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Airport fund for local projects

In the past 12 months more than 2,500 residents who live close to Bristol Airport have benefitted from its community fund.

It has shared a total of £140,000 in 2022 to support 43 projects with grants ranging from £850 to £10,000.

This includes money towards an outdoor play area for Winford Primary School; play equipment for Backwell Baby and Toddler Group; a beehive project for The Woodland Warrior Programme CIC and nature conservation equipment for the Avon Wildlife Trust.

Since it was set up a decade ago more than £1.4 million has been given.

Bristol Airport’s Local Community Fund management committee meet quarterly to discuss and make a decision on all applied projects.

The committee is made up of representatives from the airport, North Somerset Council and is independently chaired.

The fund’s purpose is to help mitigate the impact of the airport’s operations and to give something back to surrounding communities.

This includes the parishes of Winford, Wrington, Backwell, Brockley, Cleeve and Barrow Gurney.

Projects which could be eligible for support include initiatives to improvements to transport infrastructure, measures to reduce community severance, nature conservation, educational projects and local sustainability initiatives.

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Also, as part of the Local Community Fund is the Noise Insulation Scheme which helps mitigate the impact of aircraft and ground noise.

This scheme is set up to provide grants for new window installation for

families living close to the airport and this year Bristol Airport granted £61,000 plus to 25 individual residents in the local area.

For an application form go to

Busiest on Boxing Day

Bristol Airport is anticipating its busiest festive period for two years with up to 350,000 passengers planning to travel through the Airport during the Christmas period, from Friday, December 16, to  December until Tuesday, January 3.

One of the busiest days will fall on Monday, Decmber 26, when approximately 20,000 passengers will fly in and out of the airport.

During the lead up to Christmas, Lapland flights have proved popular for families wishing to experience a special family Christmas holiday.

A wide range of European and UK destinations continue to provide customers the choice and the opportunity to getaway and visit family and friends over the festive period.

The top destinations for customers will include Dublin, Amsterdam and Geneva.

Also, Bristol Airport will see its largest ever ski programme this winter with a new series of flights to Toulouse with Crystal Ski and TUI. 

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During the busy Christmas holiday period passengers are advised to allow extra journey time to the airport and to arrive at check-in at least a minimum of two hours prior to scheduled departure time. 

If travelling with presents passengers are asked to keep them unwrapped and check with the airline if wanting to take Christmas crackers away, as many airlines refuse to carry crackers on board the aircraft.

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Built by American trucking company

It looks live something out of a sci-fi film but it is the new fire engine at Bristol Airport.

The airport has added this new fire engine to its fleet of fire vehicles; a state of the art Oshkosh Striker 3.0.

Bristol is the first UK airport to take delivery of the third generation Oshkosh Striker ARFF vehicle.

Bristol Airport fire team is currently completing an intensive training course on the new 39 tonne vehicle which has the capabilities of carrying a four person crew.

It has a 700BHP engine and top speed of 72 mph.  

The vehicle carries 12,000 litres of water, 1,700 litres of foam and 7,500 litre per minute water pump.

Bristol Airport chief operating officer Graeme Gamble said: "Our priority is the safety of passengers and colleagues in all Bristol Airport operations, and we’re delighted to be the first airport in the UK to take delivery of such an advanced fire vehicle.  

“The fire and rescue service is a critical part of our operation, and the fire team are permanently on  call day and night and ready to respond to any eventuality.

"We wanted to ensure that the new appliance is equipped with the very latest in firefighting technology. A complex environment such as Bristol Airport requires a specially trained fire team with its own specialist equipment and we are delighted to have added the Striker to the Airport’s fire vehicle fleet.”

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Ryanair's biggest Bristol Airport schedule

Ryanair, Europe’s number one airline, announced this month its biggest ever Bristol schedule with 33 routes for summer 2023, including  exciting new European routes to Bydgoszcz, Porto, Marseille and Venice.

This unrivalled 10 per cent plus growth is underpinned by the addition of a fifth based aircraft, representing a $500m investment in the south-west region and delivering two enviro efficient ‘Gamechanger’ aircraft to Ryanair’s Bristol based fleet, which reduce fuel burn by 16 per and noise by 40 per cent.

Ryanair’s $500m investment in Bristol will also support 150 highly paid aviation jobs and 1,500 indirect jobs at Bristol airport.

Ryanair’s Bristol Summer ‘23 schedule will deliver:

  • One new based aircraft making five in total, including two Boeing 737 8-200 Gamechangers

  • $500m investment

  • 33 total routes including four new – Bydgoszcz (Poland two flights weekly), Porto (Portugal three weekly), Marseille (France three weekly) and Venice (Italy four weekly)

  • Increased frequencies on nine routes including Dublin, Limoges, Milan and Palma

  • More than 290 weekly flights

  • Supporting more than 1,600 jobs, including 150 direct jobs

While other airlines cancelled thousands of UK flights this summer, Ryanair prevailed as the UK’s most reliable and number one low fare airline, operating over 3,000 daily flights, and giving UK holidaymakers’ confidence in air travel.

