructure.