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European first as Bristol Airport achieves new safety standard

Created: 30th Jul 2014

Bristol Airport has become the first airport in Europe to transition to new safety specifications under harmonised European regulations.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is at the heart of a new Europe-wide regulatory system, with UK airports required to comply with its rules by 2018. Bristol Airport was one of a small group of airports selected to work with the UK Civil Aviation Authority to trial the transition from a CAA Aerodrome Licence to an EASA Certificate.

Following 18 months’ work, Bristol Airport received final sign off all required certification today (28 July) – becoming the first airport in Europe to complete the process.

Before being awarded the new EASA Certificate, the Airport was required to demonstrate that its design, equipment and infrastructure meets EASA specifications and that organisational structures and operating procedures also satisfy the new requirements.

Paul Davies, Operations Director at Bristol Airport, said:
“Successful transition to the EASA regulations is a clear demonstration of our commitment to safety and operational excellence. Achieving this standard several years ahead of deadline and before any other airport in Europe stands us in good stead as we continue to build new infrastructure to facilitate further growth.”

Graeme Ritchie, Manager Aerodromes, CAA said:
“We are delighted to have worked with industry throughout, notably Bristol, Aberdeen and Norwich airports. As the aerodrome involved in the first trial, Bristol has helped us greatly to refine and develop our thinking and approach to certification, for which we are grateful. I know too that they have been positive in their support for the process, both with us and with colleagues across industry – thank you. I wish the airport continuing success”.
Last month Bristol Airport recorded its busiest ever June, serving over 646,000 passengers. This represented a 3.34 per cent increase over the same period last year, which was also the previous record. Passenger numbers for the last 12 months also reached 6.23 million, surpassing the record total for a calendar year achieved in 2008 for the first time.

The outlook for the rest of summer is equally positive, with new facilities now in place to enhance the airport experience for passengers. A £6.5m central walkway opened last week and includes four new pre-boarding zones serving up to six departure gates. The 3,880 square metre structure connects directly to the departure lounge and is served by an escalator, six lifts, food and drink vending, and toilet facilities to ensure passenger comfort levels.

The design of the new facility takes into account the latest generation of twin-engine, wide-body jets, such as the Boeing 787, with provision made for the addition of an airbridge for passengers boarding potential long-haul flights in future.