Birmingham Airport - General Thread


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Birmingham airport is training managers how to spot the signs of stress

The UK's sixth largest airport has appointed In Equilibrium to train managers how to spot stress in staff so they can take action in the run up to the busy Easter weekend.

The course will enable managers to meet their legal and health and safety compliance responsibilities in assessing stress risks at work.

In 2008, the airport handled over 9.5 million passengers and it is hoped the training will help staff deal with the stress of heightened security, adverse weather, cancelled flights and customer complaints.

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Birmingham Airport to axe 50 jobs

The airport has seen passenger numbers fall by 7.7%

About 50 jobs could be axed by Birmingham International Airport, which has seen passenger numbers fall.

The airport said the summer season was predicted to be quiet and no growth was predicted until 2011.

Figures released earlier this month showed that year-on-year passenger figures for March fell by 7.7%.

A spokesman said it hoped to cut costs but none of the axed jobs would be security or safety staff. It has begun a 30-day consultation with workers.

Poor outlook

The airport said the move had been caused by the global economic downturn.

The spokesman said: "Our passenger numbers are reduced and no growth is forecast until 2011.

"This is only the second time this has happened in two decades and will significantly impact on both aeronautical and commercial income.

"This is illustrated by predicted activity levels for this summer season when we will witness passenger numbers lower than the previous year. "

A total of 674,301 passengers used the airport in March.

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Despite the bad news, Birmingham airport is still better placed to ride the recession than many other airports. Hopefully this streamlining will be sufficiently enough to avoid any further redundancies at a later stage.
 

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It would seem that passengers arriving back to Birmingham from Cancun in Mexico have been infected with the swine flu virus...

Three of the five people in Britain who have contracted swine flu were on the same flight from Cancún, Mexico, to Birmingham airport. The 12-year-old girl from Torbay and Iain and Dawn Askham, from Polmont in Scotland, travelled on 21 April on a Thomson and First Choice charter, a Boeing 767-300, flight number TOM 578, for TUI, the parent company of both travel operators. Last night, Thomson and First Choice representatives were trying to contact all passengers from the flight. The Health Protection Agency was also going through the passenger manifest.

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Council under fire for not using Birmingham Airport

Recommend Council officials travelling abroad on official business have been criticised for failing to fly from Birmingham International Airport.

BIA officials said the city risked sending a “mixed message” by allowing staff to use London airports or Manchester rather than Birmingham.

The rebuke came in evidence to a scrutiny committee investigating BIA’s plan for a £120 million runway extension.

The airport also accused the council of poor communications, complaining it was not always informed in advance when important visitors or civic delegations were flying into Birmingham.

But the criticism was swiftly rejected by the council, which insisted it almost always used BIA.

A spokesman said: “Over the past 12 months about 95 per cent of flights booked have been from Birmingham International Airport – either direct flights or with connections.

“When we do fly from other airports we do so based on factors of cost or logistics, but this is a rare occurrence.”

According to the final scrutiny report, the airport finds it “anomalous” Birmingham City Council uses other airports for travel arrangements.

The report added: “This sends out mixed messages. Most global destinations are available by hubbing from Birmingham. It was suggested the council could lead by example and ask members and officers, when travelling by air, travel via Birmingham International Airport – whenever that represents best value for money.”

The committee concluded, since the city council has a part share of the airport, it should do everything possible to promote the benefits of using BIA.

However, the same study quoted the view of the airport company that Birmingham is “currently being disadvantaged” because its runway is not long enough to cater for non-stop long haul flights to cities in the emerging economies of India and China.

Comparison was drawn with Manchester Airport, where destinations include Abu Dhabi, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Philadelphia and Singapore.

Birmingham, though, offers daily flights only to New York Newark, Philadelphia and Dubai.

According to BIA, the airport is losing 100,000 passengers a year who travel to Los Angeles from Heathrow because they cannot get a direct flight from Birmingham.

More than a third of people from Birmingham and the West Midlands who flew last year did so from airports in London and the South East.

But BIA’s claim most global destinations are available from Birmingham by switching flights in Europe was dismissed by the regional development agency.

Advantage West Midlands told the scrutiny committee it was not surprised much of the business community preferred not to fly from Birmingham via a European hub airport.

AWM, which has earmarked £25 million toward the runway extension, warned foreign investment into the West Midlands was “seriously constrained” by the lack of non-stop long haul flights.

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Second City battle over Indian air link

Manchester is locked in a dogfight with Birmingham to reinstate a direct air route to India.

Manchester Airport, which carries more routes than any other handler in the UK, last week invited senior figures from the Indian aviation industry to a panel to encourage them to revive direct services to the subcontinent.

Currently, Indian-based airlines only fly direct to London after canning services to Manchester in the late 1990s and to Birmingham last year. Although there is interest from airlines such as Kingfisher in serving another UK city, the decision may rest on which city is considered the UK's second city by decision-makers in India.

