Birmingham is one of the United Kingdom’s busiest airports, and was the seventh busiest according to the Civil Aviation Authority annual report statistics. Birmingham Airport is situated approximately 13 kilometres from the city centre, and operates more than 35 airlines to destinations worldwide. The airport was previously known as Birmingham International Airport, before shortening its name to Birmingham Airport. A fun fact about the airport is that it is the closest civil airbase to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace.
Since its inception in 1984, Birmingham Airport has expanded to accommodate growing demand. A new terminal was added to the existing main building. In 2009, a three-storey International Pier opened in Terminal 1, providing air bridges and ample parking for wide-bodied aircraft. The modern interior of the new terminal was meticulously designed to ensure maximum comfort to travellers, apart from it looking aesthetically pleasing. The two terminals of Birmingham Airport were connected via the Millennium Link walkway. Later, to streamline airport services, the two terminals were combined to form one complete facility. Now, Birmingham Airport has only one main terminal. Other improvements to Birmingham Airport’s infrastructure included extending the runway and replacing the old control tower with a newer, more advanced one.
In the main terminal of Birmingham Airport, Arrivals are on the ground level while Departures are on the first floor. The airport is fully equipped with manifold facilities and amenities for travellers. Under retail and leisure, travellers can expect a range of boutiques and shopping outlets selling various items, including cosmetics, perfumes, fashion accessories, sports apparel and more. Buy liquor, tobacco and perfume from duty free shops. Stop at the bars and restaurants, if you require food and refreshments for refuel. Apart from restaurant fare, takeaways and snacks are also available. Visit pharmaceutical stores for vitamins and health supplements, especially if you are feeling unwell or a little under the weather after a long flight.
For travellers on business, dial the hotline and reserve a meeting room if necessary. Otherwise, relax in the executive lounges, such as the comfortable Servisair and Aviance Lounges. Enjoy complimentary drinks and light snacks, while reading magazines or watching shows on television. There is also free WiFi, for those interested in browsing the Internet to pass time.
Should you need to stay overnight for a stopover, numerous hotels at the terminal are available to ensure travellers get sufficient rest. There is no need to rough it out sleeping on terminal chairs with these convenient accommodation options.
The airport is also family-friendly, and sensitive to people with special needs. Wheelchair services are readily available upon request, and custom-built lifts assist the disabled, providing them with easy access to amenities in Birmingham Airport. For families travelling with children, head to the departure lounges for the GameGrid, an area that offers games, amusements and rides to entertain your kids. You can also purchase colouring books to occupy your children. Otherwise, you can take them to the Long Stay Car Park picnic area to watch carriers fly in and take off. Bring them to the Sky Side Area, a new adventure park that was recently unveiled to keep your youngsters busy. This play pen is suitable for children 2 to 10 years of age.