At end of expansion inquiry
The public inquiry into the Bristol Airport major expansion plans which began in July has ended.
The airport appealed against a decision by North Somerset Council last year to reject its plans which would see passenger numbers grow from 10 million to 12 million a year.
The last day of the ten-week planning inquiry was on Friday, October 8.
It will marked by a vigil for hope outside Weston Town Hall, organised by Bristol Airport Expansion Network (BAAN) and Extinction Rebellion.
Together with representatives from the parishes under the flight paths, Friends of the Earth, Fridays for Future and the Green Party they stood together to express their hope that the inspectors turn down the airport’s case.
An Extinction Rebellion spokesman said: “Last February North Somerset Council turned down Bristol Airport’s application to add two million passengers per annum by increasing the number of night flights.
"The airport appealed.
"As the Inquiry ends, we believe the parties supporting the original decision have provided robust evidence for the inspectors to turn down permission to expand.”
Vigil organiser Caroline New said: “What we desperately hope for is that the inspectors come to the right decision and uphold democracy.
"And the right decision is one that maximises the chances of a safe future for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come.
“There is still just time to stop climate catastrophe.
"All carbon emissions matter, because they are cumulative, and if any more airports are allowed to expand the UK is unlikely to reach its goal to be net-zero carbon by 2050.
"And that is a legal requirement.”
Climate campaigners have called for the inspectors to be bold and make history by rejecting the airport’s plans to expand. Climate change has been one of key areas of concern.
Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN), feel they presented an unanswerable case that will enable the Inspectors to reject the airport’s appeal. Such a decision involving climate change could be instrumental in reversing the trend of airport expansion in the UK.
BAAN spokesman Stephen Clarke said: “In making their final decision, it is crucial that the inspectors of the planning inquiry must take into account the science of climate change as well as the overwhelming local opposition to the airport’s expansion plans."
Local campaign groups have highlighted the disadvantages facing local residents and it is felt they clearly outweigh the benefits of a bigger airport.
Hilary Burn, of the Parish Council Airport Association, said: "The PCAA believe that the evidence we have put forward with other rule six parties, on issues from the climate crisis, more noise night and day, car parking on the green belt, and the inadequate road network surrounding the airport is more than enough reasons for the Inspectors to dismiss the appeal."
Once the appeal has been decided there is no further right of appeal.
The decision can only be challenged in a court of law by requesting a judicial review.
A claim for judicial review is a request to review the lawfulness of the decision in relation to the exercise of a public function.
Requests for a judicial review must be made within six weeks of the date of the appeal decision.
As well as being refused by North Somerset Council, the expansion has been opposed by Bristol City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, the West of England Combined Authority and numerous parish councils.
There will be further hearings next week to consider Bristol Airport’s application to compulsorily purchase land linked to the expansion.
Planes divert to miss storm
Thunderstorms forced several flights into diversions at Bristol Airport.
Aircraft hoping to land were put into a holding pattern in the skies on Monday evening, August 2, as a result of localised thunder and lightning strikes in the south west.
It came hours after the Met Office placed the region in a yellow weather warning for poor conditions, with thunder having been forecast.
As a result of the poor weather, it was not deemed safe for aircraft to land at Bristol Airport, and a number of flights diverted elsewhere – with some diversions taking passengers further away than others.
It is believed that two Bristol bound easyJet flights eventually came to land at Cardiff Airport – the service from Mallorca, and from Edinburgh.
Flight tracking data supplied by FlightRadar24 shows that both aircraft diverted to the Welsh capital shortly after 6pm.
For passengers here, there was a brief delay, with the two aircraft taking to the skies to complete their journeys once weather conditions across the Bristol Channel improved.
While the disruption was only relatively minor for passengers aboard these two flights, the same could not be said for every passenger caught up in the storm.
A third flight – a Jet2 service from Madeira - was also held up on approach to Bristol.
However, not only did this aircraft divert to Birmingham Airport instead, it was unable to complete its journey until the following morning.
As a result, it is believed that stranded passengers had to endure a replacement coach service from Birmingham to Bristol yesterday evening.
Passengers aboard a Ryanair flight from Dublin avoided a similar fate – as, despite diverting to London Luton, they eventually did land in Bristol at around 10.30pm, over four hours later than initially scheduled.
Luckily for airport bosses, the day of disruption did nothing to disrupt the
launch of Bristol’s new Lufthansa service to Frankfurt.
The very first arrival of the new service touched down on English soil at around 12.15pm, several hours before the weather shifted for the worse.
While aircraft are equipped to cope with being struck by lightning, pilots are instructed to avoid thunderstorms wherever possible, particularly when it comes to landing and taking off.
Is bigger better? Inquiry starts
The public inquiry into Bristol Airport's appeal against the decision by North Somerset Council to refuse the airport's expansion plans starts on Tuesday, July 20.
Last year the council rejected plans by the airport to expand its passenger throughput from 10 million to 12 million passengers a year and change its night flying arrangements.
The airport appealed against this decision and a public inquiry has been arranged by the Government's Planning Inspectorate (PINs) to hear the appeal.
The inquiry will open at 10am on Tuesday at Weston town hall and will be live streamed on YouTube.
It is forecast to sit for approximately 40 days with a break of two weeks from Monday to Friday, August 16-27, and also the week from Monday, September 20, when the inquiry is in recess. It is expected to finish in mid-October.
A panel of three independent inspectors will consider the appeal with an independent programme officer administering the inquiry arrangements on their behalf.
All the main participants, including the council and the airport, have submitted their full proofs of evidence to the inspectors setting out the details of their respective cases for the inspectors to consider during the inquiry.
An inquiry website - https://gateleyhamer-pi.com/en-gb/bristol-airport/ - has been set up by the programme officer where these and other related documents can be viewed.
A detailed schedule of sitting days, setting out when specific topics are to be discussed, will be published on the inquiry website and will be updated regularly.
The website will also include the link to watch proceedings live via YouTube. Recordings of previous sessions of the inquiry will be made available to view within two working days.
Capacity at the town hall will be extremely limited due to the number of formal participants in the inquiry.
Those who have registered with the programme officer to speak at the inquiry will either do so in person at the town hall or virtually via MS Teams.
With public seating limited, members of the public not participating in the inquiry but interested in following proceedings are encouraged to watch it online and not attend in person.
Anyone wishing to attend will need to book in advance by contacting the
programme officer, Joanna Vincent, on 07483 133 975 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Covid-safe arrangements will be in place at the town hall and, while the wearing of face coverings will no longer be a legal requirement, all those in the inquiry room will be encouraged to do so.
Following the inquiry the planning inspectors will take some time to consider all the evidence that was presented before making their final decision by issuing a formal decision letter.
This is likely to be a number of weeks after the close of the inquiry.
MELLOW YELLOW: Raul Faria published this lush early morning runway photo on the Bristol Airport Spotting Facebook page which offers spotting information, photos, videos and news from Bristol Airport to give like-minded spotters the most up-to-date and accurate details for spotting aircraft at Bristol Airport. For information on arriving and departing aircraft and for spotting locations please refer to its 'files' tab and visit its website at http://www.bristolairportspotting.co.uk
Will Bristol Airport be allowed to grow?
Bristol Airport begins its appeal into North Somerset Council’s rejection of its planning expansion which would allow it to expand facilities at the airport, writes Nick Harding, of UK Aviation.
In February last year, the council voted 18-7 to reject Bristol Airports plans for expansion which would see Bristol Airport capable of handling up to 12m(million) passengers per year. A move which went against advice from the council’s planners.
The council faced protests on the evening of the vote from local community groups as well as paid civil disobedience groups such as Extinction Rebellion.
Bristol Airport, which is owned by Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, can currently accommodate up to 9m passengers per year but new facilities would see the airport accommodate up to 12m. There is no application for expansion to the runway.
The local economy would be one of the biggest benefactors of the expansion with the changes set to increase the value of goods and services produced in the local area by £1.4bn over the next 10 years as well as increase employment.
Local action group Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) says that it is readying itself to fight the appeal. BAAN activist Stephen Clarke said: “It’s a big slap in the face for the local communities who fought hard and overwhelmingly voiced their opinion on the airport’s greedy expansion plans.”
While the appeal process formally begins on Tuesday, January 12, the actual decision will not come until the end of a 4-week public inquiry scheduled for July 2021.
Bristol Airport is a vital regional airport for the South West with a catchment ranging from Cornwall and Devon, South Wales through to Gloucester and Wiltshire. It is a hub for Ryanair, easyJet, Tui and, from April this year, Jet2.
Nailsea resident Dawn McGhee is totally against any expansion.
She said: "I know that Bristol International Airport provides a great service to the south west region, both in terms of air transport and provision of local jobs.
"As it stands, it has the capacity to expand to 10 million passengers per annum, thus providing more jobs and flights.
"However, the airport is appealing against North Somerset Council’s decision to reject its application to expand and in a time when the government is seeking to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, this makes no sense.
"North Somerset councillors and thousands of people who registered their objection online knew this.
"Directly after the decision, councillor leader Don Davies said 'What the committee has considered is that the detrimental effect of the expansion of the airport on this area and the wider impact on the environment outweighs the narrower benefits to airport expansion'.
'The committee for climate change sixth carbon budget published in December 2020, reveals some important facts about aviation: in 2018 39.3 million tons of carbon were produced by aviation in the UK. The report advises ‘no net capacity expansion at UK airports'.
'Much store has been placed by Bristol Airport in technological developments to bring emissions down, and whilst these may be useful things to consider in a net zero world, the CCC report also concludes that full electric planes and hydrogen technology will not be available by 2050 given that research and development from concept to production and then moving from a prototype to a usable fleet generally takes several decades to achieve. It predicts that burning hydrocarbon fuel is likely to continue until 2050 and beyond.
