Bristol Airport
 

For pre-2019 Bristol Airport stories look in the archives or click HERE. For holiday reviews of flights from Bristol Airport look in the Travel blogs. To read latest to Egypt click HERE.

2022

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WET, WET, WET Landing at Bristol Airport photo by Keith Rendell taken in May 2022

Mitie £3m renewal contract at Bristol

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  • Mitie has renewed its baggage screening contract with Bristol Airport for three years, with the option to extend for a further two years, following a competitive retender process

  • The new contract, worth £1 million a year, builds on Mitie’s experience delivering services for the airport for over 20 years

 

Mitie has won a new £3 million contract with Bristol Airport (BRS) extending its relationship for a further three years.

The contract is to provide baggage screening services and has the option to extend for an additional two years.

Mitie, which has provided services to the airport formore than 20 years, was awarded the contract following a successful competitive retender process.

Mitie will continue to deliver behind-the-scenes security services by monitoring thousands of pieces of check-in luggage for around nine million passengers flying from the airport each year.

The screening process will allow Mitie staff to ensure that prohibited items, such as flammable liquids, are not loaded onto aircraft, ensuring the safety of passengers and employees.

Mitie will work closely with the airport to identify opportunities for innovation and efficiencies to further enhance the services that are currently provided. For example, Mitie is working with BRS to look at ways to build on the screening services at the airport by using technology, people, and data to develop a new industry leading method of baggage screening.

This renewal builds on Mitie’s aviation expertise, with a range of different contracts at Heathrow, Birmingham, London City, London Stansted and Belfast City Airports.

Mitie business services managing director Jason Towse said: “Having provided services to Bristol Airport for over 20 years, we are delighted to be continuing our strong relationship with this new contract, as we continue to deliver professional screening services.

"Using our expertise in the aviation industry, we look forward to protecting millions more passengers passing through the busiest airport in the South West in the years to come.”

Bristol Airport chief operating officer Graeme Gamble said: “We are delighted that Mitie has been successful in renewing its baggage screening contract, continuing a longstanding relationship as a key business partner of the airport.

"The award of this new contract follows a competitive tender process and we are looking forward to working with Mitie over the next three years to provide excellent service to deliver professional screening services for our customers.

"Mitie has been a valued business partner for more than two decades and this new contract will ensure the ongoing high levels of baggage screening will continue in the years ahead.”  

Founded in 1987, Mitie is an awarding winning UK facilities management company employing 75,000 people nationwide.

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Bigger not better, say campaigners

A High Court hearing will be held this year for campaigners to challenge the decision to expand Bristol Airport.

Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) raised arguable grounds following the planning inspectorate's decision to permit expansion, a judge has ruled.

The expansion would allow the airport to increase its annual capacity from 10 million to 12 million passengers.

Airport bosses said they were aware of the case and would continue to defend the planning inspectorate's decision.

Government planning inspectors granted permission on appeal in February after the plans were rejected by North Somerset Council in 2020 on environmental grounds.

Bristol Airport's chief executive Dave Lees said the expansion would help to reduce the millions of road journeys made to London airports each year and said the airport would work with the community 'to deliver sustainable growth'.

BAAN has raised more than £20,000, through crowd funding, to pay for legal costs to support its appeal.

It said airport expansion would be damaging for local people and the environment, citing a rise in road traffic, increased noise and air pollution and an "inevitable rise in carbon emissions".

Group spokesman Stephen Clarke said: "The idea that airports can just continue to expand without limit, in the middle of a climate and ecological crisis, is so obviously wrong.

"We are delighted that the judge agrees we have arguable grounds that the inspector's decision has errors in law and we look forward to the full hearing."

If judges at the planning statutory review - to be held on a date yet to be determined - rule in favour of BAAN's arguments, they could quash planning permission for the airport expansion.

The planning inspectorate would then need to reconsider its decision.

The planning inspectorate said at the time it recognised the 'major disappointment' campaigners would have, but the benefits would outweigh the harm to green belt land.

