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European Commissioner for Transport visits Bristol Airport

Created: 24th Jan 2014

The Vice President of the European Commission responsible for transport policy, Siim Kallas, flew into Bristol Airport earlier today (Friday 24 January) on a visit to the South West with Sir Graham Watson MEP.

The Transport Commissioner and former Estonian Prime Minister was in the region to meet major employers and transport groups. After arriving on the Brussels Airlines service from the Belgian capital and home to the European Commission, Mr Kallas met with Bristol Airport’s Chief Executive Officer, Robert Sinclair, to discuss issues affecting the European aviation industry, including passenger rights, security regulations and competition.

Robert Sinclair commented:

“We were delighted to welcome the Transport Commissioner to Bristol Airport, and took this opportunity to share with him our experiences as a successful European regional airport.

“Aviation is an international business so developments at European level have a direct effect on UK airports and the passengers who use them. Liberalisation of the airline sector has changed the face of air travel in Europe for the better. The Commission can help us improve connectivity and drive improvements to the passenger experience by developing a supportive regulatory environment and ensuring that aviation remains an open and competitive market that is not distorted by public subsidies.”

Sir Graham Watson MEP said:

“It was useful for the Commissioner to see first-hand the important role air travel plays in connecting the South West with the rest of Europe. He was also able to hear how changes to regulations in the aviation sector could impact on airports like Bristol who act as a key economic driver in the region.”

Mr Kallas also visited Bristol Port and Airbus during his visit to the South West, as well as sustainable transport groups in Bristol ahead of the city’s year as European Green Capital in 2015.