Save the original Elmdon Terminal Building at Birmingham Airport
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The original Elmdon airport building was opened in 1939 prior to the outbreak of WW2 during which it became RAF Elmdon, and had an important role in the war effort. Following the opening of the new terminal, Elmdon finally closed it's doors to the flying passengers in 1984. It was subsequently transformed into offices and used until a few weeks ago used for private flights.
In 1998 The building was the centrepiece in the airport's G8 Summit operations and former US president Bill Clinton was extremely impressed with it.
Concorde was also parked near the old terminal during it's farewell tour in 2003.
Private flights from the building have attracted the richest and most famous people in the world including royalty. Customers have always commented on the building saying how iconic and unique it is, although adding that it needs painting and new toilet facilities! Not a great first impression of the region!
Many midlanders recall flying from the terminal, eating at the skyways restaurant, standing on the balcony watching the flights come and go. This was aviation in it's infancy. The plans for the building have no mention of security facilities, just a dedicated caretakers flat on the upper floors! The dedicated facebook group "Elmdon Aerodrome, Birmingham Airport" is full of old photographs and stories.
Over recent years there has been a rapid decline in tenants occupying the building, such as the police air operations, air traffic control, private jet companies, and cargo agents to just a handful.
Sadly and rather unfortunately the building is far from the airports priority list and as a result has suffered physically and cosmetically due to near-zero maintainance over the years. The facade is crumbling, the windows are dangerous, the whole place has been stuck in a time warp. The concrete blocks that have been abandoned on the road say it all. Can you imagine this scale of neglect on the main terminal??
Despite popular belief IT IS NOT A LISTED BUILDING, and never has been. It is no secret that the building is a headache for the airport from maintenance to security to it's location in the middle of prime development land.
In February this year there was a major structural survey taking place, which I was told by those conducting it themselves "it doesn't look good".
A month later during heavy snow a boiler (conveniently) froze and burst on the top floor (despite being told a week earlier that there was no water in there). This has caused intense flooding and damage as ceiling tiles collapsed etc. The few remaining tenants were kicked out overnight (and remain homeless 5 weeks later thanks to the extremely proactive property department!).
The building has been padlocked since and not one dehumidifier has entered the building which says a lot for the airports long term plans.
We call upon the airport to release the building to a preservation group, such as The national trust, Historic England etc, or another organisation who specialise in historic buildings who can restore it to it's former glory and protect the heritage of the airport for ever.
It would make the perfect aviation heritage centre, hosting exhibits, displays etc, along with a great restaurant, cafe, conference facility, aviation shop, even a few niche hotel rooms on the higher floors. Imagine private dining in the old ATC tower with unique views, getting married there even! Aircraft enthusiasts would be in heaven with the views of the airfield. School children would also love visiting it. It will cost a lot to restore but it will eventually begin to pay for itself.
We are not trouble makers and do not want to get in the way of airport development or operations. We acknowledge the building is a headache for the airport but at the same time we believe we can not let such a unique and historic building rot until the bulldozers are moved in.
We are a group of airport staff past and present, air crew, aircraft enthusiasts, locals, and people who appreciate the rich and diverse history and heritage of Elmdon over the last 80 years.
SAVE OUR HERITAGE!
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