BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT experienced a drop in passenger numbers for March, somewhat surprising considering the BAA figures in the story above. The airport handled 658,269 passengers, a slight fall of 1.2% in total but down 2.9% in scheduled. Europe seems to have suffered the most, which might be due to competition from the rapidly expanding Thomson operation at Coventry, less than 30 miles away. Growth was achieved on transatlantic routes which experienced a 34.1% rise, on domestic services which grew by 6.7%, and on flights to Asia which increased 4.9%. European routes which saw a rise in traffic over the month were, Prague (+127.8%), Larnaca (+93.7%), Milan (+71.5%), Bratislava (+19.7%), Edinburgh (+18.8%), Amsterdam (+18%), Munich (+9.5%) and Zurich (+7.7%).