'What this means is that even with no change, the airport will be polluting the atmosphere and increasing global warming over the next 30 years.
'Environmental consultancy Eunomia principal consultant Dr Adrian Gibbs writes in his blog: 'Just Plane Wrong: Longer term, BIA’s further planned expansion entails 4.5 million tonnes more CO2e emissions per annum than if development stopped at 10 million annual passengers. Let’s put those figures in perspective. A tree takes 40 years to absorb one tonne of CO2: to offset these additional emissions would require 180 million trees to be planted every year, creating 430 square miles of new forest. That would mean reforesting an area the size of North Somerset every four months. 'We simply don’t have three North Somersets a year to plant with trees.
'The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change which came into force in 2016. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. The CCC report states that there should be a change towards including international aviation emissions in UK climate targets with a goal to bringing aviation in line with this Agreement.
'In addition, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), which aims to offset emissions has also been identified by the CCC as currently not in line with the Paris agreement.
'So, incredibly as it seems, the aviation industry is unaccountable for its burning of fossil fuels and there is no requirement for it to meet the same standards of other industries in terms of carbon emissions and offsetting!
'In the light of the 6th Carbon Budget, the CCC is calling on the government to review its overall airport capacity strategy so it is a logical first step to reject any expansion plans.
'The Planning Inspectorate is taking comments from the public and residents have until Monday, February 22, even if you have objected previously.'
Dawn is calling for people to email their objections to Leanne.email@example.com and quote the case number 3259234.
Please leave a copy in the message box below or email to firstname.lastname@example.org, thanks.
UPDATE: Public inquiry opens on Tuesday, July 20 and is scheduled to sit for 16 days
Summer date for expansion inquiry
The public inquiry into Bristol Airport’s appeal against North Somerset Council’s airport expansion refusal will be heard in summer 2021.
The Government’s Planning Inspectorate (PINs) has set the start date for the inquiry for Tuesday, July 20 and it is expected to last for four weeks.
The decision to reject the airport’s application to expand was made at a special meeting of the planning and regulatory committee in February and then confirmed by the same committee in March.
North Somerset Council leader Don Davies is the independent ward councillor for Pill.
He said: “A team of specialist consultants has been assembled to mount a robust defence of the council’s decision and a senior QC has already been appointed to lead the case.”
PINs has allowed the airport to submit updated information before the appeal formally starts which takes into account the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This information has now been received and the council is notifying all those who commented on the original planning application so that they can make their comments on the appeal based on the most up-to-date submissions by the airport.
Comments need to be submitted by no later than Wednesday, January 6.
The council will pass all responses received onto PINs so that they can take them into account when the appeal starts.
To view and comment on the updated information submitted by the airport go to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/airportappeal. The council has set up this dedicated page on its website so that people can follow the appeal’s progress and the various procedures which have to be followed.
The page includes a number of FAQs which explain the technicalities of the process.
Following this consultation PINs will formally start the appeal process on Monday, January 11.
This will be the trigger for various deadlines for the submission of documents by all those involved in the appeal.
At that stage the council will again write to all those who commented on the planning application to explain how they can take part in the appeal process
Summer getaway with Jet2
Jet2 is to launch flights and holidays from Bristol Airport from next summer.
It will be the 10th base for the UK’s second largest tour operator and 33 destinations go on sale from today.
It’s summer 2021 programme from the south west airport will include 29 summer hot spots including four new and exclusive destinations from Bristol - Izmir in Turkey, Kalamata and Lesvos in Greece and the Costa de Almeira in Spain.
There will also be a further 11 destinations on sale for winter 2021-2022 including ski and sun destinations across Europe, the Canary Islands and Mediterranean.
In its first summer of operations from Bristol, Jet2 will operate up to 56 weekly flights to resorts in mainland Spain, the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Madeira.
More than 450,000 seats will go on sale today from Bristol, with its first flight taking off to Lanzarote on April 1.
Flights all feature 22kg baggage allowance as standard on flight-only and ATOL-protected package holidays.
The new base will also lead to more than 200 new jobs with roles including flight and cabin crew, engineers and ground operations staff.
Jet2.com and Jet2holidays CEO Steve Heapy said: “This is an incredibly exciting day for Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, as we expand our award-winning flights and holidays to Bristol Airport.
“We know how much demand there is because we have been listening to customers and independent travel agents in the region for some time.
“We are delighted to be bringing them the news that they have been looking forward to, meaning that they can finally enjoy real package holidays from Bristol Airport.”
Bristol Airport CEO Dave Lees said: “Never has the time been more important for the region to look to the future in a post-Covid world.
“This exciting news is a major step towards the future by creating job opportunities, providing significant investment and an increase in the choice of destinations and holidays available to customers in the region.”
The full list of destinations Jet2 will fly to from Bristol next summer is:
Costa de Almeria – new route from Bristol with weekly Thursday services
Girona (Costa Brava) – weekly Saturday services
Reus – up to two weekly services (Monday and Thursday)
Fuerteventura – up to two weekly services (Tuesday and Saturday)
Gran Canaria - up to two weekly services (Monday and Thursday)
Lanzarote - two weekly services (Thursday and Sunday)
Tenerife – up to three weekly services (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday)
Ibiza – up to three weekly services (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday)
Majorca – up to five weekly services (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
Menorca – up to three weekly services (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday)
Faro – up to four weekly services (Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday)
Madeira – weekly Monday services
Naples – weekly Sunday services
Verona - weekly Saturday services
Greece – 12 Greek destinations on sale including:
Corfu – up to two weekly services (Wednesday and Sunday)
Crete (Heraklion) - up to two weekly services (Tuesday and Friday)
Halkidiki – weekly Thursday services
Kalamata – new route from Bristol with weekly Wednesday services
Kefalonia – weekly Sunday services
Kos – weekly Thursday services
Lesvos - new route from Bristol with weekly Sunday services
Preveza - weekly Sunday services
Rhodes – up to two weekly services (Tuesday and Saturday)
Santorini – weekly Wednesday services
Skiathos – up to two weekly services (Wednesday and Sunday)
Zante - up to two weekly services (Monday and Friday)
Antalya – three weekly services (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)
Dalaman – up to four weekly services (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday)
Izmir - new route from Bristol with weekly Tuesday services operating
We can smell the coffee
Cheltenham based SOHO Coffee Co has announced the opening its first company store in an airport location.
The business's new partnership between Bristol Airport builds on an existing network of franchise partners in key airport hubs around the world.
SOHO already has a strong portfolio of stores across the region including as well as partnerships with independent artisanal producers - from family bakers, to cake, jam and chutney makers.
The new store will offer travellers quick, fresh, handmade food throughout the day, including everything from hot sandwich choices such as the vegan meatball marinara, and the dirty bird, to toasted cheesy sausage and onion melts and the full SOHO breakfast.
SOHO Coffee Co managing director Penny Manuel said: "We have long had in our plan, our aim to open our very own SOHO airport store in our heartland.
"A regular traveller through Bristol airport, I have observed with interest their intensive programme of investment and improvement during recent times and wanted SOHO to be part of that journey.
"We are especially pleased to be working hand in hand with the airport whose values mirror ours, with sustainability and community high on both our agendas."
Bristol Aiport commercial head Tom Hack said: "Bristol Airport is delighted to welcome back SOHO Coffee to our departure lounge from Thursday, October 1.
"We welcome such a recognisable regional brand which supports local supply chains and offering employment to the region at such an important time.
"We very much look forward to building a great relationship going forwards."
Bristol Airport appeal lodged
Bristol Airport has submitted its appeal against North Somerset Council’s decision to refuse its planning application to increase capacity from 10 million to 12 million passengers per year.
The decision to refuse the planning application was contrary to the recommendation of the council’s own planning officers.
The decision on the application will now move to a national level and will be made by an independent planning inspector or, if the appeal is recovered, by the Government.
The plans to expand capacity at the airport will offer passengers more routes and flights from the South West directly, create jobs, facilitate inward investment and inbound tourism, and support greener and more sustainable, regional economic growth.
Sustainable development has always been at the centre of Bristol Airport’s plans.
The expansion proposals sit alongside a roadmap which sets out how the airport will achieve its ambition to become carbon neutral for direct emissions by 2025 and a net zero airport by 2050.
A comprehensive package of measures is also proposed to minimise the adverse environmental impacts of an additional 2 million passengers per annum.
As the UK emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic it is essential that all regions of the country are given the opportunity to grow to their full potential and contribute to the national recovery effort. International trade and connectivity will become increasingly important as the UK completes its departure from the European Union – increasing aviation capacity is essential in delivering this goal.
Bristol Airport welcomes the opportunity to submit their appeal and commence the appeal process.
Its compulsory purchase order statement reads: "Bristol Airport is seeking to acquire land located in and around the A38 at the junction to West Lane and further south towards the airport roundabout. This is required to deliver improvements in terms of highway capacity and safety as we look to increase capacity from 10 million to 12 million passengers per year."
Nearly 3,000 people work at Bristol Airport for approximately 50 different organisations, from commercial airlines to Government agencies such as the Border Force.
The airport itself employs almost 400, headed up by a Leadership Team representing the major departments within the organisation.
However, not everyone is happy and the environmentalists took to the street to make their voices heard.