Although Ryanair welcomes the UK Govt’s 50% APD cut for domestic travel from April ‘23, this reduction ignores the need to develop international connectivity which is fundamental for the growth of the UK economy and tourism.

Ryanair calls on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to fully abolish APD immediately for all travel, which would not only promote tourism but


support much needed connectivity to the UK, an island-based economy.

To celebrate its new Bristol schedule, Ryanair is launching a limited-time seat sale with fares from just £29.99 for travel from the beginning of April 2023 until end of October 2023  which must be booked by midnight Saturday, December 10, on

Ryanair DAC CEO Eddie Wilson, said: “With such a vast selection of sunny hotspots and city break destinations to choose from, UK holidaymakers can start booking their low fare summer holidays now on

“Ryanair is driving the UK’s economic recovery through our delivery of year-round tourism, regional investment and job creation.

“However, if UK tourism is to continue to grow, especially in regional UK locations like Bristol, the Govt should immediately scrap APD in full for all travel and provide incentives for airlines, like Ryanair, to stimulate growth and recovery for the UK (an island-based economy) and its regions.”

Bristol Airport CEO Dave Lees said: “We are delighted with Ryanair’s announcement increasing the 2023 flight programme to its largest ever schedule from Bristol Airport, this is a clear demonstration of confidence returning in the region for air travel.

“Expanding Ryanair’s route network and adding extra capacity to existing routes, gives customers in the south west easy and affordable access to air travel on an increasing number of destinations and flexibility of stay lengths, without the need to travel to other airports for their flights.

“Bristol Airport looks forward to working with Ryanair on developing their route network and also ensuring the increased use of quieter aircraft and more environmentally efficient operations in the future.”

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SUN GOING DOWN: Sunday sunset caught by Alex at Bristol Airport

Airport passengers get better facilities

The beginning of December marks the start of a nearly £4 million development for Bristol Airport's retail and catering facilities.
This is expected to run throughout the winter period and will see some new and exciting shops and eateries arriving to the airport.
The significant investment will deliver further improvements to the shopping and dining experience for customers before boarding their flights, as well as providing enhanced facilities to the retail and eateries in the departure lounge. 
Improvements will also be made to the design of some units.
The developments to the retail facilities include a refresh of the World Duty Free store, a completely new-look bar and restaurant and the opening of a Boots health and beauty store.  
Boots land at Bristol Airport this week, initially with a temporary store offering a limited range of products.  
However, all customers are able to access the full range of Boots’ products via the 'Click & Collect' service when ordering between 10 days and two weeks before travel.
In Spring 2023, a new larger, state of the art Boots retail unit will open after a significant investment. 
Boots’ new store will offer a wide range of products including travel essentials, toiletries, baby food and nappies, meal deals and health essentials including pain relief, vitamins, allergy tablets, make up, skincare, fragrances and much more.
Bristol Airport head of commercial Tom Hack said: "This is an exciting period for Bristol Airport and our customers. 

"The substantial investment in the enhancements to the departure lounge, including the opening of Boots health and beauty retailer this week shows a very clear sign of the confidence our commercial and catering partners have in Bristol Airport and vice versa. 

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"With Bristol Airport seeing the fastest customer recovery of any UK airport this year, the strong demand for travel demonstrates continued customer confidence in travelling. 
"Our customers’ departure lounge experience is an important part of the start to any holiday, and it is necessary for us to provide an exemplary environment. 
"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 evolution of our departure lounge will provide a greater customer experience as we offer new places to shop, eat, drink, and relax before you fly.”

New website takes off at Bristol Airport

Digital customer experience agency Great State is marking twelve years of strategic digital partnership with Bristol Airport with the launch of their new website, transforming the digital experience for their customers.
You can view the new website here
Bristol Airport is the fastest passenger recovering airport in the United Kingdom since the pandemic, forecast to register more than 8M passengers in 2022. 
For many, their first experience of the airport is the website which forms a crucial role in delivering the goal of seamless customer journeys.
The new website offers a new sleek modern design using best-in-breed technological solutions to improve speed, functionality and resilience. With the customer at the heart of the project, Great State carried out extensive user testing and research to guide and optimise the overall user experience for both desktop and mobile.
Bristol Airport head of marketing Isabelle Whiteman said: "We’re delighted to be launching our brand new website, bringing together a modern and fresh design with the introduction of new features and functionality to create an even more enjoyable user experience. 
"Whether it’s to get inspiration for a trip away, find information before flying, or to simply book parking, our new website makes it even easier, quicker and with a significantly enhanced mobile experience.”
Built on the Umbraco CMS platform, new improved features include a trip

finder tool for destination inspiration, real time information on arrivals and departures, as well as a new e-commerce landing page for booking airport parking.

Great State creative director Matt Powell said: "Our strategic digital partnership with Bristol Airport has remained solid over the years, and therefore we were a clear choice to redesign and overhaul the digital customer experience of the whole website. 

"Working closely with the Bristol Airport team we helped identify which components were most important to their customers, and originated a cleaner, clearer, more aspirational design system to bring them to life. 