A number of local officials and MPs, including North Somerset's Liam Fox and Bath's Wera Hobhouse, criticised the decision to overrule the council following a three-month enquiry.

However, North Somerset Council said that it would not pursue a legal challenge to the ruling.

Former council leader Don Davies said they had 'reluctantly' accepted legal advice that a challenge would carry a high level of risk and result in 'significant further costs'.

He said: "A legal challenge through the High Court can only be successful if the inspectors can be shown to have erred in law.

"Unfortunately our disagreement with the inspectors' conclusions on the planning merits is not a relevant ground for challenge,"

He said that were the original decision to be quashed, it was highly likely follow-up planning permission would subsequently be granted.

"We cannot justify risking more public money on a process that is unlikely to change anything."

A Bristol Airport spokesperson said: "We await the outcome of the forthcoming hearing in which we continue to defend the grant of the permission by the planning inspectorate."

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SKY LINE:These images in the control tower and cockpit are by Karl Bundy 

Andy Markham shared this photo on route to Heraklion on UZMF at Bristol Airport this month

TAKE OFF 2: Andy Markham shared this photo on route to Heraklion on UZMF at Bristol Airport this month

TOP VANTAGE POINT: Morning view from Air Traffic Control at Bristol Airport taken by Ian Gauld and shared from Bristol Airport Spotting Facebook ground

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TAKE OFF 1: Germany budget airline Eurowings spotted at Bristol by Ross Mayl. It currently offers flights to Prague and Barcelona

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VACANcIES BOARD

Bristol Airport is hosting a jobs fair in March with nearly 500 permanent and seasonal vacanies on offer.

The airport will be teaming up with other employers based across the site for an event on Thursday, March 3, giving prospective candidates the chance to find out more about the variety of permanent roles available including customer service, hospitality, retail, airline handling and security.

The Careers Fair will also provide an insight into seasonal roles, ideal for students or those who just want a taster of working at the airport, with more than 400 positions being created in the lead up to the summer peak season which starts at the end of March.

Some of the  employers on site represented will be:

  • security provider – ICTS;

  • travel catering specialist – SSP; and

  • duty free shopping operator - WDF.

Other companies present will include Swissport, DHL, Jet2, Mitie, Superdrug, InMotion, Monsoon, Hilton, Europcar, Claires Accessories, and special assistance company, OCS. 

Bristol Airport people director,Debbie Hartshorn said: "As travel restrictions ease, we are now able to see the road to recovery for the aviation industry.

"With a very busy summer season ahead of us, we will be hosting our first face-to-face jobs fair since the pandemic showcasing a wide range of employers and  hundreds of interesting roles to suit people with different skills and experiences.”

“No two days working at an airport are the same, and our teams need a good mix of  those starting out in their working career and those with more life experience.

"If you enjoy working as part of a team, are self-motivated and take pride in a job well done, then we could have the perfect  opportunity for you. Working at Bristol Airport offers endless possibilities, and you will have a brilliant team behind you who will support you on your journey.”

  • Jobs fair is at Lulsgate House at Bristol Airport on Thursday, March 3 noon-3pm

 

To register your interest and book your free travel to the event go to: https://www.bristolairport.co.uk/about-us/careers/recruitment-events.