Dilip Kakar, UK finance manager at Kingfisher, and Shashi Kant Kaundal, a representative for state airline Air India, faced demands from senior British Asian business leaders to reverse their decision to abandon direct flights to Manchester. "I think people in India still believe that Birmingham is the second city," one audience member said. "Let me tell you right now that it is not. Manchester is."

Andrew Harrison, commercial director at Manchester Airport, said: "There is a perception that the Indian population in England is in the Midlands. What we have to feed back to (Indian decision-makers) is where are the businesses?" A huge concentration of firms run by British Indians are in the North-West, he added.
"Our plans (for new routes) have not been shelved by the recession, but have been moving at a slower pace," said Kakar.

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[textarea]Super jumbo comes to Birmingham

The world's largest commercial airliner is set to touch down at Birmingham International Airport.

It will be the first time an Airbus A380 has landed in passenger service anywhere in the UK, other than London's Heathrow Airport.

The A380 super jumbo is capable of carrying up to 800 passengers
The special flight, laid on by the airline Emirates, is taking place as the airport celebrates its 70th anniversary.

The A380 super jumbo is capable of carrying up to 800 passengers and is claimed to be one of the most environmentally-friendly aircraft in the skies.

The double-decker plane took seven years and more than £6bn to develop.

Some of the parts of the A380 came from the Midlands, including complex electrical systems.

The arrival of the A380 at Birmingham is being seen as something of a coup for the growing airport. The plane was due to come in as part of a scheduled flight from Dubai.

Emirates normally operates a smaller plane on the route, but agreed to replace it as part of a special day of events marking the airport's birthday.

Emirates president Tim Clark said: "Emirates and Birmingham International Airport have enjoyed a successful partnership since we started services in 2000.

Onboard lounge

"It's fitting that we should mark this significant milestone in the airport's history by flying in our most talked about aircraft."

Emirates is just one of about 16 airlines which have expressed an interest in buying the super jumbo.

According to the manufacturer, Airbus, about 200 orders have so far been placed.

The A380 is said to be quieter than other larger aircraft like the Boeing 747 on take-off and quieter on board for passengers.

The current terminal was opened by the Queen in the 1980s
The aircraft boasts two onboard showers and first and business class passengers can also use an onboard lounge and bar on the upper deck of the plane.

The opening of a new £45m International Pier, which will allow the airport to handle more wide-bodied jets, was also happening on Wednesday.

It forms a major part of the airport's continuing expansion programme, which will also see the construction of an extension to the main runway and additional terminal capacity.

The new pier represents the biggest investment in the airport in 20 years.

Will Heynes, the airport's operations director, said: "This investment will provide the airport with facilities to enable it to meet the growing demand for international services to global destinations from Birmingham.

"It will provide a high-quality gateway into the Midlands for foreign visitors."

Original terminal

Birmingham airport was first known as Elmdon Airport when it was officially opened by the Duchess of Kent back in 1939.

It was requisitioned by the Air Ministry during World War II and used as a flying school.

Once the war was over the airport soon began to expand.

It had outgrown its original terminal at Elmdon by the mid-1980s when a new terminal was opened by the Queen.

Expansion at the airport has not been without controversy.

A planning application for the extended runway drew much criticism from local residents.

They were concerned about noise and the environmental impact of the project.

In the end the application was approved earlier this year. The extended runway could be in place by 2013.

However, funding for the project has yet to be finalised.

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Hopefully 'CL44' will be able to get some snaps for us... :smile:
 

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[textarea]Birmingham Airport job losses expected

Up to 60 ground staff at Birmingham Airport employed by Servisair could lose their jobs. The company is in talks with trade unions over the losses.

A Servisair spokesman said it had been affected by by the general downturn in aviation, the loss of Brussels Airlines and a reduction in Ryanair flights at the airport. He said the company hopes the job losses can be achieved through voluntary redundancies or staff moving to other airports.

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[textarea]Vortex strikes see hundreds of houses near Birmingham Airport re-roofed

Hundreds of houses near Birmingham Airport have been re-roofed in the last six years due to freak vortex winds produced by landing aircraft, the Mail reports. The majority of strikes have occurred around the Kitts Green area, affecting roads lying at the end of the runway, directly under the flight path.

Vortex strikes are unpredictable. Ben Hanley, working for the Environment Team at Birmingham Airport told the newspaper: ‘Locating risk areas is very difficult, it can be the case that one side of the street has strikes and the other hasn’t, it is very difficult to predict.’

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Is this going to be used as the next anti airport development ploy once the environmental lobby has run out of steam?
 

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[textarea]Birmingham Airport wins 'world's first' carbon award

The world's first carbon accolade has been awarded to Birmingham Airport in recognition of its environmentally friendly policies.

Paul Kehoe, chief executive of Birmingham Airport, said they were "delighted" to have won the Carbon Trust Standard.

