A great airport to serve our great British manufacturing exports, and the Midlands economy
New research by Capital Economics, Birmingham Airport’s role in a balanced British economy, shows that Heathrow, Birmingham and Manchester Airports all have the potential to serve large and distinct local catchments.
Birmingham Airport’s catchment economy is specialised in high-value manufacturing sectors: transport, automotive, aerospace, machinery, military equipment. Productivity in the region’s rail and military vehicles manufacturing industries is more than double UK average.
The catchment holds a competitive advantage for the automotive industry. Its key export markets are long-haul and the highest growth markets are also long-haul, but many other key sectors are also highly intensive exporters. International trade pushes up demand for air travel as the integration of global supply chains increases the demand for business trips. Larger and more distant networks of customers, suppliers and intermediaries are driving demand for air links.
The research showes that:
- 2nd largest market for both long-haul leisure and business travel
- Over 3 million business trips made in 2011, c. 1million to China/ India, North America, Rest of Asia and the Middle East
- Home to c. 8 million economically active residents, over ½ million businesses and 6½ million employees
- 26% of total UK FDI is invested in the catchment area.
- Exported £55 billion of goods in 2011, £25.1 billion to long-haul markets without a direct air link.
• The section of the UK economy that Birmingham Airport is best placed to serve for long-haul is important to the growth and prosperity of UK plc:
The report by Capital Economics can be downloaded here