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Volcanic ash disruption fails to dent air travel recovery
Passenger numbers were up by 5.3 per cent at Bristol Airport in May. Over 500,000 passengers passed through the terminal last month, despite further disruption due to volcanic ash. International travel rose by almost 10 per cent over May 2009. Shaun Browne, Aviation Director at Bristol Airport, said: “Demand for both business and leisure travel remains strong, despite the disruption caused earlier this year by the Icelandic volcano. With airlines and regulators working hard to ensure such widespread disruption does not happen again, travellers are once more booking with confidence. “This continued growth underlines the need to develop and enhance facilities for passengers.” Throughout the busy summer season, passengers are being asked to allow sufficient time at the airport to check-in, drop bags, clear security and board their flight.
Browne continued: “We endeavour to make the journey through the airport as quick and efficient as possible, but this may take longer when flying at the busiest time, between 06:00 and 07:30. “Passengers travelling at peak times are advised to arrive in the terminal at least two hours ahead of their scheduled time of departure to ensure all essential processes can be completed.” So far this year, Bristol Airport has opened a state-of-the-art ‘walk through’ tax and duty free store and a new 450m walkway linking the terminal to eight aircraft stands, reducing the need to bus passengers to and from flights. Last month, North Somerset Council recommended approval of the Airport’s development plans which will see facilities further enhanced to enable a throughput of 10 million passengers per annum by 2020. Proposals include extensions to the existing terminal, car parking improvements, a public transport interchange with covered pedestrian access to the terminal, and additional aircraft stands. The planning application also includes provision for a £5.4 million contribution to regional transport schemes, improvements to bus services to the Airport, and a target of 15 per cent public transport usage In March, Bristol Airport marked the tenth anniversary of its terminal building by unveiling a new brand identity to guide its business over the next decade. The new brand represents ‘people’, ‘place’ and ‘region’ – the three pillars on which the airport’s success rests – and promises ‘Amazing Journeys Start Here’. The terminal is expected to handle its 50 millionth passenger towards the end of the year.
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