"Another benefit of this creative work is that it will bring consistency to the end-to-end digital customer journey, strengthening the digital presence of the Bristol Airport brand beyond the website”

The new website reflects not only 12 years of digital advancement, but also the strength of a local, strategic partnership that will continue to serve the South West for years to come.

Isabelle added: "It’s been a real collaborative project, working with Great State who have been our digital agency for more than 10 years.

“They have transformed the design and user experience, creating an enjoyable experience for our customers and a robust platform from which we’ll continue to optimise and develop over the coming years.  

"We’re delighted with the end result”.

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BLUE BLACK: Look at that backdrop sky captured by Czech photographer and Bristol Plane Spotter David Dosoudil. Wow!

Bristol Airport down to earth charity support

A new partnership between Bristol Airport and the environment and community charity Groundwork will bring a host of benefits to the environment and the community in the coming months and years.  

With a key focus on working together to make the Goblin Combe estate, owned and managed by Groundwork South, a Centre for Sustainable Excellence, the partnership will see environmental and educational benefits, biodiversity and woodland management, conservation volunteering opportunities and enhanced employment & skills development opportunities for local people.  

One of the partnership’s first actions will be to commission a refresh of the Goblin Combe Woodland Management Plan.

The 130 acres of woodland in the Goblin Combe valley, located just south of Bristol, in north Somerset is both a Site of Nature Conservation Interest and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The Goblin Combe Environment Centre, comprising a 38-bed eco-lodge, Grade II listed cottage, a yurt, and its timber outdoor classroom will see new renewable energy technologies, and provide opportunities for a wider audience of users and beneficiaries to access nature, adventure and receive first class environmental education and behaviour change support which can be applied when visitors return home.

Following a period of closure during Covid-19 Pandemic, and some essential maintenance, Groundwork reopened the centre earlier this year, and are thrilled to be welcoming back schools and other visitors. 

Groundwork London & South executive director Lindy Kelly said:  “Alongside this important woodland management work, in 2023 we will be creating more opportunities for schools and other local groups to discover Goblin Combe, and to connect with and learn important things from this special place.

“The partnership with Bristol Airport will be instrumental in helping us to achieve this.” 

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Groundwork also specialise in delivering employment, skills and training initiatives, and will be working alongside Bristol Airport to offer a range of employment and training opportunities within the surrounding communities.”

Bristol Airport sustainability and corporate affairs director Simon Earles said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Groundwork to assist in providing educational learning, volunteering opportunities, training and skills initiatives at Goblin Combe.

“It is our aim to inspire the next generation of young people to take an interest in conservation and the woodland which will help them develop skills and learning for the future. 

“The collaboration will benefit both local people and colleagues at the airport alike.”

New luggage service lands at Bristol Airport

Jet2, easyJet and TUI customers can now check in their bags the evening before their morning flight

Customers flying with Jet2, easyJet and TUI can check in their hold luggage the evening before they fly.

Twilight check-in is a totally free service available seven days a week and allows customers to skip check-in on the morning of their flight and head straight through security.

By using this service, luggage will have already be sorted and will be ready for the departing flight.

It particularly provides customers who are staying overnight at the onsite Hampton by Hilton hotel, other local hotels or bed & breakfast’s peace of mind prior to an early flight departure.

Bristol Airport already ask travellers to arrive at the airport when airlines are advising passengers to check-in.

Arriving too early will lead to congestion and may put a strain on the operations of the earlier departures.

To help with the morning peak and in a bid to ease queues at check-in and security customers are being advised to use the Twilight/ Bag Drop Off service if flying out the following morning.

This service particularly assists customers who are staying overnight in the area. and Jet2holidays Twilight Check-in

One person in a party can drop off up to six people's bags. This can be done between 4.30 - 9pm the evening before any flight departing before 12pm the following day*.

More information go to Twilight Check-in™ |

easyJet Twilight Bag Drop

If customers have a flight that departs from Bristol Airport before midday, they are now able to check their bags in at Desk 24 between 4pm and 9pm the day before their departure*.

More information go to Cabin bags and hold luggage | easyJet

TUI Twilight Bag Drop

Customers flying before 8:30am can drop off their bags at the TUI Bag Drop desk the night before between 6:00 - 9:00pm*

More information go to Can I drop off my luggage the day before I fly? | Thomson now TUI.

Packed Luggage


  1. To use this service, customers will need to bring their passport and boarding passes along with them when checking their bags in the evening before; and

  2. Please check bag drop off times direct with your airline.


Bristol Airport head of customer operations Richard Thomasson said:  “We have seen a rapid increase in customers using Bristol Airport over the past two months after the huge pent-up demand for travel.

“We are now delighted to offer Twilight/ Drop Off bag service for flights departing with Jet2, easyJet and TUI. Having the option to check-in the night before will provide a much smoother passage on the morning of travel and deliver a seamless airport experience ahead of taking a well-earned summer holiday with friends and family.

“We are encouraging customers to take advantage of this service if they can and to check with their airline to find out more information on when their Twilight/ Bag Drop desks opens."

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Future of flight

Bristol Airport is part of a multi-million pound UK Government programme to build world first advanced electric flight ecosystem.

