Although the West Midlands has been increasing its exports significantly, Birmingham airport was until recently a limiting factor.
The runways were simply too short to enable take-off for jumbo jets, so the second largest city in the UK did not have a truly international airport and businesses were constrained.
However, now a new runway has been built, and during the summer its first long haul flight to China took off. New routes to India and the US have since been announced, but there is a long way to go. According to the West Midland Economic Forum this has restricted growth. “All the research shows that having an international airport nearby can reduce export costs, as most freight is carried in the belly of long haul aircraft. One of the reasons Germany has been successful is that it has six airports which can export to the world.”