Statement on publication of the airports commission's interim report
Created: 17th Dec 2013
Bristol Airport has urged the Government not to overlook the important role of regional airports following publication of the Airports Commission’s Interim Report today.
The Interim Report focuses on capacity constraints in London and the South East and identifies a short-list of long-term options for an additional runway, as well as proposing immediate actions to improve the use of existing airport capacity. The importance of ensuring airports have the ability to serve their local markets effectively by giving proper consideration to the needs of airport users when prioritising local transport investment is also acknowledged.
Commenting on the Interim Report, Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Airport, said:
“The Commission has identified a shortage of runway capacity in the South East and has short-listed options for further consideration. During what will clearly be a long and controversial process, it is important that Government does not lose sight of the role airports outside London can play in meeting demand for air travel in the regions.
“Bristol Airport has planning permission in place to develop and enhance facilities to serve 10 million passengers per annum - an increase of 64 per cent compared with the present day. The environmental effects of this development, which will be phased in line with passenger demand, have been fully evaluated and a range of controls and mitigation is in place to manage its impacts.
“More than six million passengers travelling to or from the South West and Wales used an airport in the South East last year. By reducing the reliance on the London airports for short-haul point to point travel, we can provide a more convenient alternative for many passengers and, at the same, time free up capacity during the decade or more it will take to deliver a new runway in the South East. With the latest aircraft technology likely to increase the range of destinations available from Bristol, this claw-back will extend to long haul flights as well.
“The Commission’s recognition of the importance of investment in surface access to airports is particularly welcome. The recently approved South Bristol Link, to which Bristol Airport will contribute up to £4.1 million, is an example of how improved transport links can extend the catchment area of regional airports by making them more easily accessible.
“We are also pleased to see that the unrealistic and undeliverable Severnside Airport and Western Gateway proposals have been dismissed. This is clear recognition that Bristol Airport is best placed to meet demand from passengers in the South West and South Wales.”