AIRBORNE: This fabulous photo from up high of Bristol Airport was taken by a police drone. It was operated with an authorised exemption from the UK Civil Aviation Authority allowing it to fly with 2.5km of an airfield under close scruting of National Air Traffic Services.The result was tweeted by the police. Bristol Airport is currently appealing against the refusal of North Somerset Council to allow it to expand. A city centre demonstration on Saturday, August 30, in Bristol was captured on film by photographer David Mathias and shared on Twitter by the Stop Bristol Airport Expansion campaign.
In other news the BBC reports health officials say seven people from three different parties on Tui flight 6215 from Zante to Cardiff on Tuesday have tested positive for Covid-19.Public Health Wales (PHW) is contacting the 193 passengers and crew on board. It comes as a group of people from Plymouth tested positive for the virus after returning from Zante on Monday.
Ryanair seat sale to Vienna
A first flight from Bristol Airport to Vienna by Ryanair took off on Sunday, August 9.
This is the start of a new twice weekly service, as part of its Bristol Summer 2020 schedule.
British consumers and visitors can now book a summer getaway to Vienna, flying on the lowest fares and with a new set of health measures that Ryanair has rolled out to protect its customers and crew.
To celebrate, Ryanair has launched a seat sale with fares available from just £19.99, for travel until the end of October 2020, which must be booked by midnight Wednesday, August 12, only on the Ryanair.com website.
Ryanair spokesman Eimear Ryan said: “Ryanair is pleased to launch a new Bristol route to Vienna, which will operate twice weekly as part of our Bristol Summer 2020 schedule.
"To celebrate this new Bristol route, we are launching a seat sale with fares available from just £14.99, for travel from now until the end of October 2020, which must be booked by midnight Wednesday, August 12.
"Since these amazing low fares will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.”
Bristol Airport CEO Dave Lees said: “We are delighted Ryanair is adding Vienna to the route network from Bristol Airport.
"This announcement will provide customers in the South West region a wider choice of destinations available from their local airport.
"Vienna is a great cultural destination and known as the ‘City of Music’ due to its musical legacy.
"The city offers business and leisure opportunities and the route provides inbound visitor potential to the region.”
Flights to Jersey resume
Blue Islands is restarting flights to Bristol from Monday, August 3.
The service will operate four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays during August, becoming daily from September.
All Blue Islands services include hold luggage allowance as standard, together with a generous cabin bag allowance.
Blue Islands’ CEO Rob Veron said: “We’re really pleased to be re-starting our Bristol operations.
"During lockdown we’ve been redeveloping our website, brand, systems and most importantly our product offering; for example, both hold and cabin baggage are included with every ticket.
“We also understand that feeling safe and secure all the way through the travel experience is of paramount importance, which is why we have introduced a number of enhanced wellbeing measures, including, use of masks, enhanced deep cleaning onboard, use of sanitisers and a microbe shield protective mist in the cabin.
"We’re here and ready and can’t wait to welcome our customers on board again soon.
"There’s detailed information on our enhanced wellness measures, new product offering and frequent flyer scheme on BlueIslands.com.”
Flights depart Jersey at 3.10pm and depart Bristol at 4.40pm. The flight timings and days of operation are designed to be ideal for weekend and short breaks.
Bristol Airport CEO Dave Lees said: “We are delighted to welcome the return of Blue Islands resuming the service between Jersey and Bristol on Monday.
"The route will further extend the choice for customers wishing to visit family or friends or enjoy a staycation holiday.
"We will continue to work in collaboration looking at future route opportunities and strengthening the services between the mainland and the Channel Islands.
"It’s important to ensure our customers feel safe when travelling.
"We have the measures in place at the airport with Safe journeys start here, our three step plan, Get ready - Stay safe - Let’s travel - providing the extra Covid reassurance to customers to facilitate safe travel and allow customers to fly with confidence.”
Fares from £44.99 one way, available to book now www.blueislands.com.
To view the number of cases of coronavirus on Jersey click HERE.
No spies in sky at Bristol Airport
Bristol Airport as invested in a new drone management system to combat the threat of unauthorised drones at the West Country gateway.
The airport has agreed a three-year contract with telent and its technology partner Digital Global Systems (DGS) to install the latter’s CLEARSKY Drone Threat Management system.
Its implementation at Bristol Airport follows a successful three-month pilot project with Bristol Airport Authority, local police and other security agencies.
The installation of this system means that security staff and local police will be able to accurately detect, identify and monitor unauthorised drone activity in and around the airport.
It is also able to detect the location of the drone operator and track them within the flight restriction zone outside of the airport, effectively eliminating manpower-intensive searches over large areas of land looking for those responsible.
Security operations manager Javid Haq said:“Like all major airports, Bristol Airport is aware of the disruption that both unauthorised and malicious drone usage can cause.
“As an airport relied upon by thousands of daily domestic and international passengers, it is impossible to understate the importance of ensuring that we implement a high-performing and accurate drone threat system.
“We are confident that the new system can provide the necessary protection thanks to the accurate information the sensor network provides and the integration of this system into our existing threat management protocols.”
easyJet on Sunday morning
Bristol Airport continues to follow all government guidance regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
In line with government guidance, passengers arriving into Bristol Airport IS not currently subject to any restrictions or additional screening checks.
However, passenger journeys originating in an area affected by the COVID-19 virus may be subject to checks at the origin airport.
The latest advice from Public Health England and the UK Government, including steps to take if you are experiencing symptoms, is available by searching online for NHS Coronavirus or by calling the NHS England 111 helpline.
Below you will find useful travel information when travelling through Bristol Airport:
All these questions are answered online HERE.
GROUND STAFF: In the meantime here are some more beautiful photographs taken
by easyJet ramp agent Mark Skewhan on Sunday morning at Bristiol Airport
RED SKY: Beautiful photo by Mark Skewhan taken for the Bristol Airport plane-spotting group on Facebook
Expansion bid grounded...
The planning application to expand Bristol Airport was rejected by North Somerset Council on Monday evening, February 10.
At the opening of the debate at the special planning and regulatory committee meeting, Wrington ward councillor Steve Hogg proposed a motion calling on members to refuse the application.
Following a lengthy debate, councillors voted 18 in support of the motion and seven against with one abstention.
Because the refusal of the application is against the officers' recommendation, the council’s procedure for applications of this scale is that the decision will be held over until a future meeting of the planning and regulatory committee for it to be ratified.
If the decision is ratified, the applicant will have six months to lodge an appeal which would then be heard at a public inquiry.
Council leader Don Davies said: "The airport currently handles just over eight million passengers and can still expand to the 10 million passengers a year limit it already has, so more people will still be able to fly from there and the number of people who work there should not be affected.
"What the committee has considered is that the detrimental effect of the expansion of the airport on this area and the wider impact on the environment outweighs the narrower benefits to airport expansion.
"I know some people will be upset by this decision and I am sure that we can reconsider it in future when the airline industry has decarbonised and the public transport links to the airport are far stronger.”
The committee meeting lasted for four and a half hours as both supporters of the application and objectors made their views known.
The proceedings were viewed by approximately 200 people split across two rooms at the Town Hall while more than 4,800 watched the debate live online with an average watch time of about 27 minutes.
Bristol Airport spokesman Harry Ellis said: “We are disappointed by the decision of North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee to recommend refusal of our planning application to increase Bristol Airport’s capacity from 10 to 12 million passengers a year, contrary to the recommendation of the council’s own planning officers.
“This decision risks putting the brakes on the region’s economy by turning away airlines who want to serve the South West market, shutting the door to international trade and tourism at a time when the UK needs to show it is open for business.
“By preventing Bristol Airport from meeting demand for air travel from within the region it serves, the council will simply exacerbate the situation which already sees millions of passengers a year form our region drive to London airports in order to fly, creating carbon emissions and congestion in the process.”
But the Stop Bristol Airport campaigners were jubilant saying ‘it is a resounding victory’.
Those opposed to the expansion had been waiting inside and outside the town hall and a huge cheer erupted when the decision was broadcast.
The material reasons for refusal were that the economic benefits did not outweigh environmental harm, the potential adverse effects on health and wellbeing of residents of North Somerset due to noise and pollution, as well as climate change and the challenge of meeting carbon reduction targets.
Professor John Adams of SBAEx said: “We are delighted that our councillors have listened to what the people want and had the courage and foresight to act upon it.
“This is a victory for the planet and the people over corporate greed.
“We congratulate councillors for taking on board the views of the officers but coming to their own independent conclusions within existing legal framework.
“This is probably the most important decision the council will ever have to make and
we applaud our councillors for standing up against the Airport and its owners, who have thrown vast resources at the expansion plans without regard for the damage they would cause.
“We’re incredibly proud of all those people who gave up their time, energy and skills to support the campaign against expansion and grateful to everyone who helped in whatever way.”
Approximately 78 per cent (8,909) of the 11,485 comments posted on North Somerset Council website were opposed to expansion, many on the grounds of climate change but others were worried about noise, light and air pollution, traffic congestion and the parking sprawl on greenbelt land.
Opposition came from sources as diverse as Dr Liam Fox, Conservative MP for North Somerset, and Bristol music collective and eco-warriors Massive Attack.
Campaigner Melanie Greenwood said: “It was such a decisive victory. Incredible really.
“All the nine people opposing the expansion gave eloquent, impassioned speeches that were hugely varied: the environment, inadequate transport, lack of jobs, noise, corporate greed – profits going to Canada, taking passengers from Cardiff and on and on.
“The nine who spoke for were a one-trick pony.
“Business, business, business for that read greed, greed, greed.
“Dr Paul Phillips, of Weston College, was their big gun wheeled out first.
“As if apprentice lives depended on poorly paid jobs with zero hours contracts.