Expansion to take-off

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On Wednesday afternoon, February 2, the Planning Inspectorate announced the go-ahead for the expansion of Bristol Airport.
Bristol Airport CEO Dave Lees said: “Bristol Airport welcomes the decision of the Planning Inspectorate.
“The decision is excellent news for our region’s economy, allowing us to create thousands of new jobs in the years ahead and provide more choice for our customers, supporting inbound tourism, and reducing the millions of road journeys made to London airports each year.
“We will now push ahead with our multi-million-pound plans for net zero operations by 2030 and look forward to working with stakeholders and the community to deliver sustainable growth.”
But Bristol Airport Action Network tweeted on hearing the news: “BAAN have learned in the past hour that Bristol Airport has won its appeal for expansion. Naturally we are all outraged by this news & will be posting an official response once the full decision has been analysed. Love to all who opposed this unwanted appeal. We will not give up!”
The go-ahead by Government planning inspectors comes against a background of fighting between those 'opposed' and those 'for' the growth of the airport and after a massive public planning inquiry where all had the opportunity to put their case.
It began with North Somerset Council refusing planning permission and Bristol Airport launching an appeal. 
Patrick Keating, Lib Dem ward councillor for Blagdon & Churchill, also tweeted: “This decision flies in the face of local democracy, and am pleased to hear North Somerset Council leader Don Davies state the council will be seeking grounds to challenge the inspectors report.”
Bristol Airport will be able to expand after it won its appeal against North Somerset Council's decision to refuse planning permission.
The planning inspectorate's decision has been hailed 'excellent news' for the region's economy by the airport, while it was described as 'devastating"' by opponents of the expansion.
It will see Bristol Airport's capacity increase from 10 million passengers to 12 million passengers a year.
The airport says it will also create around 800 new jobs.
As part of the plans, the terminal will be made bigger and a multi-storey car park will be built to hold as many as 2,500 cars. The airport also plans to improve bus routes.
But the plans have proved controversial, with campaigners saying the expansion would be harmful to the environment.
North Somerset Council rejected the proposals in February 2020, despite its own officers saying they should be recommended for approval.
Bristol Airport Action Network campaigner Stephen Clarke said his group will be speaking to a legal team about the decision.
He said: "We think there's a number of reasons that this decision could be unlawful and is therefore challengeable in the high courts.
"We had three experts who gave evidence saying that this was disastrous. They didn't listen to the 11,000 people who put in comments.
"They haven't listened to local politicians. They've listened to the owners of Bristol Airport and they've just gone for business as usual and we cannot carry on with business as usual", he added.
And North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox said the decision was 'hugely disappointing'.
North Somerset Council leader Don Davies also expressed his 'extreme disappointment' and said the decision after a 36-day inquiry 'flies in the face of local democracy'.
He added: “It completely undermines our vision for a green North Somerset, our determination to tackle the climate emergency and the target we’ve set for the area to be carbon neutral by 2030. 

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“We face a climate emergency and to countenance yet more leisure flights that predominate from this airport is completely unacceptable from one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

“The airport’s important role in the region’s economy would have continued without expanding beyond its currently 10 million passengers a year limit.

“We’re studying the inspectors’ decision to see if there are any grounds to challenge and we’re working hard regardless to hold the airport to account to deliver their promises to reduce the carbon impact of the airport’s operations, especially around non-car travel to the airport and the greenwashing promises of the airline industry to decarbonise, which in reality will not happen in this decade.”

Nailsea People Facebook followers added their comments.

Mick Graham said: "Great news. Remember the decision to refuse the planning application was contrary to the recommendation of the council’s own planning officers!"

Ian Thompson said: "If you lived under the flight path and couldn't have your windows open in the summer, let alone the increased traffic and pollution it generates maybe you would have a different view."

Chris Roly said: "Where there is big money involved people become blinkered to environmental concerns. Profit is king."

Jay Bear Jones said: "Bristol needs a proper international airport to allow Bristol as a business to expand, otherwise we will continue to lose business to the likes of Cardiff and Birmingham."
June Constable said: "Awful just awful."
Tina Osborne said: "And the government keep banging on about climate change, if this was the case it would not have permission to go ahead. More planes. More damage to the environment."
Andy Heath said: "Great news. People working there must have had a pretty torrid time over the pandemic. Also, good for the West Country economy."
Richard Sawyer said: "Angry beyond words. Net zero by 2030? I will never believe a word of that. Fair enough that homes need building but turning over more land to that terrible airport, causing yet more congestion on the A38 and surrounding roads don't get me started."
Paul Moran said: "Great news! Jobs! Economic growth! Bristol becomes an international business centre. The right decision. NSC wasting our money on appeals - councillors should have to pay the costs out of their own funds."
Jeremy Blatchford asked who will pay for the cost of the inquiry and planning delay?
John French said: "At the Inquiry applications for costs were made by BAL against NSC and by NSC against BAL. These applications will be the subject of separate decisions.” 
To read the 118-page decision letter in full click HERE.