Looking a bit like a still from the film Blade Runner this is how aircraft of the future could look.
A new consortium of leading British aviation companies have been awarded £9.5m government funding to demonstrate the commercial and operational viability of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM).
And two flights of Vertical Aerospace’s emission-free VX4 eVTOL aircraft, operated by Virgin Atlantic, will take place between Bristol Airport to an airfield in South West England.
Flights are also planned at London Heathrow, London City airports and a new vertiport at a London General Aviation (GA) airport.
Vertical Aerospace, Virgin Atlantic, Atkins, Skyports and NATS, along with Connected Places Catapult and leading academic institutions Cranfield University and WMG, University of Warwick, have announced the creation of the Advanced Mobility Ecosystem Consortium.


Together, the organisations will develop key technology and infrastructure in a project that will significantly accelerate the introduction of AAM in the UK.
Other nations are racing to establish their own AAM ecosystems by 2025 – this project ensures the UK will be amongst the leaders in this new decarbonised form of transport.
The Future Flight Challenge is a UK Research & Innovation programme to help create the aviation industry of the future. 
More information available here Future flight challenge – UKRI

Bristol ranks 8th

Family Vacation

Bristol Airport has been ranked the eighth best airport in the country for flight punctuality, despite dozens of complaints from passengers of lengthy delays and flight cancellations in the last few months.
New research shows that in 2021, the average delay per flight at the airport was six minutes and six seconds. This means it had the eighth lowest delays time of any airport in the country for that year.
The best was Southend, which had an average delays of two minutes and 48 seconds, while the worst was Birmingham, which fell in 24th place with delays of 12 minutes and 24 seconds.
It comes despite repeated reports from Bristol Airport passengers about their experience of flying there. Some travellers have complained of 'carnage', with reports of people having flights delayed by more than 20 hours.
Bristol Airport has repeatedly apologised for delays and has blamed them on staff shortages and post-pandemic demand. 
A spokesperson for the airport previously told Bristol Live: "We've been working hard to meet the post Covid challenges, including recruiting and training over 300 new colleagues, making additional overtime payments, and our entire management team working in frontline roles each week."​


Best behaviour onboard

Passengers using services at Bristol Airport will see new signage and advertising this week in a bid to remind users of the 'serious consequences of disruptive activity'.

From Monday, July 12, the airport will display new warnings on posters about disruptive behaviour in the terminal, in retail outlets, eateries and social media as part of a 'Get on Board' campaign launch.

This comes after the operator says it saw a 'significant increase in disruptive passenger numbers during the past months'.

The airport has experienced high demand recently as staff shortages remain rife across the sector causing 'chaos' after a mass of flight delays and cancellations.

Bristol Airport has 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.

Penalties can range from being denied boarding, an airline ban with fines of up to £80,000, or imprisonment for the most serious offences.

The refreshed campaign will clearly state it is an offence to be disruptive onboard an aircraft and the consequences of customers being denied travel.

It will also feature the strapline ‘if you’re not on board, you won’t get on board'.

New service between Bristol and Zurich

Europe’s entire air transport sector is operating under difficult conditions in the present summer timetable period - we know as flights for our family to Rome and Berlin were cancelled by easyJet. 
However, SWISS (Swiss International Air Lines AG) continues to focus on keeping its operations as stable as possible, and will provide its customers with an attractive and varied portfolio of destinations in its 2022-23 winter schedules. 
The coming SWISS winter timetable will offer services from Zurich and Geneva to 93 destinations, with total capacity at some 80 per cent of its 2019 levels. 
New to the SWISS network will be Bristol, served from Zurich. 
The services initiated this summer to Bologna, Nantes, Sofia and Vilnius will also be continued in the winter timetable period. 
SWISS passengers will further enjoy the new Premium Economy Class for the first time this winter throughout the Boeing 777 long-haul fleet. 
From Geneva, SWISS services to Scandinavia will be further expanded, and the new direct service to Brussels introduced this summer in collaboration with Brussels Airlines will also be continued.
SWISS will be further expanding its portfolio of destinations and offering its customers an even more varied range of air services in the coming winter timetable period. 
All in all, SWISS will provide services from Zurich and Geneva to 93 destinations – a wider range of points than were served in the winter before the pandemic, though with fewer frequencies. 
Customers will have a choice of 83 destinations from Zurich and 26 from Geneva. 
SWISS is planning total capacity for the winter timetable period which is at some 80 per cent of its 2019 levels.
Chief commercial officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour said: "Given this summer’s difficult operating situation throughout Europe’s air transport sector, we are focusing on further stabilizing our SWISS services in the coming winter schedules.
“In doing so, we’ll be offering our customers a range of flights that’s actually more extensive than it was before the pandemic. 
"In Europe in particular we’re providing an attractive choice of destinations for the colder season. 

