Birmingham Airport has joined forces with a coalition of business leaders to unveil plans that enable it to grow and help create a quarter of a million Midland jobs in the process.
Its vision, which has been formally endorsed by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, the Black Country LEP and the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, supports growth of up to 70 million passengers each year and up to 500,000 air transport movements from an expanded facility by Solihull.
The airport's plan supports the development of a business park for the Midlands manufacturing sector alongside the expanded site, and one of Europe's biggest conference centres at the NEC, also in Solihull.
The airport's long-term vision is a response to questions asked by the Airports Commission, which is examining the need for additional UK airport capacity and will recommend to government how this can be met in the short, medium and long-term.
Paul Kehoe, CEO of Birmingham Airport, said great cities like Birmingham deserve great airports.
"In 20 years time British air travel will double and it is widely acknowledged that all the country's long-haul traffic cannot be routed through one airport in West London," he said.
"Instead, we believe that the best thing for UK aviation is to create a network of long-haul national airports. A high proportion of the country's potential demand for business air travel comes from the Midlands catchment area, which is home to half a million businesses, 6.5 million employees and specialises in high-value manufacturing sectors.
"The airport's vision is for London, Birmingham and Manchester to all have long-haul airports but the network proposal excludes expansion at Heathrow because that would expose too many people living in West London to noise pollution. However, the network complements a new mega-hub in the South East or a more dispersed model."
Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, believes the vision will help bring trade for Britain's industrial base in the Midlands, just as Heathrow has helped the hi-tech concentration along the M4 corridor and helped support the global position of The City.