“One woman, went on about how the expansion would lead to more people stopping off at Weston, even staying overnight and how she’d like to attract more Dutch visitors (why should Amsterdam have all that financial fun).
“Some wag replied ‘well, true, there are more drugs in Weston’.”
“Councillor Steve Hogg played a blinder by stating the vote would be named, so nobody could hide what they did from their constituents.
“He gave the last impassioned speech asking for councillors to vote against.
“And they did.
“And time and time again I’ve had people saying there’s no point fighting a giant like that with deep pockets and even deeper determination. So, for now, the victory feels amazing.
“I bet it does, even for the poor guy, whose had to nail the tiles to his roof because planes go so low over it they are lifted off and when he wipes his windows a black oily residue slides off.”
Nailsea People has asked North Somerset Council for a detailed list of how councillors voted. The letter of objection sent by Dr Fox is published in full on the Political Peeps page HERE.
Supporting local economy
More than 70 local businesses attended a ‘meet the buyer’ event at Bristol Airport on Wednesday, January 29, to find out more about becoming part of the airport’s supply chain.
With passenger numbers forecast to top nine million for the first time ever this year, a range of construction projects are underway to ensure facilities for passengers and business partners keep pace.
More than £200 million has been invested in infrastructure since 2010, and this looks set to continue should a planning application to increase capacity to 12 million passengers a year be approved.
This growth could see the airport generating £2.4 billion for the regional economy and presents opportunities for a wide range of suppliers across South West England and South Wales.
The ‘meet the buyer’ event, organised in partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), is part of the airport’s drive to build resilience in its supply chain and further develop already strong local connections. Delegates had the opportunity of discussing the experience of working at a busy international airport and meeting various departments to discuss business opportunities.
Bristol Airport sustainability and planning director Simon Earles said: “This is a great opportunity for us to showcase the opportunities available at Bristol Airport for local businesses in the area.
"It is fantastic to see the range and quality of skills on our doorstep and gives us confidence as we continue to develop and improve our facilities for customers.
"We already work with a number of local suppliers and companies, and last year this topped more than £20 million of goods and services in the local area, we want to build on this and create further opportunities for local businesses.”
FSB development manager for Gloucestershire and Bristol Sam Holliday said: “We were delighted to partner with the airport for this excellent event which gave FSB members from all across the south west a fantastic opportunity to meet some of the key players at this very important local business.
"Our members were very impressed by the airport’s willingness to listen to what they had to offer and to show genuine enthusiasm for bringing many great local SMEs into their supply chain in the future.
"We very much look forward to repeating the exercise in due course.”
Bristol Airport will submit a 'skills and employment plan' to North Somerset Council for agreement within six months of the commencement of its development plans.
The 'skills and employment plan' will be aimed at achieving the delivery of employment opportunities for residents in North Somerset and the surrounding area looking for a career at the airport.
It will set targets for a range of employment, volunteering, mentoring, apprenticeship, training and development activities and will achieve benefits and positive outcomes for local people.
And it will follow an action plan in line with industry best practice and incorporate apprenticeships aligned to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), Client-Based Approach relating to the construction phase of the development.
As part of the plan a financial contribution of up to £300,000 will be made to commission specialist employment support providers to deliver a range of skills, learning and development training.
The fund will be jointly administered by North Somerset Council and Bristol Airport.
Bristol Airport will also engage with primary, secondary schools and universities in the area to develop opportunities for young people and adults to access employment at Bristol Airport.
An ongoing monitoring programme will also be established and will set out agreed performance indicators against which the implementation of the 'skills and employment plan' will be monitored.
Approximately 4,000 people are currently employed at the airport, across 50 on-site employers.
The future development of the airport to handle up to 12 million passengers per annum in the future means the workforce is forecast to grow.
Bristol Airport people director Debbie Hartshorn said: “This is further demonstration of our commitment to support employment growth in the region and create jobs and opportunities for local people with a local employer.
"The introduction of this plan combined with our financial investment will assist in shaping the skills and talent needed for the region’s future success.”
Weston College CBE Principal and chief executive Paul Phillips welcomed the initiative.
DrPhillips said: “The initiative of supporting people to develop careers and also retrain for new employment routes is both significant and pertinent.”
Multi-million £ car rental centre opens
A £6.5 million development will opened at Bristol Airport on Wednesday, December 11, providing an enhanced and improved car rental centre.
The new area will be home to all the on-site car rental companies based at the airport, improving the experience for passengers wishing to rent a car on their arrival.
The new location combines all the car rental companies in one central location and is situated south of the airport in close proximity to the Silver Zone car park.
The project includes an enlarged office and reception area, dedicated pick-up and return parking spaces, valet and wash-bay facilities.
A new dedicated car rental shuttle bus service will operate between the consolidated car rental centre and the terminal every 10 minutes 24/7 for passengers use.
The design of the building includes installation of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of the building, rainwater harvesting tanks for the wash-bay facility, with 80 per cent of the water used in the wash-bays being recycled and subsequent wash cycles topped up by the rain-water harvesting tanks.
During construction of the site more than 5,000 tonnes of rock excavated from various projects across the airport were reused on-site and processed for use on the project. This reduced the volume of construction waste disposed of off-site and reduced vehicle movements and there was not a need to import quarry material.
Bristol Airport commercial development head Kate Ridgers said: “It is exciting to see this multi-million pound project open to customers for the first time.
"The new car rental centre provides a first-class experience for customers by using the latest technology and sustainability initiatives from design stage through to completion.
"We know car rental is one product that provides customers with a ‘first and last’ impression of the airport, and we wanted to create the highest standards and facilities possible.”
Irish top visitor count
Bristol Airport is on track to handle more than 1.5 million journeys by passengers from overseas, according to analysis of data from the Civil Aviation Authority annual passenger survey.
The biggest market for visitors remains Ireland, accounting for just under 19 per cent of overseas passengers flying in and out of Bristol Airport.
Spain (16 per cent) is second followed by France (15 per cent), with Germany, the US, Portugal and the Netherlands also generating significant passenger volumes.
Figures from research commissioned by Destination Bristol and Visit Bath put the value of the region’s visitor economy at an estimated £2.3 billion a year and highlighted record spend by overseas visitors in 2018.
Plans to increase Bristol Airport’s capacity to 12 million passengers a year would boost its contribution to the region’s visitor economy to an estimated £380 million by the mid-2020s, supporting nearly 7,000 jobs.
Bristol Airport chief executive officer Dave Lees said: “Tourism is a vital part of our economy in the South West so it is important that we make the region easily accessible from all over the world.
"By growing our route network and investing in passenger facilities we are making Bristol Airport an even more attractive gateway for overseas visitors.”
Bristol Airport is a member of Destination Bristol and Visit Somerset, and official airport ambassador for the Great West Way (the touring route between London and the South West).
The airport also supports events in the region, including the Somerset Show, Bristol Pride and the Modern Pentathlon European Championships in Bath
RED SEASIDE: Sharm El Sheikh direct flights from Bristol Airport go on sale this weekend with the first flights departing May 2020. TUI, the world’s largest holiday company and the UK’s number one holiday provider, is delighted the ban has been lifted to the stunning Red Sea resort. The area was always a firm favourite due to its breath-taking scenic landscape, year-round dry climate with hot summers and warm winters as well as its long stretches of beautiful natural beaches and clear, calm seas. The resort is also widely popular with those seeking water sport activities such as scuba diving and snorkelling in the famous coral reefs. Resorts including TUI Magic Life Sharm El Sheikh and Reef Oasis Blue Bay along the beautiful Red Sea coast will be on sale, with more hotel announcements in the pipeline.TUI UK & Ireland product and destination experience director Mark Hall said: "Sharm el Sheikh was always a hugely popular destination and I am delighted to confirm that we are reintroducing the Egypt favourite to our summer 2020 programme.
easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, launched its first flight on a new route at the end of October from Bristol to Hurghada in Egypt - the 72nd destination easyJet now flies to on its Bristol network.
Flights to the popular Egyptian resort are now operating twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the winter, providing travellers from the south west with an exciting winter sun getaway destination known for world-class diving, beach hopping and buzzy nightlife along the so-called Red Sea Riviera.
The new service is expected to carry over 13,500 customers this winter.
easyJet UK country manager Ali Gayward, said: "We are delighted to be launching our first flight from Bristol to Hurghada.
"As the largest airline at Bristol we’re focused on strengthening our network and providing our customers in the south west with great value services by offering low fares, a convenient schedule and more choice when they travel.”
To book and for more information at easyJet’s Bristol network visit www.easyjet.com
To read a Nailsea People review of a winter holiday in Hurgarda click HERE
PHOTO: easyJet’s crew celebrate the arrival of the airline’s first inaugural flight from Bristol to Hurghada
announce extra 266,000 from Bristol Airport for summer 2020
TUI, the UK’s largest holiday company, has announced their biggest ever holiday programme with new destinations which include two to Spain added to its summer 2020 programme from Bristol Airport.
Included in the destination timetable:
New flights to Izmir, Girona and Almeria
Additional weekly flights introduce 10 and 11 night holidays to destinations including Florida and Greece
266,000 extra seats go on sale today from Bristol Airport
The new flights from Bristol Airport will go on sale today with Izmir flights operating on Saturdays, Girona on Tuesdays and Almeria on Sundays.
Sticking with its commitment of offering more flexibility and choice, TUI will also introduce new 10 and 11 night holidays to long haul family favourite Orlando Sanford (Florida) plus mid-haul hotspots Bodrum (Turkey) and Skiathos (Greece), providing even more duration options for customers.
Bristol Airport will also see additional flying days to TUI customer favourites such as Antalya (Turkey), Tenerife (Spain) and Larnaca (Cyprus).