"At the same time, though, we’ve been conservative in our planning and have reduced our flight programme by a number of frequencies, to ensure

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that we can keep our schedules as stable as possible.”
Bristol Airport commercial director Rupert Lawrie said: “We are delighted with the announcement of SWISS offering customers their first ever direct service between Zurich and Bristol commencing February 2023.   
"This is a major milestone in our business recovery in welcoming a new scheduled airline to Bristol Airport and shows consumer confidence is returning after the Covid impact the aviation industry has suffered in recent years. 
"We look forward to working with SWISS and developing this important route in the future.”
The 2022-23 SWISS winter schedules are available at 
The winter timetable period runs from Sunday to Sunday, October 30,2022 to March 26, 2023.

Bristol Airport best in Europe for eco initiatives

Bristol Airport has been named the best transport hub in Europe for innovative green initiatives, it has announced.
The airport was awarded the accolade jointly with Istanbul Airport in Turkey at the Best Airport Awards 2022, which are run by A CI Europe - the professional association of airport operators.
The Eco Innovation Award recognises airports’ 'outstanding' environmental projects and is presented in association with Airport Carbon Accreditation.
Bristol Airport said it scooped the prize for its Low Emission Turnaround trial with easyJet as part of its Strategic Sustainability Partnership.
In October last year, easyJet and Bristol Airport announced they had achieved close to zero emission aircraft turnarounds through the use of electric-powered ground equipment, such as steps, baggage trollies, belt loaders and ground power units, instead of diesel. The airport said the trial results showed a 97 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions.
The judges of the awards said the objective of Bristol to show carbon savings could be achieved without compromising operational efficiency was 'a notable starting point', given the challenge of reducing scope three emissions (emissions caused as a result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by the reporting organisation).
Bristol Airport sustainability and corporate affairs director Simon Earles said: “We are delighted to be recognised by ACI and winning the Eco Innovation award. 
"This award supports our long-term sustainability strategy and is another example of demonstrating our commitment to addressing climate change.
“This award is such an incredible achievement and is recognition to the teams and partners collaborating and making a significance change to aircraft ground operations."
Mr Earles said the teams at easyJet and Bristol Airport, and partners including DHL, TCR, ITW, Up and Away, 'worked tirelessly' to get the initiative 'from inception to reality' and reduced aircraft turnaround emissions.
He added: "I am extremely proud of our efforts, and we are receiving this award on behalf of all teams involved. It’s another step on our way to becoming one of the UK’s most sustainable airports."

The news follows an announcement on Tuesday (June 21) that Bristol Airport would become part of major new South West hydrogen group. Nine organisations in the region, including Bristol Port and Airbus, are planning to work together as part of efforts to decarbonise industry and drive regional growth.

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It also comes just days after campaigners trying to stop Bristol Airport's multi-million pound expansion plans were granted a High Court hearing to challenge the decision.

Bristol Airport was granted permission on appeal in February to expand.
Under the plans the airport will be able to increase its current capacity from 10 million to 12 million passengers a year, while adding thousands more parking spaces. It is yet to hit the current cap and before the pandemic fewer than nine million passengers used the airport.
Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN), however, raised arguable grounds following the planning inspectorate's decision to allow the expansion. The expansion is also opposed by Bristol City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, and the West of England Combined Authority (Weca)
However, the CBI, one of the UK's biggest business organisations, has backed the airport's plans, saying it will boost the economy in the South West - and create 'more opportunities' for the region.
CBI south west director Ben Rhodes said: “Bristol Airport’s expanded capacity will create opportunities for the South West’s world-class businesses, with the potential for new routes giving our region more direct connections and opening up new markets."


Airport carbon neutral future 

Bristol Airport has launched a major new exhibition highlighting the central role of civil engineers in creating the infrastructure needed to tackle climate change and reach net zero targets.

Time is running out - Help us engineer a net zero world explores the future of infrastructure and focuses on the ways in which civil engineers are coming up with sustainable solutions in sectors such as transport, energy and water.

The exhibition, created by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), aims to inspire young people who are passionate about the environment to consider civil engineering as a career where they can make a tangible difference on climate change issues.

Based around three illuminated pods, the exhibition features original hand-drawn illustrations and profiles of civil engineers.

Six questions are explored:

  • Why don't we value water?

  • What can we do to end waste?

  • Can we keep travelling?

  • Do we need smarter cities?

  • Where will our energy come from? and

  • How do we live with flooding?

TV presenter, Rob Bell talks to children about the questions in a series of short films embedded within the pods.

ICE south west regional director and exhibition curator Miranda Housden said: "Civil engineers are the people who design, build and maintain the modern world around us.

"They are at the forefront of addressing some of the major impacts of climate change, and civil engineers are also playing a vital role in helping us transition to a low carbon future, from building renewable energy facilities to upgrading our road networks for electric vehicle charging,”

“The exhibition raises awareness of the connection between civil engineering and carbon neutrality and speaks directly to young people who want to be part of future solutions that can help us live better lives without costing the planet.”

ICE president Ed McCann launched the free exhibition on Wednesday, June 15, at Bristol Airport, where it will be available to thousands of families as they embark on their summer holidays until  Thursday, September 15.  Bristol Airport sustainability and corporate affairs director Simon Earles said: "We are delighted to be the host venue of the new major exhibition from ICE to highlight and promote the central role of civil engineers in creating the essential infrastructure needed to assist in tackling climate change.


