Brum Business Leaders Snub Heathrow Posters

26 October 2014, 09:03 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Business leaders in Birmingham say they'll keep pushing for the city's airport to be considered for major expansion to bring in jobs and businesses.

It's after Heathrow put up posters here to drum up support for an expansion there.

The posters, promoting the London airport, have been spotted around Digbeth, and on the A38 near Birmingham, as well as other parts of the city.

Jerry Blackett, from the Chamber of Commerce, told Capital "I'm not having that, I'm not having them coming here pretending we love Heathrow."

Birmingham City Airport bosses were told it wouldn't be considered for the government's air capacity expansion plans, and proposals for a new runway in the Midlands were rejected last year.

New runways ar Heathrow and Gatwick are among shortlisted options the Airports Commission's drawn up for expanding UK airport capacity.

A final report is due by summer 2015.

The commission failed to back proposals for Stansted as well as Birmingham, but said there was likely to be a case for considering them as "potential options" for any second new runway by 2050.

Mr Blackett expressed his concern that the presence of the Heathrow posters in Birmingham could wrongly suggest that the city was pro Heathrow. 

"I think it's desperate that they feel they can come here," he said.

"I'm worried they're trying to try and build some flimsy facade saying look we've got support from Birmingham - Heathrow you do not."

A spokesperson for Heathrow Airport told Capital: "Heathrow doesn't oppose expansion at other UK airports, but Birmingham airport isn't full and doesn't have flights to China and other fast growing markets that companies in the West Midlands want to export to.

"When airlines can't get into a full Heathrow, they don't opt for another regional airport in the UK, they will choose a hub from Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. 

"Every time that happens the UK gives away its competitive advantage to its European neighbours. 

"By expanding Heathrow we can connect the whole nation to new, fast-growing markets in Asia and the Americas and win the race for jobs and growth.