The summer 2020 programme will also see an increase in the frequency of flights operating to Dalaman (Turkey) and Palma (Spain) on Wednesdays, giving holidaymakers from the South West more choice when booking next year’s summer holiday.
TUI UK and Ireland aviation planning director Karen Switzer said: “Earlier this month TUI announced an additional two million seats to many holiday destination favourites and today the majority of these seats go on sale for summer 2020.
"We are delighted that our new additions launched today provide holidaymakers departing from Bristol Airport with even more choice when deciding where to go next summer on holiday.
"The customer is at the heart of everything we do and this additional growth to some of our customer’s favourite holiday hotspots demonstrates our continued commitment for people to discover their smile with us.“
Bristol Airport development director Nigel Scott said: “This is incredibly positive news with TUI adding an extra 266,000 seats for summer 2020 season.
"We have worked closely with TUI to identify new opportunities which sees a range of exciting new destinations, and additional 10 and 11 night holidays and new flights to the most popular destinations.
"We are particularly delighted with the additional second weekly service to Orlando (Sanford) which provides improved options to the existing TUI long haul services from Bristol.”
* Additional flying days from Bristol Airport: Antalya, Turkey (Mon, Fri), Bourgas, Bulgaria (Thurs), Dalaman, Turkey (Fri, Sun), Herakilon, Greece (Tues), Ibiza, Spain(Fri), Kos, Greece (Weds), Larnaca, Cyprus (Thurs), Gran Canaria, Spain (Sat), Menorca, Spain (Sat), Palma, Spain (Mon, Fri), Rhodes, Greece (Tues), Tenerife, Spain (Sun), Zakynthos, Greece (Thurs)
To grow or not to grow - that is the question?
Weston people want Bristol Airport to expand - but what do Nailsea people think?
A new poll has shown there is strong support for Bristol Airport’s development plans from residents of Weston-super-Mare.
Leading market research consultancy, ComRes, interviewed people in North Somerset’s largest town to find out views on proposals to increase the capacity of Bristol Airport.
Those supporting the airport’s plans outnumbered those opposing them by nearly four to one, that is 59 per cent vs 16 per cent.
Nearly three quarters of those interviewed had heard about the airport’s proposals to increase capacity from 10 to 12 million passengers a year.
Around 500 of the 4,000 people currently working at the airport are residents of Weston.
Many more come from Nailsea and its outlying villages.
The proposed development will create more than 1,000 additional jobs at the airport, with thousands more supported in the supply chain and the wider regional economy.
Earlier this month, Bristol Airport announced plans to provide an hourly service round-the-clock on the Weston Flyer bus which operates between Weston-super-Mare station and the terminal, making future employment opportunities even more accessible to the town’s residents.
An improved timetable will also be accompanied by a change in route to incorporate Worle station, providing another link to the rail network for passengers.
Development plans would also provide a boost to Weston’s tourism industry, which itself employs 7,500 people, seven per cent of the town’s total workforce. Tourists flying into the region stay longer and spend more, with forecasts showing that increased connectivity delivered by the current development plans would contribute £380 million to the region’s visitor economy by the mid-2020s.
Bristol Airport chief executive officer Dave Lees said:
“Bristol Airport’s continued success will deliver increased connectivity with the rest of the world, careers for local people and opportunities for businesses in construction and the wider supply chain.
"We welcome this show of support for our exciting development plans.”
MPs and councils in the area are mostly in favour of the expansion with only North Somerset Council crucially yet to make up its mind.
According to a Bristol Cable online news report 'on one side looms the mighty Bristol Airport, flanked by the business lobby and many local politicians including Somerset’s Conservative MPs. On the other side, the opponents: many locals, environmental campaigners, some councillors, the Green Party, Extinction Rebellion, to name a few. In the middle sits North Somerset council who are expected to deliver their verdict in the next few months, after multiple delays. I’ll be upfront; I’m rooting for the resistance. What good will an increased opportunity to holiday in Faliraki be when we’re all submerged below sea level?'
Weston mayor Mark Canniford said: "Clearly the creation of good jobs and opportunities at Bristol Airport is very important to our town and local economy.
"This has to be done with sensitivity to our neighbours and environment, but as part of our modern way of life we have to find ways to allow business to expand to create wealth for our residents.
"This will never be an easy decision as expansions is very controversial to many, but the survey seems to show broad support for Bristol Airport and their future plans.”
Email your comments to email@example.com or add to the Nailsea People Facebook page
New waiting zone for Uber
Drivers who use the Uber app will use a new waiting zone at Bristol Airport from next month, helping to reduce the number of vehicles parking in lanes and laybys in local villages.
The transport giant will ‘geo-fence’ the new area, which is located just off the A38 roundabout serving the Airport’s Silver Zone car park. This means that drivers can only be dispatched to the terminal to pick up passengers if they are in the waiting zone.
The waiting zone will open next month and comes in response to calls for action from neighbouring communities concerned about the impact of inconsiderate parking by taxis and other vehicles causing disturbance and even obstructing access to properties.
The waiting zone will also be open to private cars, providing an hour’s free period as an alternative to the existing Drop and Go area adjacent to the terminal. A shuttle bus will operate between the terminal and the waiting zone every ten minutes.The airport’s official taxi partner, Arrow Cars, will continue to drop off and pick up directly outside the terminal.
Bristol Airport head of commercial Tom Hack said: "We are delighted that drivers who use the Uber app will be using this new facility.
"“It will help to reduce disturbance to our neighbours while providing drivers with a safe and secure place to wait between fares.”
Uber South England head of Cities Eugenie Teasley said: "We are really excited to be working with Bristol Airport.
"It is our goal to move people from A to B, all at the touch of a button, and by working with Bristol Airport, we hope to make it easier for people to get to and from the airport."
Bristol Airport switches to 100% renewable electricity
In a significant step towards reducing its carbon footprint, Bristol Airport has switched to a 100 per cent renewable electricity supply.
The announcement follows the recent publication of a carbon roadmap setting out how the airport will become carbon neutral by 2025 for emissions within its direct control.
The new three-year agreement with global renewable energy supplier, Ørsted, will see the airport’s annual electricity use of 17 million kWh powered entirely by renewable sources.
Electricity is the largest contributor to carbon emissions from on-site airport operations.
In addition to the electricity used in the terminal and other buildings, a growing number of aircraft stands are equipped with Fixed Electrical Ground Power (FEGP), reducing the need to use diesel powered engines for essential pre-flight services.
Over the duration of the contract an estimated 14,000 tonnes of carbon will be saved across the airport site as a result of the move to renewables – equivalent to the emissions from driving 34 million miles in an average car.
Bristol Airport planning and sustainability director Simon Earles said: “From next month our terminal and other facilities will be powered by renewable energy – a significant step on our journey to carbon neutrality.
"There is more to do, but this is a clear statement of our intent to reduce our direct emissions.”
Ørsted Sales (UK) Ltd managing director Ashley Phillips said: “It’s exciting that an international airport like Bristol is placing such strong emphasis on sustainability.
"At Ørsted, we want to drive the transition to low-carbon energy systems in the UK, and support organisations like Bristol Airport that share this ambition of creating a greener energy future.”
As well as addressing direct emissions, Bristol Airport’s carbon roadmap includes a commitment to offset road journeys by passengers and explains how flights will tackled through the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) – an international agreement aimed at stabilising emissions at 2020 levels.
The vision of Danish company Ørsted is a world that runs entirely on green energy and to this aim they develop, construct and operate offshore wind farms, bioenergy plants and innovative waste-to-energy solutions.
They provide UK businesses with renewable electricity at no extra cost, and with innovative, smart energy solutions.
PHOTO: Pictured right is Bristol Airport business development director Nigel Scott + flight crew celebrating the first Brussels flight
Travel direct Bristol to Brussels
You can now fly direct from Bristol Airport to the capital of Belgian with the welcom the return this September of Brussels Airlines.
The service reconnects the cities of Bristol and Brussels and provides a wide range of European and long- haul destinations available from a European hub airport.
The service operates six times a week - excluding Saturdays - and on Sunday, October 27, the airline increases its frequency to twice a day offering passengers a total of 12 flights a week.
Passengers on the flight departing from Bristol Airport on Monday, September 2, enjoyed gifts of handmade Belgian chocolates at the boarding gate prior to boarding the flight with one lucky passenger winning two tickets to use the Bristol Airport Aspire Executive Lounge for a future visit.
Bristol Airport business development director Nigel Scott said: "We are delighted Brussels Airlines has returned to Bristol Airport and operating flights between Bristol and Brussels, the route will also offer extensive onward connectivity options for passengers.
"The service will appeal to passengers whether travelling for business or leisure.
"It offers opportunities for inbound visitors using Bristol as a gateway to the region.
"With frequent travel connections, inbound tourists will be able to experience the vibrant cities of Bristol and Bath, and the host of iconic tourist attractions and beautiful coastline we have in the region.
"We look forward to developing our close partnership with Brussels Airlines further in the future.”
Passengers travelling through Bristol Airport from this month will see a new awareness programme entitled Get On Board.
The initiative will help raise awareness of the serious implications of disruptive behaviour at the airport or on board an aircraft.
Bristol Airport is already committed to the UK Aviation Code of Practice on Disruptive Passengers and is an active member of the ‘One Too Many’ initiative, the aviation industry’s disruptive passenger awareness programme.
The Get On Board awareness campaign will be a timely reminder to passengers of the serious consequences of disruptive activity, and reinforces the UK Aviation Industry Code of Practice on Disruptive Passengers.