"With a busy summer expected, this new exhibition will be on show to thousands of families travelling through the departure lounge and customers will have the opportunity to see what methods civil engineers are developing to create a sustainable solution in the future to reach a Net Zero world.

“At Bristol Airport, sustainability is a key focus for us all and only recently we achieved becoming a carbon neutral operations airport in 2021, four years ahead of schedule, and also brought forward our next aim to achieve Net Zero airport operations by 2030.

"We are always looking to explore different technologies which can help us reduce our impact on the environment.

“We’re committed to being net zero for all our emissions, including flights, by 2050.

"Our region has a unique cluster of aerospace and aviation expertise, which places us at the forefront of efforts to decarbonise flight.

"We’ve brought together companies such as Airbus and GKN Aerospace with EDF and Wales & West Utilities to form Hydrogen South West, a partnership that aims to develop a hydrogen ecosystem in our region, and accelerate the move to net zero flights.”

The exhibition will move to Leeds Station, Northern Concourse in October and throughout 2022-23 will tour railway stations, museums and botanical gardens and high-profile locations in Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Cornwall.

Millions of people are expected to visit during the two year tour.

The exhibition website,, provides supporting information about infrastructure, net zero challenges and how to become a civil engineer.

Expansion challenge

A High Court hearing will be held on Monday and Tuesday, November 7-8, 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 and successful won a ‘statutory appeal’, 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 will 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 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".

Planning inspectors overruled North Somerset Council's rejection of the expansion plans following a three-month enquiry

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".

Stephen Clarke, from the group, 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 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.

Bristol Airport's plans include thousands more parking spaces and a new transport interchange

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 Liam Fox and 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.

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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.


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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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:

Expansion to take-off


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. 


“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


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.

Person Rolling Suitcase in Airport

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


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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."


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 - - 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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programme officer, Joanna Vincent, on 07483 133 975 or emailing

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

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.

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Easyjet taking off from Bristol Airport.

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 and quote the case number 3259234.

Please leave a copy in the message box below or email to, thanks.

  • UPDATE: Public inquiry opens on Tuesday, July 20 thisyear  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 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. and Jet2holidays CEO Steve Heapy said: “This is an incredibly exciting day for 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)


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

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


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.

Bristol airport from the air.png

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 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 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.”

Blue Islands ATR.jpg

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”

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

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

Phone Mark Skehan.PNG

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.

“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.”

Car Rental checkin 2.jpg
Car Rental Clifton Suspension Bridge .jp

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 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

  • 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?

Front of Aircraft

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 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.

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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.”

Taking off

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.  

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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.

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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.


Shuttlebus service

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

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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.

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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.

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"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

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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 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.”

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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

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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
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SECURITY PATROL: Airport security uses CCTV to scan the perimeters of the Bristol Airport

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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

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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.


New arrival

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.”

Old World Map

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.”

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At Bristol, the new trial will biometrically enable multiple touchpoints, including:

  • Check-in

  • Self-bag drop

  • Security

  • Boarding gates

 The initial trial will be extended to include:

  • Website and mobile enrollment

  • Lounge access


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.

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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.

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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.

Flying Bristol

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’s proposals for the Section 106 Agreement which would accompany permission for growth beyond the current cap of 10 million passengers a year.   

North Somerset Council is currently consulting a planning application for facilities required to handle 12 million passengers a year by the mid-2020s.

Bristol Airport planning and sustainability director Simon Earles said: “We have listened to feedback from our neighbours and this commitment to introduce an on-site waiting area for taxis and a free drop-off facility for private vehicles shows we are taking the issues they have raised seriously.   

“By accommodating waiting taxis on site and providing a free alternative for private vehicles dropping off passengers, we aim to reduce the impact of growth on local villages. 

"Work is now underway to find the right location for the proposed facility and set appropriate time limits in consultation with private hire operators.”

North Somerset Council’s consultation on the planning application to increase capacity of the airport to 12 million passengers a year closes on Saturday, January 26.

Airport help for visually impaired people

An innovative design is proving a helping hand for visually impaired people at Bristol Airport.

Special assistance business partner OCS enabled the airport to introduced The Ramble Tag to improve the guided walking experience for people who need help.

It is called The Ramble Tag.

This guidance aid is a lightweight harness worn by a guide on their upper arm, offering a comfortable handle as an alternative to linking arms. 

The product is comfortable, weather proof and uses latest design technology.

What is it and how did it come about?

The Ramble Tag was created by Laura Maclean, and Tom Forsyth who himself is visually impaired.

Both have fairly large dogs, with Laura as the guide they often walked together. 

Several times during their walks they lost continuity and personal contact.  On one of these occasions Laura commented that Tom needed something to hold on to, and Tom replied 'a wee handle!'. 

They both immediately realised how easy it would be to retain contact this way.

This discussion sparked the concept and idea.  

From the early days they developed prototypes, designs and illustrations refining and developing the product at every stage until The Ramble Tag was created.

Laura said: "Tom and myself are over the moon to have our invention - the Ramble Tag, which was welcomed with open arms by Bristol Airport. 

"It is so exciting to see passengers use it for the first time in a busy airport environment. 

