Airport managers from across England have backed Birmingham’s campaign for reform of air passenger duty to encourage growth outside London.
In practice, it would mean taxes charged on flights leaving Heathrow were higher than those on flights from other parts of the country.
Mr Kehoe, Bristol Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair and Andrew Harrison, the chief operating officer of Manchester Airport, all took part in the hearing and put forward similar arguments for change.
Mr Harrison said: “We do believe air passenger duty distorts the market. And we believe it distorts the market disproportionately more once you get out of the congested south east and into the airports which have capacity.”
He added: “What we would look to do would be to put in place an air passenger duty charging framework which was on the basis of congestion, so it was higher in congested airports and less so in non-congested airports.”
Mr Sinclair added: “I would certainly agree with respect to air passenger duty. That is probably the key issue.”
Mr Kehoe said the Airports Commission set up by the Government to consider aviation policy must not focus only on the south east.
“We have a capacity crisis but it’s at one airport, it’s at Heathrow.
“We need the commission to look at the issue dispassionately and come up with a solution which benefits the whole of the UK, not just the south
He also called on Chancellor George Osborne to suspend air passenger duty for new routes, to encourage airlines to set up the routes at UK airports.
The Treasury could start charging tax once a route was established, which would provide it with a higher income in the long run, he said.
Birmingham Airport’s prospects would be transformed by the introduction of a new high speed rail line, known as HS2, which effectively puts it “70 miles closer to London,” he said.
“HS2 for Birmingham, I believe is a game changer,” said Mr Kehoe.
Mr Kehoe said the UK should look at the example of other countries which had more than one hub airport – an airport used by a major airline or alliance of airlines where passengers could change planes en route to their final destination.
British Airways, which uses Heathrow as its hub, was unlikely to support the creation of a second hub airport, he said. However, other airlines or groups of airlines might be keen to use a second hub.
Meanwhile, airline Air France has been celebrating a 20 per cent increase in traffic out of Birmingham. The airline provides flights from the city to Paris and Amsterdam.
UK & Ireland general manager Henri Hourcade told the Post: “Our core strategy is to develop the airport. It works. We had a 20 per cent plus increase in traffic this year out of Birmingham, including flights to Paris for example.
“We have now six daily to Paris, five daily to Amsterdam.”
Rather than expecting passengers to travel from London, Air France had a strategy of providing flights from airports close to where people live, he said.
“We are convincing more and more people to leave from their local airport instead of taking their car to Heathrow.”
The airline had a long-term commitment to Birmingham, Mr Hourcade said.
“It is the strategy of the group to be there on the long term and go on developing.
“That depends on the customers. But our traffic out of and to Birmingham is growing, so we’ll go on developing.”