Penalties can range from being denied boarding, an airline ban with fines of up to £80,000 or jail for the most serious offences.
Passengers will see warnings about disruptive behaviour posted on digital display screens in the terminal, in retail and food and drink outlets, and on social media clearly stating it is an offence to be disruptive on-board an aircraft.
The campaign will feature the strapline ‘If you’re not on board, you won’t get on board’.
Tom Hack, Head of Commercial, Bristol Airport said:
“We want all passengers flying from Bristol Airport to have an enjoyable start to their journey, but anti-social behaviour by a minority can spoil the experience for everyone. Any anti-social behaviour by a passenger is not accepted by the Airport or airlines and could result in passengers being refused travel. Through coordinated involvement from the airport police, catering managers, airlines and airport’s operational teams may result in the passenger being denied boarding and subsequently missing their flight. Bristol Airport’s new Get On Board campaign provides a helpful reminder to passengers about the consequences of disruptive behaviour during their time at the Airport prior to boarding their flight.”
The Get On Board campaign is only one of a number of measures already in place at Bristol Airport since 2017. These include, not selling single bottles of spirits in Airside shops; double measures of spirits not served in bars; security restricting access to the Departure Lounge if passengers are disruptive or provide cause for concern.
Busy August bank holiday at Bristol Airport
This year will be a record year for Bristol Airport with more than 125,000 passengers expected to use the airport during the August bank holiday weekend from Friday to Monday, August 23-26.
An increase of four per cent passenger growth compared to the same period last year.
With the summer season already on track to surpass previous passenger levels, airlines and tour operators are reporting strong bookings for what is traditionally one of the busiest weekends of the year for air travel.
Passengers are taking advantage of new destinations on the Bristol Airport network including Biarritz (France) and Brindisi (Italy) and the sun destinations of Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt remaining strong.
However, it is not all one-way traffic.
Bristol Airport is seeing an increase in visitors from Germany, Switzerland and Austria with passengers flying from Cologne, Basle, Milan and Vienna to meet friends and family and enjoy the holiday weekend together and to visit the region’s attractions.
Departing passengers are reminded to allow extra time for their journey to the airport during the busy bank holiday weekend.
In order to complete essential processes such as check-in, bag-drop, security and boarding, passengers are advised to arrive in the terminal a minimum of two hours in advance of their flight departure.
Arriving passengers can help keep time spent at border control to a minimum by having passports open to the photograph page and removing hats and sunglasses in advance of inspection, with families encouraged to go through the border together.
Bristol Airport new energy charging zone
Bristol Airport has switched on the power for electric vehicle (EV) drivers with the installation of a 10-bay charging zone, along with the capability to extend in the future.
The chargepoints are located in the airport’s new multi-storey car park.
The installations are the first in a programme of upgrades across various airport locations, which will be designed to meet the needs of customers, staff and visitors.
They are also a key part of Bristol Airport’s pledge to be carbon neutral by 2025, and net-zero by 2050.
A six-month trial of two bus services from rural locations in North Somerset to Bristol Airport are set to be launched next year.
One shuttle will run from Nailsea and Backwell railway station while the other will start in Clevedon and stop at Yatton railway station and Cleeve.
Trials for both services may start as early as 2020.
Around 10 million passengers a year currently use the airport and North Somerset Council is considering a planning application for an expansion which could see up to 12 million travellers using the airport by mid-2020s.
Bristol Airport head of sustainability James Shearman said: “We continue to listen to feedback from our local communities on the need to improve public transport services to the Airport and since 2011 we’ve invested £8 million in transport improvements.
"The new services will provide an innovative, flexible and competitively priced service, with discounts available for staff working at the airport.
“We are committed to exploring new public transport alternatives where these are economically viable.
“The Bristol Flyer started life as a minibus when the service commenced and has grown in popularity to the extent that in 2018 over 800,000 journeys were made.
"We’re hopeful the trials will be as successful.”
The Nailsea and Clevedon on demand public transport service forms part of a multi-million pound package to help cut Co2 emissions created by an extra two million people using the airport.
Climate emergency roadmap
Bristol Airport responds to climate emergency with roadmap to reduce emission
Carbon neutral target fast-tracked to 2025
Carbon levy to offset all road journeys
Flights to fall under international agreement to keep emissions at 2020 levels
Bristol Airport has published a carbon roadmap setting out how it will achieve its ambition to be a net zero airport and accelerating efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.
The roadmap has been published in direct response to concerns that the proposed development of the airport could be inconsistent with climate emergencies declared by local authorities in the West of England.
It sets ambitious targets which would put Bristol at the forefront of carbon reduction in the UK airport sector.
Two years ago Bristol Airport set a target to be carbon neutral by 2030 for all emissions under its direct control (primarily from electricity, gas and ground vehicles).
The roadmap brings this target forward to 2025 and will be achieved through a range of measures including increased use of electric vehicles and a shift to renewable energy sources.
The airport’s ultimate objective is to become net zero by 2050 in line with the commitment made by the European airport industry last month, to which Bristol was amongst the first signatories.
As well as addressing direct emissions, the new roadmap sets out how the impact of passenger travel to the airport and emissions from flights will be tackled. Emissions from road journeys will be offset by a new carbon levy on vehicles using the Express Drop Off – the least sustainable way to get to the airport. When it is introduced later this year, the proceeds of the levy will be used to offset emissions from all surface access journeys.
Emissions from flights will be tackled through the Carbon Offsetting and
Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) which will commence in 2021 with the aim of stabilising emissions from international aviation at 2020 levels.
Bristol Airport chief executive officer Dave Lees said: “Our carbon roadmap sets out how we are responding to the challenge of climate change.
"It combines ambitious targets with clear actions and a timeline against which we will chart our progress.
"It not only covers direct emissions from our site but also tackles the impact of passenger journeys to the airport and flights themselves.
"Decarbonising aviation will not be easy, but this plan shows we are serious about reducing our emissions so we can all continue to enjoy the benefits of air travel in a low carbon future.”
To read the roadmap click on the image.
Bristol to Brussels X 12
Brussels Airlines is reconnecting Bristol Airport with the Belgium capital.
The Belgian airline will connect Bristol with Brussels 12 times a week.
The first flight from Bristol to Brussels will take off on Sunday, September 1.
Brussels Airlines offers daily flights between five airports in the UK the capital of Europe.
The connection between Bristol Airport and Brussels Airport is not entirely new, as flybmi used to operate this route for Brussels Airlines until February this year.
As the connection between both cities remains of strategic importance to the airline, Brussels Airlines now reconnects both airports with operator CityJet.
After the inaugural first the airline will operates the route six times a week until Sunday, October 27, when it increases its frequencies to 12 weekly flights.
Lufthansa Group senior sales director for the UK, Ireland and Iceland Andreas Koester said: “The new connection between Bristol and Brussels is an important expansion to the Lufthansa Group network in the UK, where we offer flights to the European mainland out of 12 different airports.
"With two flights daily out of Bristol, Brussels Airlines offers point-to-point passengers a flexible schedule and create a broad range of possibilities for passengers connecting to one of the many other destinations in our network.”
Bristol Airport business development director Nigel Scott said: “We are delighted Brussels Airlines will be returning to Bristol Airport and operating flights between Bristol and Brussels, the route will also offer extensive onward connectivity options for passengers.
"The service will appeal to passengers whether travelling for business or leisure. It offers opportunities for inbound visitors using Bristol as a gateway to the region.
"With frequent travel connections, inbound tourists will be able to experience the vibrant cities of Bristol and Bath, and the host of iconic tourist attractions and beautiful coastline we have in the region. We look forward to developing our close partnership with Brussels Airlines further in the future."
Brussels Airlines now connects five cities in the UK with Brussels, the capital of Europe.
Next to Bristol, the airline’s network also includes Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Manchester.
Look no driver!
Bristol Airport hosted a breakfast business meeting to talk about futuristic driverless vehicles.
It introduced the Capri autonomous pod giving people an opportunity to better understand the future of robotic vehicles.
Bristol Airport CEO Dave Lees highlighted the opportunities that flying creates for millions by connecting people in an international world and giving people freedom.
Balanced alongside this however the airport also has a key responsibility in ensuring that this is achieved in a responsible manner including moving quicker towards a lower carbon future.
Capri project manager George Lunt, of AECOM, said airports are poised for the roll-out of connected and autonomous vehicles.
Westfield Technology Group CEO Julian Turner did the technical and development details.
Capri has been working with Bristol Airport during the past six months to develop a business case for autonomous pods on its site.
A phased approach that will progress with improvements in the technical capability of autonomous vehicles is being considered.
This work has included passenger engagement and questionnaires, led and developed by the University of West England.
The pod’s first public appearance will take place in later this year at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a diverse estate that includes retail, recreation, residential and business centres.
This will be followed by a trial around The Mall at Cribbs Causeway.
Mr Lunt,said: “Connected and autonomous vehicles are predicted to make a huge impact on society, but require significant research and development to support their future commercial use."With a wide range of potential markets for on-demand mobility services, our project has clear economic benefits that will inform the business cases for these types of schemes.
"Our work with Bristol Airport is an important stage of the project as we look in detail at the underlying operating models required to deliver a viable service.”
A large number of consortium partners are based in the West of England, putting the region at the forefront of this rapidly developing sector.
Capri was awarded multi-million funding from Innovate UK and the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) for industry-led research and development projects on CAVs.
PHOTO: From left George Lunt; West of England mayor Tim Bowles, Julian Turner and Dave Lees
A decade of difference
A newly published report has highlighted a decade of transformational change at Bristol Airport.