"The Ramble Tag addresses several issues, which we hope will become very apparent when tried.“We believe they will make a positive difference and it's great to feel that others see the potential with us. 

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"We are very grateful for the support we've been shown, and here's hoping

that it makes travelling easier and more consistent for visually impaired users."

Phil Holder, of Bristol Airport said: “We are delighted to introduce The Ramble Tag for passengers using Bristol Airport. 

"We appreciate airports are busy and confusing places for visually impaired travellers. 

"After a successful trial with OCS our special assistance provider we could see the benefit immediately for visually impaired passengers. 

"The Ramble Tag is available for passengers who have requested visual impairment assistance on arrival at the Airport – offering piece of mind each time they travel.”  

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Expanding supply chain 

More than 100 North Somerset and city businesses attended a ‘meet the buyer’ event at Bristol Airport this week 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.   

Projects are likely to include major building refurbishments, demolition of existing buildings, new aircraft stands, multi-storey car parks and more.

More than £160 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 Business West, is part of the airport’s drive to build resilience in its supply chain and further develop already strong local connections.   

Delegates heard from main contractors about the experience of working at a busy international airport, and the Business West skills team were on hand to provide practical advice

Bristol Airport development director Andrew Goodenough,said: “This is a great opportunity for us to showcase the opportunities available at Bristol Airport for business in the construction sector.   

"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 passengers.”

Business West chambers of commerce and initiative chief exectuive officer James Durie said: “It’s great to be working together with Bristol Airport to actively connect our South West businesses with business opportunities from its ongoing growth and development.

"As an economic driver and also the main gateway for people coming into or travelling out from the Bristol, Bath & South West region we need our local businesses, people and their products, and services to be directly benefiting. It also showcases the brilliant brands and enterprises we have here. This is just what this event and future planned ones are about.”

North Somerset Council’s consultation on the planning application to increase capacity to 12 million passengers a year runs until Saturday, January 26.  

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Bigger and better airport

Bristol Airport has 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. 
Passenger numbers are expected to pass the nine million mark for the first-time next year.

The proposed development includes new infrastructure, improvements to existing 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. 
Under the new plans the terminal will be further enlarged, with the additional space providing expanded passenger and baggage facilities.

A canopy extension over a pedestrianised forecourt will improve the approach to the front of the building. 
The number of on-site multi-storey car parks will increase to three, with a new loop road layout to improve traffic flow within the airport site.

An extension to the popular Silver Zone, which offers the best prices for on-site car parking, is also proposed to meet demand from passengers and help to prevent overspill into local villages. 
Improvements will be made to airside infrastructure, including a new taxiway link to allow improved access to the runway for aircraft.

The annual cap on night flights, which limits movements between 11.30pm and 6am to a total of 4,000, will not be increased - although the airport is seeking to remove seasonal restrictions which stipulate how this quota must be distributed between summer and winter. 
Local highway improvements are also proposed to ensure the additional volume of passenger journeys can be accommodated.

These focus on the A38 junctions with West Lane and Downside Road. 
Development will be accompanied by a new Section 106 Agreement which will mitigate the impacts of the application.

This is likely to include obligations around surface access, noise and other local impacts. 

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Dave Lees said: “Following consultation with the local community, airline customers, passengers and other stakeholders, these plans set out sustainable development to meet demand for air travel to and from the South West and South Wales over the next decade.

"They will help deliver more routes, destinations and jobs.

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TOP MAN: New chief executive Dave Lees who previous worked at Southampton airport

“These plans are a practical step to ensuring we continue to connect our region to the world, providing a gateway for business, investment and tourists."At the same time, we have sought to minimise and mitigate any impacts on the local community and environment, building on our track record of investment in surface access improvements.” 
Approximately 4,000 people are currently employed at the airport, supporting a total of just under 24,000 jobs in the wider economy of South West England and South Wales.

More than 1,000 additional jobs will be created by development to handle 12 million passengers a year, which would also generate £1.4bn in GVA during the next decade. 
Bristol Airport is the ninth busiest airport in the UK and the fifth busiest outside London.

More than £160m has been invested in facilities and infrastructure since 2010, contributing to Bristol being named ‘best airport’ in the 5-10 million passengers category at the ACI Europe Awards in June (ACI Europe represents 500 plus airports in 45 countries across the continent). 
Further information and a computer-generated fly-through video showing what the plans will look like on completion can viewed by clicking HERE.

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Spoilt for choice at airport

Four new restaurants are opening at Bristol Airport soon and another is getting a makeover.

A seven month development project began in October 2018 creating the new places to eat and refurbish existing places to eat.

The new restaurants on the block are Frankie & Benny’s, Barburrito, EAT and Warrens Bakery.

The airport has invested more than £160 million in new infrastructure and facilities since 2010.

The catering project will be phased over the winter season, with Warrens Bakery, EAT and Barburrito opening in December 2018 and Frankie and Benny’s opening in spring 2019.

  • Warrens Bakery is one of the UK’s top three craft bakeries and the world’s oldest pasty maker. Using artisan, hand crafted bread and West Country ingredients to make a wide range of deli sandwiches.

