AOA - The Airport Operator: Summer 2023 Magazine

Birmingham Airport is celebrating the complete recreation of its pre-Covid network this summer, as Qatar Airways returned following a three-year absence.

Nick Barton, the airport’s CEO, described it as “a wow moment for the people of our region”. He told The Airport Operator “with the return of Qatar Airways, the last piece of the jigsaw has clicked into place. It was quite an emotional moment for us as an airport. We went through that utterly hideous period of Covid, but we have dusted ourselves down and got back to where we started from. So we are back and what we have seen is a glimpse into our future”.

In the short term, the building work on which Barton is most focussed is the construction of a new state-of-the-art £40m security hall, due to be completed in June 2024. With large areas of walking space inside 
the terminal currently off limits, the airport has set up a marquee to give customers a covered walking route, particularly on the busiest days of the summer holidays.

Asked how this will affect the customer experience, Barton said “we have significant upheaval and building site conditions in the busiest part of the year. My experience is that, provided you communicate 
it well, passengers’ acceptance levels are extremely high, with the feedback in the main being ‘well, I am 
happy to tolerate this because you are investing in my airport’

Looking to the future, Barton’s expectation is that by March next year the airport will have returned to, indeed slightly exceeded its pre-Covid passenger numbers. In 2019/2020 12.1m passengers passed through the airport and the expectation is that in 2023/2024 the total will reach 12.3m.

Full Report - Pages 22-24