Birmingham airport has restated its case for the government to promote regional flights rather than focusing entirely on developing a hub in the South East.
New, smaller aircraft that could fly further meant passengers did not need to transfer via big hubs as often, according to the airport which has spare capacity to support overcrowded Heathrow.
Birmingham airport chief executive Paul Kehoe said it was misleading to suggest that expanding airports in South East England was the only way to add capacity.
The airport has started work on a £40 million runway extension which will allow direct flights to East Asia and the US west coast.
Heathrow owner BAA is launching a new campaign to get permission to build a third runway at the London airport as the government prepares consultation into future aviation policy.
BAA, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Manchester Airports Group, the Trades Union Congress and British Chambers of Commerce are to unveil four tests they think aviation plans should need to pass, according to the BBC.