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Development plans to deliver next chapter in Bristol Airport’s success story

Created: 19th Dec 2018

Bristol Airport has submitted a planning application to North Somerset Council seeking permission to increase capacity to handle up to 12 million passengers a year by the mid-2020s.

Bristol Airport Development Plans   
Passenger numbers are expected to pass the nine million mark for the first-time next year. The proposed development includes new infrastructure, improvements to existing facilities, and operational changes to ensure the airport can continue to meet demand for air travel to and from the South West of the UK well into the next decade. Annual traffic through the terminal is currently limited to 10 million passengers under the current planning permission. 

The proposals represent the first practical step towards an exciting vision to develop the region’s international gateway to serve up to 20 million passengers a year by the mid-2040s.

Under the new plans the terminal will be further enlarged, with the additional space providing expanded passenger and baggage facilities. A canopy extension over a pedestrianised forecourt will improve the approach to the front of the building.

Development Plans at Bristol Airport
The number of on-site multi-storey car parks will increase to three, with a new loop road layout to improve traffic flow within the airport site. An extension to the popular Silver Zone, which offers the best prices for on-site car parking, is also proposed to meet demand from passengers and help to prevent overspill into local villages.

Improvements will be made to airside infrastructure, including a new taxiway link to allow improved access to the runway for aircraft. The annual cap on night flights, which limits movements between 11:30 and 06:00 to a total of 4,000, will not be increased - although the airport is seeking to remove seasonal restrictions which stipulate how this quota must be distributed between summer and winter.

Development Plans at Bristol Airport
Local highway improvements are also proposed to ensure the additional volume of passenger journeys can be accommodated. These focus on the A38 junctions with West Lane and Downside Road.

Development will be accompanied by a new Section 106 Agreement which will mitigate the impacts of the application. This is likely to include obligations around surface access, noise and other local impacts.

Dave Lees, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Airport, said:

“Following consultation with the local community, airline customers, passengers and other stakeholders, these plans set out sustainable development to meet demand for air travel to and from the South West and South Wales over the next decade. They will help deliver more routes, destinations and jobs.

“These plans are a practical step to ensuring we continue to connect our region to the world, providing a gateway for business, investment and tourists. At the same time, we have sought to minimise and mitigate any impacts on the local community and environment, building on our track record of investment in surface access improvements.”

Around 4,000 people are currently employed at the airport, supporting a total of just under 24,000 jobs in the wider economy of South West England and South Wales. More than 1,000 additional jobs will be created by development to handle 12 million passengers a year, which would also generate £1.4bn in GVA over the next decade.

Bristol Airport is the ninth busiest airport in the UK and the fifth busiest outside London. More than £160m has been invested in facilities and infrastructure since 2010, contributing to Bristol being named ‘Best Airport’ in the 5-10 million passengers category at the ACI Europe Awards in June (ACI Europe represents over 500 airports in 45 countries across the continent).

Further information and a computer-generated fly-through video showing what the plans will look like on completion can viewed at www.bristolairport.co.uk.