There follows an abridged version of the news article originally posted by 'available':
According to the airport's chief executive, Birmingham Airport could become "a centre of excellence" for the aerospace industry following Monarch Aircraft Engineering's (MAEL) decision to build a huge aircraft maintenance centre there.
Monarch has revealed its plans for a 110,000 sq ft hangar at the airport capable of handling "deep maintenance" (described as an intensive MOT for planes) on aircraft as large as Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The facility, one of the largest hangars in Europe, should create 150 jobs directly, with the possibility of another 150 as it becomes established. Construction work starts in January, with the site opening in November 2013.
However, Mick Adams, managing director of MAEL (sister company to Monarch Airlines) indicated that jobs created through long-term growth could be even greater, as with 300 staff, the facility would only be running at 60 per cent capacity.
Birmingham Airport chief executive Paul Kehoe added: "Hopefully this is the start of the airport becoming a centre of excellence in this sector. There's plenty of space for a sector to grow and develop here. It's a huge opportunity; you can't underestimate how important this development is, not only for attracting more tailfins to Birmingham, but to create a sector."
The project had to compete with a series of other possible locations, including MAEL's existing centres at Luton and Manchester airports. "We looked at all the key gateways in the UK
," Adams said. However, Birmingham pulled the stops out and managed to achieve what normally takes a few years in just a few months."
Construction work on the Â£70m extension to Birmingham Airport's runway is expected to start in the next few weeks, to be completed by the end of 2014. The extension means Birmingham will, for the first time, be able to join London's three airports and Manchester in offering non-stop flights to China, India and the west coast of the US