  • EAT. have been creating, making and serving their own great tasting seasonal recipes for over 20 years. The first shop opened for business in 1996 on Villiers Street in London and since then they have continually been inventing new and exciting food and drinks for customers. Their fresh food changes with the seasons and every day starts by making food from scratch with their own recipes; from homemade soups, sandwiches, salads and hot pots. 

  • Barburrito is the UK’s first and award winning burrito brand. Famous for serving fast, healthy Mexican street food and a fab range of traditional and Mexican style breakfast dishes; you choose exactly what you want and how you want it, and let the team make it while you watch! 'Award-winning, casual and cool,' says magazine Marie Claire.

  • 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. Bristol Airport will be the Frankie & Benny’s seventh open airport location; going from strength to strength with consistent range and menu development as well as a 2016 win in the Consumer Choice category of the annual airport FAB Awards.

  • The Burger King restaurant will also be extensively refurbished with passengers being able to use self-order kiosks.

Bristol Airport head of commercial development Kate Ridgers said: “We are delighted to welcome these high street brands to Bristol Airport. 

"Passengers will be able to enjoy an extended range of products in a variety of restaurants designed to create a relaxing ambience when visiting Bristol Airport in the future.

"After market research and passenger feedback we know passengers start their trip as soon as they arrive at the airport.

"We wanted to offer a wide selection of restaurants and bars with an extended choice of menus including children’s and special dietary requirements both in the check-in area and departure lounge.”

Bristol Airport is the ninth largest airport in the UK and the fifth largest airport outside of London. 

In 2017 more than eight million passengers used the Airport with planning approvals now in place for 10 million passengers per annum. 

Bristol Airport new faces

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Bristol Airport has strengthened its senior team with the appointment of three new directors.

Jason Clark has joined as chief financial officer (CFO), bringing strong board level experience in finance positions, most recently as CFO for Condor Ferries, the main ferry operator between the UK, France and the Channel Islands.

Ahead of the retirement of long-serving operations director, Paul Davies, at the end of this year, Bristol Airport has announced the appointment of Graeme Gamble as chief operating officer. 

Graeme will join in January 2019 from NATS, the air navigation services provider, where he is currently responsible for air traffic control services at seven UK airports. 

Prior to this he spent two years with the Civil Aviation Authority as an aerodrome inspector and has also held key operational roles at London City Airport and Cardiff Airport.

Finally, Debbie Hartshorn has been promoted to the position of people director. 

Since joining Bristol Airport in May 2017, Debbie has overseen a review of its people strategy and led a renewed focus on training and development. 

Prior to joining Bristol Airport, Debbie held senior HR roles with SFC Group and Cotswold Archaeology.

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Dave Lees said: “These appointments complete a strong leadership team with the right mix of skills to steer the organisation through an exciting period of growth. 

"Jason, Graeme and Debbie bring a wealth of experience from inside and outside the aviation sector which will help us achieve our ambition to make Bristol Airport the first choice for air travel to and from the South West of the UK.”

Expected to serve more than 8.5 million passengers this year, Bristol is the ninth busiest airport in the UK, and England’s third largest regional airport.

A new Master Plan is currently being prepared and will set out potential development required to handle up to 20 million passengers per annum from the existing runway by the mid-2040s. 

The first phase of growth will be facilitated through the submission of a planning application to North Somerset Council later this year.

In June Bristol Airport was named ‘best airport in Europe’ in the five to 10 million passengers category at the annual awards dinner held by European airports association, ACI Europe. 

Last month the airport was voted best in the UK by the travel trade in the annual TTG Awards.

Thomas Cook takes off for spring 2019

Thomas Cook Airline is adding Easter 2019 flights from Bristol airport, meaning that thousands people can head to Europe for some spring sunshine. 

With 10 additional flights a week from April 3, 2019 until the end of the month, Thomas Cook Airlines has added more than 12,000 seats to destinations including Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Majorca.

Tickets are now on sale via

Thomas Cook Airlines now flies to 25 sun and beach destinations from Bristol and has increased its number of seats on sale at Easter by 40% versus 2018.

Thomas Cook Airlines commercial director Henry Sunley said: “This is a bigger Easter programme from Bristol than ever before, with our season traditionally ramping up from May 1.

"It’s great to be able to reward our customers who fly with us from Bristol airport with even more choice and we look forward to adding more destinations from Bristol in the near future.”

Bristol Airport business development director Nigel Scott said: “This is exciting news.  

"The increased capacity for next year builds on the strong growth we are experiencing with Thomas Cook from Bristol Airport in 2018.

"It provides even more choice for passengers when using their local airport to travel to a variety of exciting holiday destinations.

"We look forward to working with Thomas Cook on future route opportunities.”

Thomas Cook Airlines flight-only from Bristol airport, one-way in economy during Easter 2019:

  • Turkey from £168.99

  • Gran Canaria from £203.99

  • Hurghada, Egypt from £325.99

  • Lanzarote from £203.99

To book follow online link above, call 0844 412 5970, or visit your nearest Thomas Cook store.

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 Berlin click HERE.

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