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Work to start on west terminal extension at Bristol Airport

Created: 23rd Jun 2015

£24 million investment will transform security process.

West Terminal Extension

With only weeks remaining until the opening of the east terminal extension, Bristol Airport has signed off the next major phase of its expansion programme – a £24 million west terminal extension which will transform the security search process for passengers. This is the biggest construction project at the Airport since the current terminal building opened in 2000.

As part of the second major extension to the terminal, state-of-the-art technology will be introduced to a significantly enlarged security area in order to deliver a faster, more efficient experience. The 9,000 square metre structure is approximately two and half times larger than the £8.5m east terminal extension set to be completed next month and will also create an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities, arrivals retail, and meet and greet area, easing congestion and improving services for arriving passengers.

Work on the west terminal extension will get underway in a matter of weeks and is scheduled to open in summer 2016. When completed it will house 10 lanes in the central search area alongside two additional security channels in a dedicated Fast Track zone. An enlarged preparation area and significantly longer 21 metre lanes will enable more passengers to prepare for inspection simultaneously, reducing wait times and raising customer service standards.

Bristol Airport is in discussion with security technology providers to ensure the new facility maximises the use of state-of-the-art equipment. The combination of space, a more streamlined process and the latest generation of security technology is expected to deliver an industry-leading passenger experience.


As well as delivering immediate benefits to arriving and departing passengers, construction of the west terminal extension will also create space for future improvements to immigration facilities, enabling another bottleneck at busy times to be addressed.

Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive at Bristol Airport, said:

“Once completed, this major development will take the total investment in our terminal and wider airport infrastructure since 2010 to over £120 million. Not only will the west terminal extension ease the congestion we are experiencing at times this summer as a result of high passenger volumes, it will create a more attractive and comfortable environment and help to remove some of the stress sometimes associated with air travel.

“This is going to give us a clear advantage over the competition by making it more attractive for airlines to fly from Bristol, and it is a significant step towards achieving our vision to provide passengers from the South West and Wales with a world-class customer experience when flying in and out of their local airport.”

Chris Ware, Head of Security at Bristol Airport, said:

“With this development we are responding to changes in security requirements, airline business models and passenger behavior which have resulted in a greater quantity of hand baggage being carried through our central search area. The west terminal extension enables us to design new layout and processes tailored to meet this challenge but with the flexibility to adapt to evolving security needs without inconveniencing passengers.

“In combination with the introduction of innovative technology, some of which will be new to the UK market, the new facility will enable us to transform this vital part of the airport experience without compromising stringent compliance requirements.”

As one construction project gets underway another is nearing completion, with the east terminal extension set to open in July. This will create space for hundreds of additional seats in the departure lounge as well as introducing several new retail and restaurant brands to Bristol Airport. It will also house a second executive lounge and feature an unusual outdoor terrace area with retractable roof.

The east terminal extension has been designed to reflect the South West region, with finishes, colours and textures taking inspiration from the Airport’s locale. For example, the use of timber and reeds alongside interior planting nod to the region’s natural beauty, while a striking lighting feature makes use of Bristol’s iconic blue glass to dramatic effect. A similar approach will be taken in the west terminal extension, creating a relaxed ambience in the security search area for what is traditionally seen as a stressful part of the airport journey.

Beyond the Airport boundary improvements to the transport system across the West of England, including the construction of a South Bristol Link, are underway and will enhance access from the north, east and west once completed in 2016.

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