"We have already cut our carbon emissions by four per cent as part of the initiative and I believe it will give us the drive to work even harder and achieve greater reductions in future," he added.

Birmingham Airport won the award despite an expansion in airport facilities and an increase in passenger numbers.

It is the second UK airport to win the Carbon Trust Standard.

Manchester Airport was given the accolade at the start of this year.

The award recognises actions taken to cut carbon.

Harry Morrison, general manager of the Carbon Trust Standard, congratulated Birmingham on their achievement.

This year is Birmingham Airport's 70th anniversary, after the first ever flight took place in 1939.

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US Airways are apparently axing their service to the states after only one season at BHX. Does anyone know how well the service was advertised?
 

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No but BHX's resident statistician on the fruit message board says the load factors for the summer were not brilliant apart from August - mostly in the 70s%.
 

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Yes that's very poor. I'm sure that's down to the advertising of the service more so than the recession. A city the size of Birmingham should have had no problem sustaining that service.
 

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The BHX CO EWR route has dropped off in recent years, on the face of it diluted by the BRS CO EWR route although that has never been brilliant in terms of numbers, except that recent months have been pretty good.

Like the BRS catchment BHX is fairly near London and I suspect a lot of people still use LHR.
 

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[textarea]Birmingham Airport plans heroes welcome

Passengers travelling through Birmingham Airport may soon be greeted with a Heroes' Welcome, if a campaign is successful. The airport and newspaper the Birmingham Mail are campaigning to have a Heroes' Welcome sign at the hub as a permanent recognition to the work that is done by the UK's Armed Forces.

The welcome could take the form of a sculpture, painting, wall sign or something more innovative and it will welcome passengers as they travel through the hub. Paul Kehoe, chief executive officer at Birmingham Airport, said it was a privilege to be part of the campaign and he urged others to join in. He said: ‘The Airport is delighted to play a humble part in recognising the great work - and sacrifice - of our Armed Forces.’

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[textarea]25 jobs go in Birmingham Airport restructuring

Birmingham Airport is closing its information desk, which will result in 25 redundancies, the Birmingham Mail reports. Passengers’ queries will instead be answered by on-floor ‘customer service assistants’ who will patrol the terminals from the end of this month. The airport says that this will improve efficiency.

Four control rooms at the airport have also been incorporated into a £1.5 million ‘control centre’ to undertake core functions. In total, twenty-five people took voluntary redundancy as a result of the restructure.

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[textarea]Flight chaos costs Birmingham Airport £1m

The flight chaos and airspace shutdown caused by the Icelandic volcano eruptions has cost Birmingham Airport more than £1million since last Thursday, the Post reports. The airport has lost between £250,000 and £300,000 a day the planes remain grounded, and the total has passed the £1million mark, a spokesman confirmed.

The normally bustling terminal halls are empty apart for a stream of stranded travellers trying to find out the latest with their flights. Construction teams working on the airport expansion programme are taking full advantage of the unique situation and drilling and hammering without fear of being told to turn it down, and lines of workers have been repainting the white lines on the runway and carrying out other essential maintenance work.

Staff also eased fears that stranded passengers who had left their cars in long stay car parks would face big bills on their eventual return. An airport spokeswoman told the newspaper that customers should show their flight details to NCP staff on their return and will only be charged for the length of stay they had originally booked for.

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[textarea]Birmingham top, Luton bottom UK airport

Passengers rate Birmingham the best UK airport and Luton the worst, according to a new poll. Birmingham scored 54 points out of 60 while Luton received just 16, in a survey of 2,372 holidaymakers conducted by airporttransfers.co.uk.

Asked to rate various aspects of airport service, those polled awarded Birmingham 10 out of 10 for staff friendliness, check-in efficiency and shopping experience, whilst Luton scored just one out of 10 for staff friendliness and only one out of 10 for security check-in time.

Of the 10 airports surveyed, Cardiff was the next best, with a score of 48 out of 60. After Luton, the next worst airport was Stansted with a score of 20. Gatwick got 26 out of 60 and Heathrow had 30. Heathrow got 10 out of 10 for shopping experience, with Stansted getting 8 out of 10.

63% of respondents said they preferred flying from smaller, regional airports and 12% said the airport experience was one of the things they ‘most looked forward to’ about a holiday. Almost half (48%) said they were prepared to travel more than 100 miles if it meant the airport they were flying from was ‘decent’, and 26% felt that having a bad experience at the airport could ruin a holiday.

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Re previous post

I wonder how these airports came to be the ones that were surveyed.

If such accolades are to mean anything at all, and I never attach much value to such polls or surveys, they ought at least to include the majority of regional airports of any size.

I can think of at least half a dozen that one might expect to have been part of the exercise but apparently weren't.

Well done to Birmingham nonetheless and to the other airports that scored well.
 
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