Terminal forecourt access policy - Questions & Answers
How is access to the TFA changing and what does this mean for bus and coach operators?Bristol Airport is introducing a new TFA Access Policy. This is a document which all bus and coach operators must comply with if they wish to access the terminal forecourt. The policy provides details on which bays operators are able to use as well as the types of vehicles permitted. There is no plan to remove access to existing users of the forecourt, but they will be required to sign up to the policy.
Why is this policy being introduced?We are keen to expand bus and coach services between the Airport and the region we serve. The number of passengers using the Airport is increasing and this means that more vehicles require access to the forecourt. In addition, Bristol Airport currently has agreements with some operators but not others. Both these reasons prompted a recent review of the operation of our Terminal Forecourt Area (TFA), which considered congestion, public safety and security concerns. We need to ensure all users of the forecourt operate in a safe manner, so a common set of operating principles is being introduced.
Will operators be charged for access to the TFA?
Currently, concession agreements are in place with operators who provide regular connections to and from the Airport (Authorised Registered Services). These agreements give operators access rights and allocate bays for their regular use. In return, these operators pay an access charge. To ensure fair and equitable treatment for all operators, Bristol Airport is extending this access charge to apply to all users of the TFA.
There will be no change to the fees and charges for those operators who have existing concession agreements with the Airport.
However, all operators will be required to sign up to the TFA Access Policy and pay an access charge. The fee structure for non-Authorised Registered Services will be based on ‘Unknown’ and ‘Known’ operators, both of whom will be billed on a per movement basis.
How will access to the TFA been managed?For both ‘Known’ and ‘Unknown’ Operators on arrival at the Administration building an Access card will be provided. This card will need to be handed over on arrival at the security kiosk at the entrance to the TFA.
What is an ‘Unknown Operator’?Those operators who provide ad hoc services to the Airport for the purposes of carrying large, pre-booked groups of passengers (or for any other reason). Unknown operators will need to obtain a single-use permit prior to entering the forecourt area. This permit can be purchased for a fee of £12 per vehicle from Reception at the Security and Administration building and must be obtained prior to gaining access to the TFA. The charge is in place to cover the costs of operating the terminal forecourt.
What is a ‘Known Operator’ and how do I become one?Any operator who has a need to use the terminal forecourt on a more regular daily basis can apply to become a ‘Known Operator’ if they meet certain basic criteria. This enables drivers to obtain an ID pass permitting access. Such operators would be required to enter into a separate agreement with Bristol Airport and can benefit from easier and direct access to the TFA, as well as, following consultation with Bristol Airport, benefit from association; such as service and route marketing and onsite communications. Payment of the access fees for Known operators are based on invoicing in arrears rather than pay-per-use.
Are there any exemptions to the charge?Yes – any bus or coach service which is booked by an airline or ground handling agent for the express use of transporting passengers affected by flight disruption to or from Bristol Airport will be exempt from paying the access charge. Any vehicle which has fewer than 16 seats and will fit within the Airport’s car parks should use the car park facilities rather than the terminal forecourt.
How is the change being communicated?
Bristol Airport will issue notices to all operators who currently use the forecourt. There will be a six month grace period before charges are implemented with the period commencing on 1 October 2017 and expiring on 31 March 2018 at which point onwards, charges will be applicable.
Bristol Airport will also liaise with the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK to communicate the changes.