The Annual Monitoring Report published on the airport’s web site at www.bristolairport.co.uk shows that while passenger numbers have continued to increase, the number of flights in 2018 was only marginally above the 2008 total.
During the same period, the number of destinations served has significantly increased to nearly 130 across 30 countries, connecting people from our region across the globe.
This has enabled more than 30 per cent more passengers to fly today from their local airport to visit friends and family, undertake educational trips, travel on business as well as supporting individuals to broaden their experiences including visiting new destinations as well as taking a break or holiday.
The airport now represents the key aviation gateway for visitors to the region for business, education or leisure.
The passenger experience has been transformed through a significant investment in new facilities at the airport which have culminated in Bristol becoming a European leader for its airport.
At the same time the airport has actively worked towards improvements in reducing its environmental footprint including halving the CO2 emissions per passenger, reduction in waste, with zero waste going into landfill and waste recycling doubling.
Public transport has seen a five per cent share increase in passengers use with a million passengers alone using the upgraded A1 Flyer service between Bristol Airport and the city each year, and 500 bus services operating to and from the airport each day.
A phased development programme to meet passenger demand, has taken place during the past ten years and Bristol Airport in 2018 experienced nine consecutive years of growth.
This demand is forecast to continue in 2019, with passenger numbers expected to exceed more than nine million for the first time in the airport’s history. Since 2010 over £225 million has been invested in terminal passenger facilities.
In December 2018 Bristol Airport submitted a planning application to North Somerset Council seeking permission to increase capacity to handle up to 12 million passengers a year by the mid-2020s.
The proposed development includes new infrastructure, improvements to existing terminal and road facilities, and operational changes to ensure the airport can continue to meet demand for air travel to and from the south west of the UK well into the next decade.
Annual traffic through the terminal is currently limited to 10 million passengers under the current planning permission.
The proposals represent the first practical step towards an exciting vision to develop the region’s international gateway and working towards becoming a carbon neutral airport.
Bristol Airport chief executive officer Dave Lees said: “The transformation over the last 10 years highlights the growing importance of the airport to the region it serves.
"The airport provides a greater range of destinations with increased choice than ever before, while it has made progress towards a more sustainable future.
"Looking forward Bristol Airport will need to actively work towards a lower carbon future in parallel with its aspirations to support its growth as a key economic generator in the region.
"The latest CCC (Climate Change Commission) report underpins the importance of the issue of climate change and the level of ambition which aviation needs to meet moving forward through the adoption of new technologies, improvements in air traffic management including airspace redesign, newer aircraft including quieter more efficient engines, investment in research and development while accepting that carbon offsetting and carbon capture will also have to play a part in achieving the recommended target of a net zero UK emissions by 2050.
"Bristol Airport recognises this challenge and will be publishing its Sustainable Growth Strategy this year along with a carbon road map to deliver carbon neutrality.”
Bristol unites Dubai via Amsterdam
Bristol Airport hosted a group of business and leisure agents visiting Dubai for a four-day visit this month.
In collaboration with KLM the group experienced Bristol Airport’s facilities, the inflight product, the ease of connecting through Amsterdam hub airport and showcasing Dubai as a destination available from Bristol Airport.
In the past month KLM added 10,000 additional seats between Bristol and Amsterdam for this summer, commencing from Monday, June 24.
The extra capacity will be provided by upgrading the aircraft operating on the weekday service to a Boeing 737 aircraft, providing an additional 32 seats per flight.
KLM currently operates four daily flights to Amsterdam from Bristol where passengers are able to take advantage of 162 KLM destinations worldwide.
Bristol Airport business development and corporate relationship manager Dan Mills said: “It was a wonderful opportunity to show our business and leisure agents the ease of using Amsterdam airport to connect to other long-haul destinations.
"We were guests of Dubai Tourist Board and they provided a range of activities highlighting the best Dubai has to offer, including a desert safari, visit to souks and the Burgh Khalifa experience with the opportunity of soaking up the exotic and cultural atmosphere of the area.
"It was a great opportunity to showcase the facilities at Bristol Airport and the vital role it plays in the region for passengers choosing to fly-local and not drive to use London airports.”
In 2019 Bristol Airport is investing more than £60 million in customer enhancements and development projects to include car parks, terminal, catering and airline facilities.
Plans are already well progressed for further growth in 2019 and beyond, building on a successful 2018 which saw 8.6 million passengers use the Airport.
The success of the airport is clearly linked to the strong economy in the South West region supporting business, inbound tourism and leisure markets.
Forecast to serve more than nine million passengers 2019, Bristol is the ninth busiest airport in the UK, and England’s third largest regional airport operating to 126 direct routes globally.
PHOTO: Dan Mills is pictured second from right enjoying the atmosphere of the Souk with the agents
PEDAL POWER: UK Border Force people peddling 500 miles in 24 hours to raise monies for the Alzheimer Society and Bristol Airport charity of the year Great Western Air Ambulance Charity. The Alzheimer’s Society is the only UK charity that campaigns for change, funds research to find a cure and supports people living with dementia today. GWAA provide emergency care to people who are in a state so critical that they require the specialist skills at the scene of the accident or medical incident and are entirely funded by voluntary contributions. Passengers in departure lounge happily donated
SECURITY PATROL: Airport security uses CCTV to scan the perimeters of the Bristol Airport
Bristol Airport litter pickers on spring clean
Volunteers from Bristol Airport completed a litter pick of neighbouring roads and public areas.
Staff took a couple of hours out from their normal day jobs to clear litter from around the perimeter of the 196 hectare site.
Teams from planning, development, terminal operations, marketing, finance, engineering, maintenance, ground transportation, motor transport and others joined forces and collected more than 30 bags of waste.
Some of the more unusual items included old wellington boots, towels, and even tyres were found on the grass verges and in lay-bys!
Bristol Airport chief executive officer Dave Lees said: “It was a great effort by everyone who joined in with the litter pick, the team spirit was fantastic.
"It was my first litter pick since joining Bristol Airport and it was incredible to see the amount of waste collected in such a short space of time.
"Knowing that we were helping to remove litter was a very worthwhile activity and an invaluable way of spending two hours in the local community.”
Bristol Airport is committed to waste management and in 2018 the airport remained a zero-landfill airport recycling and waste management improvements on site continue.
This recently included installing an extra water refill station in the departure lounge, bringing the total of three water refill stations in the terminal.
This is supported by all catering outlets in the terminal providing ‘fill up for free’ water top-ups for passengers using their own bottles.
Bristol Airport continues to reduce carbon emissions across the airport site in order to achieve its objective to be carbon neutral by 2030 by measuring its energy use across the site and seeking to limit emissions.
A range of actions are taking place to reduce the carbon intensity of the airport infrastructure by measuring its success by reducing per passenger carbon emissions.
Further litter pick collections will be arranged throughout the year by the Bristol Airport team.
Easter holiday getways
More than 400,000 passengers, that is an average of 27,000 passengers per day, will be using Bristol Airport this Easter holiday from Saturday to Sunday, April 6-21.
Top destinations this Easter are Canary Islands, Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia with the hub airports such as Amsterdam, Paris and Brussels remaining popular offering world-wide connections.
City breaks to Gerona, Seville, Bilbao and Porto are seeing an increase in demand.
The long-haul destinations of Cancun (Mexico) and Orlando (Florida) continue to attract high passenger volumes and flights started earlier this year ahead of previous years to meet passenger demand.
But it’s not all one-way traffic.
Bristol Airport is expecting an influx of visitors from around the UK and overseas as travellers head for the South West to catch up with friends and family or enjoy the region’s attractions.
Bristol Airport business development director Nigel Scott said: “We are seeing a strong increase in passengers wishing to go away for a weekend city break or to enjoy some early sunshine, and the Easter holiday period is a great opportunity for this.
"We have been busy over the winter season preparing for the summer getaway and various development projects in the terminal have been completed ahead of the summer season."The work includes opening new restaurants, refurbishment of existing restaurants and improvements in the car parks including completion of the multi-storey car park due to open shortly.
"We are not standing still and are continuing to look at passenger
enhancements in the terminal and car parks in the coming months.”
Passengers are advised to arrive at least two hours ahead of their flight’s scheduled departure to ensure they have time to check in, clear security and board their flight.
Passengers are also advised to check roadworks or travel congestion and plan their journey accordingly over the busy Easter getaway.
A new Frankie & Benny’s restaurant opened in Bristol Airport’s departure lounge this week.
Frankie & Benny’s offers a full menu from breakfast to lunch and dinner specialising in food inspired by New York Italian cuisine including extensive gluten free options, a full cocktail and bar range as well as great children’s meals.
Having invested more than £225 million in new infrastructure and facilities since 2010, Bristol Airport is well positioned to serve passengers across the South West of the UK and provides a gateway to the region for international visitors.
Bristol Airport head of commercial development Kate Ridgers said: “We are delighted Frankie & Benny’s restaurant has opened at Bristol Airport.
"After market research and passenger feedback we know passengers start their trip as soon as they arrive at the airport.
"We wanted to offer an extended choice of menu to all passengers ahead of boarding their flight, providing a great place to relax and dine in an exciting new environment.”
Bristol Airport is the ninth largest airport in the UK and the fifth largest airport outside of London.
In 2018 more than 8.6 million passengers used the Airport with planning approvals now in place for 10 million passengers per annum.
Mapping route to uni via Bristol Airport
Universities from across the south west of England and South Wales met at Bristol Airport this week as part of a partnership to provide an improved welcome to international students arriving at the region’s major international gateway.
Representatives of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Bath Spa, Cardiff, Exeter and the West of England teamed up with Bristol Airport to discuss a joint approach to ensure the growing number of international students receive the best possible start to their overseas study experience.