AIRBORNE ACTION: Rob Nikodem posted this image of an easyJet Airbus taking off on the Bristol Airport Spotting page. We thought it was too good not to share and Rob said he thought it is his best shot yet from BRS taken from Winters Lane viewpoint in January 2022
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£2.6million investment in departure lounge

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A major redevelopment project to improve the airside departure lounge at Bristol Airport started this week, Monday, January 24.
The three-month project, which will include an overall investment of £2.6 million and create dozens of new jobs, is expected to be completed in time for the Easter holiday getaway.
The significant investment will enhance the shopping and dining experience for customers before boarding their flights. 
As well as enhanced facilities to the retail and eateries in the departure lounge, improvements will also be made to the design of the retail units to provide a smoother and easier shopping experience. 
The improvements to the retail facilities will see WHSmith expand its current unit to incorporate their technology brand InMotion. 
Acquired by WHSmith in 2018, and following the introduction of the brand across UK airports, InMotion is now the largest airport-based technology retailer in the world. 
The opening of the store at Bristol Airport will bring a unique shopping experience to customers and will include a wide range of mobile accessories, the most advanced electronics including noise-cancelling and wireless headphones, speakers, tablets, digital action cameras, fitness trackers and portable power.
As part of the development, SSP UK & Ireland, a leading operator of food and beverage outlets in travel locations, will be operating a range of units to cater for passengers at the airport. 
This includes a new Tortilla, an award-winning Mexican restaurant, where customers will be able to experience dishes including burritos, tacos, quesadillas, salads and vegetarian dishes.

SSP will also be relaunching the airside bar with a new exciting and vibrant brand that will reflect the heritage of the region, and they will be upgrading their Cabin bar and Ritazza coffee shop.

The airport’s fashion sports retailer, JD Sports, will also be upgrading and relocating its premisses to a much larger unit in the departure lounge offering a wider range of sports clothing, footwear and accessories.

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The enhancements will also see global Foreign Exchange operator, Global Exchange Group launch operations at the airport.
Bristol Airport head of commercial Tom Hack said:  “This is an exciting project and opportunity for Bristol Airport and its customer facilities. 
"The £2.6million investment in the enhancements of the commercial amenities shows a very clear sign of the confidence our commercial partners have in Bristol Airport and vice versa. 
"The redevelopments will create dozens of new jobs to the local area as the airport sees a continued passenger growth since the Covid pandemic.
“Our customers’ holidays start in our departure lounge, and it is very important for us to provide them with the best possible experience. 
"We understand that our leisure and business customers have high expectations when travelling through Bristol Airport and we will continue to strive to meet their requirements. We are very confident that the investment and redevelopment in our departure lounge will provide a greater passenger experience as we offer new places to shop, eat, drink and relax before you fly.”

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READY FOR TAKE-OFF: Gary K James, of Bristol Planespotters group on Facebook, posted this photo taken at aiport of easyJet ready for take-off to Faro

2021

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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."

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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

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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

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Versus

programme officer, Joanna Vincent, on 07483 133 975 or emailing joanna.vincent@gateleyhamer.com.

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.​

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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. 

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Easyjet taking off from Bristol Airport.

'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.palmer@planninginspectorate.gov.uk and quote the case number 3259234.

Please leave a copy in the message box below or email to nailseapeople@gmail.com, thanks.

UPDATE: Public inquiry opens on Tuesday, July 20 and is scheduled to sit for 16 days

2020

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.

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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

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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:

Mainland Spain

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)

 

Canary Islands

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)

Balearic Islands

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)

Portugal

Faro – up to four weekly services (Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday)

Madeira – weekly Monday services

 

Italy

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)

Turkey

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

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Drip Coffee Pour

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

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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

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RED SKY: Beautiful photo by Mark Skewhan taken for the Bristol Airport plane-spotting group on Faceboo

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.

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“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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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

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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.

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easyJet inaugural flight Bristol to Hurg

Egyptian holidays

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
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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?

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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 nailseapeople@gmail.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.