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Birmingham International Airport

Birmingham International Airport is a major airport located on the south eastern outskirts of the city of Birmingham in central England.

Birmingham airport, is the fifth busiest airport in the United Kingdom, and handles (as of 2003) eight million passengers a year. It presently offers direct flights to New York and to destinations across Europe and some flights to the Indian-Sub-Continent and the Middle East.

The airport is next to the M42 motorway[?] and A45[?] main road. It is also served by its own railway station called Birmingham International Station on the West Coast Mainline.

History

The airport was opened at Elmdon in 1939, and was owned and operated by Birmingham City Council. The airport was requisitioned by the Air Ministry during the Second World War and was used by the RAF for military purposes.

It returned to civilian use in 1946, and ownership of the airport passed to the West Midlands County Council in 1974.

As the airport became busier, and international flights became more frequent, the airport was gradually expanded. 1984 saw a new terminal open which could handle three million passengers a year. A second terminal opened in 1991 which more than doubled the airport's capacity. The original 1939 terminal and control tower are still evident alongside hangars to the west of the main runway.

The airport was privatised in 1993 although the local authorities still own a 49% share.

It is possible that a second parallel runway will be built in the near future to cope with increasing demand.

There is also a Birmingham International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama USA. This airport carries 3 million passengers a year.

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