According to figures from the UK Council for International Student Affairs, more than 400,000 international students attend universities in the UK, with institutions in South West England and South Wales accounting for more than one tenth of the total.
The default choice for many international students is to fly to London airports due to a lack of awareness of the frequent daily flights between Bristol and Amsterdam which provide connections to hundreds of destinations worldwide.
Research from the Higher Education Policy Institute found that international students contribute more than £20 billion to the UK economy. This includes tuition fees, knock-on effects across the economy, and spending by visiting friends and relatives. Other benefits include future investment, business and trade links, and the wider cultural and societal benefits associated with a more diverse population.
Bristol Airport business development director Nigel Scott said: “We recognise the value international students bring to our region, so it is important that we offer a warm welcome.
"By working with the universities, we can make sure that first impressions are positive for students when they arrive in the UK for the first time.”
UWE global centre head Kelly Cotter said: “Travelling to another country to study can be daunting, so we are delighted to be working with Bristol Airport to extend a very warm welcome to our city to international students as soon as they touch down.
"Working in collaboration with Bristol Airport and the region’s universities, we want to encourage more students to use the fantastic facilities and links the airport has to offer, helping to make the international student journey as stress free as possible.”
Pioneering 21st century check-in
Passengers travelling from Bristol Airport could be pioneers for a new check-in system which allows them to go between countries without additional paperwork and/or security checks.
SelfPass biometrics solution from Collins Aerospace is among the first to connect multiple airlines, airports and countries.
A biometric, single-enrollment identification streamlines the passenger’s outbound and return journey at multiple airports
SelfPass was on display at Passenger Terminal EXPO
It is being going to be tried out at Dublin airport and allows passengers to use a single enrolment in multiple countries.
Passengers are already taking advantage of a streamlined journey at Bristol Airport with multiple biometric checkpoints, making the process easier from the time they check-in for their flight to the time they board.
When SelfPass launches in Dublin this month, passengers will be the first to take advantage of the multi-country solution.
Global Airport Systems vice president for Collins Aerospace Christopher Forrest said: ”Dublin and Bristol airports are changing the way passengers travel and making the process easier and more efficient.
“For example, it takes less than one second to capture and process a passenger’s facial image and eliminates the need to repeatedly present travel documents.
“We see this as another major leap forward for our biometric technology to play a key role in making the connected aviation ecosystem a reality.”
At Bristol, the new trial will biometrically enable multiple touchpoints, including:
The initial trial will be extended to include:
Website and mobile enrollment
Bristol Airport chief operating officer Graeme Gamble said: “The passenger growth at Bristol Airport is increasing and we are looking at using technology like the Collins Aerospace biometric solution set to help make our airport a high-quality experience for our customers.
“The cooperation of Collins and the Bristol Airport team is making Bristol a leader in airport innovation and customer service.”
Bristol best airport in Europe
Bristol Airport has been awarded the title of Best Airport in Europe for airports in the five to 15 million passengers per annum category.
Airports Council International (ACI) World revealed the winners of its world-renowned Airport Service Quality Awards which recognises those airports around the world that delivers the best customer experience in the opinion of their own passengers.
The Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme is the world’s leading airport passenger service and benchmarking programme measuring passengers’ satisfaction across 37 key performance indicators.
During 2018 quarterly surveys were completed, asking passengers to rate their experience through the airport these factors included security, cleanliness and ambience.
Bristol Airport chief executive officer Dave Lees said; “We are delighted to announce that ACI have recognised Bristol Airport as a winner in the 2018 ASQ European 5-15 million passenger category.
"This is the first year we have won the award and it is an outstanding achievement which highlights the dedicated and continued hard work of all the teams at Bristol Airport.
"This award follows on from last year’s achievement, judged by a panel of independent experts at ACI Europe’s annual gala dinner in Brussels, being voted the Best Airport in Europe 5-10 million passenger category.
"Highlighting Bristol’s investment in facilities to enhance the customer experience, public transport improvements and special assistance initiatives such as being an ‘autism friendly’ airport.”
EUROPE TRAVELLING: Click image to go to
Government advice site.
easyJet plane plus boat trip for pupils
Pupils from Fairfield School in Backwell, North Somerset had an appointment with history when they flew from Bristol Airport on an early morning flight to Belfast to see the Titanic Exhibition.
Year 5 and 6 pupils, who studied 20th century history in the autumn are enjoying this term’s topic of ice and fire, with the visit to Belfast combining both topics in a truly memorable day.
Headmistress Lesley Barton said: “A very early start saw some sleepy children arriving at Bristol Airport at 5am to take the 7am Easyjet flight to Belfast.
"Once there they had a guided tour of the Titanic Exhibition and went aboard the ss Nomadic, which was the tender for the Titanic.
“They saw the slipway where the famous ship was launched and loved the interactive galleries, special effects and full-scale reconstructions and we have had some really excited children on the return journey having seen something they will remember for the rest of their lives.
“The children's enthusiasm, curiosity, interest and exemplary behaviour drew compliments and lovely comments from all the people they came across during the day, from the Easyjet crew, who gave them a special mention over their announcement system, to the staff at the exhibition, who overran with the guided tour because they were having such a good time with the children.”
Fairfield PNEU School provides an outstanding day school and nursery for boys and girls aged from 2 to 11 years of age.
NO FLY ZONE. In December 2018, hundreds of flights were cancelled at Gatwick Airport following reports of drone sightings close to the runway. The incident caused major travel disruption, affecting approximately 140,000 passengers and more than 1,000 flights. It was the biggest disruption since ash from an Icelandic volcano shut the airport in 2010. The RAF withdrew on January 3 2019 after Gatwick spent £5 million on a system to prevent any potential terrorist attacks. During the crisis, it had been reported that the army had been deployed and would be using the Drone Dome – an Israeli-developed counter UAS system – at Gatwick. The Ministry of Defence later confirmed that the RAF Regiment had been deployed and were using an alternative system as the Israeli one had not yet been delivered. Thanks to Bristol Airport plane spotters for photo.
Bristol Airport jobs fairs
Bristol Airport is hosting two new jobs fairs to showcase the range of job opportunities on offer in its industry.
The airport will be teaming up with business partners based across its site at the two events – one in February and one in March, giving prospective candidates the chance to find out more about the different roles available and the skills and experience required.
Approximately 4,000 people are employed at the airport, which handled more than 8.7 million passengers in 2018.
But, with approval to develop facilities to handle up to 10 million passengers per annum in the future, the workforce is forecast to grow.
The jobs fairs will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for anyone interested in working at the airport, with many of the different employers on site represented, including security provider, ICTS, food travel experts - SSP and The Restaurant Group (TRG), ground-handling specialists, DHL and Swissport and duty-free shopping operator, World Duty Free.
Jobs on offer range across customer service, security, catering and retail, many of which are shift work roles on a permanent and fixed term seasonal basis and will be held 10am-1pm on the following dates:
Tuesday, February 26, at Weston College, Knightstone Campus; and
Thursday, March 7, at South Bristol Skills Academy, Hengrove Park.
To find out more about these events and,register interest click HERE.
More than 8.6 million passengers used Bristol Airport in 2018.
The record annual passenger number represents a 6.2 per cent increase year on year, equating to more than 400,000 additional passengers, and a ninth consecutive year of growth for England’s third largest regional airport.
Both charter and scheduled airline sectors contributed to the rise with the number of direct routes served reaching 125.
Airlines including easyJet, and Thomas Cook launched new routes in 2018, with destinations including Sofia, Bulgaria, Ostersund, Cyprus and Larnaca and airlines added additional capacity on existing routes.
TUI’s long haul destinations remained a popular choice through the year adding to the growth.
Traffic over hub airports such as Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Paris and Frankfurt remained strong, with many passengers making onward connections to long-haul flights.
Continued growth is forecast in 2019, with passenger numbers expected to exceed the nine million mark for the first time in the airport’s history.
In December 2018 Bristol Airport submitted a planning application to North Somerset Council seeking permission to increase capacity to handle up to 12 million passengers a year by the mid-2020s.
The proposed development includes new infrastructure, improvements to existing terminal and road facilities, and operational changes to ensure the airport can continue to meet demand for air travel to and from the South West of the UK well into the next decade.
Annual traffic through the terminal is currently limited to 10 million passengers under the current planning permission.
The proposals represent the first practical step towards an exciting vision to develop the region’s international gateway to serve up to 20 million passengers a year by the mid-2040s.
Bristol Airport business development director Nigel Scott said: "These figures demonstrate that demand for air travel to and from the South West and South Wales continues to grow, with more passengers than ever selecting to use their local airport.
"We recently asked passengers for feedback on why they selected to fly from Bristol Airport, friendly, clean, welcoming, convenient and efficient were reasons behind passengers choice.
"We expect this trend to continue throughout 2019, and the improvements we are making to the whole Airport will further enhance the experience for our passengers now and in the future.”
Free drop-off at Bristol Airport
In response to calls for action from neighbouring communities, Bristol Airport will open an on-site waiting area for taxis, alongside a free-of-charge drop off facility for private vehicles.
The move follows concerns raised by local residents about the volume of cars waiting in local roads, lanes and laybys in order to avoid paying parking charges.
This issue featured prominently in feedback in recent consultations on the future development of the airport.
Residents of villages around the airport site reported increased problems with inconsiderate parking by taxis and other vehicles causing disturbance and even obstructing access to properties.
A commitment to open an authorised waiting area for taxis, combined with a free-of-charge drop off facility for all vehicles - as an alternative to the existing Express Drop Off - is included in the airport&rsquo