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Bristol Airport’s ten years of transformation

Created: 4th Jun 2019

A newly published report has highlighted a decade of transformational change at Bristol Airport.

The Annual Monitoring Report shows that while passenger numbers have continued to increase, the number of flights in 2018 was only marginally above the 2008 total.

During the same period, the number of destinations served has significantly increased to nearly 130 across 30 countries, connecting people from our region across the globe. This has enabled over 30% more passengers to fly today from their local Airport to visit friends and family, undertake educational trips, travel on business as well as supporting individuals to broaden their experiences including visiting new destinations as well as taking a break or holiday. The Airport now represents the key aviation gateway for visitors to the region for business, education or leisure. The passenger experience has been transformed through a significant investment in new facilities at the Airport which have culminated in Bristol becoming a European leader for its Airport.

Bristol Airport’s ten years of transformation
At the same time the Airport has actively worked towards improvements in reducing its environmental footprint including halving the CO2 emissions per passenger, reduction in waste, with zero waste going into landfill and waste recycling doubling. Public transport has seen a 5% share increase in passengers use with a million passengers alone using the upgraded A1 Flyer service (between Bristol Airport and the city) each year, and 500 bus services operating to and from the Airport each day.

A phased development programme to meet passenger demand, has taken place over the last ten years and Bristol Airport in 2018 experienced nine consecutive years of growth. This demand is forecast to continue in 2019, with passenger numbers expected to exceed more than nine million for the first time in the Airport’s history. Since 2010 over £225 million has been invested in terminal passenger facilities.

In December 2018 Bristol Airport 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.

The proposed development includes new infrastructure, improvements to existing terminal and road 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 and working towards becoming a carbon neutral airport.

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

“The transformation over the last 10 years highlights the growing importance of the Airport to the region it serves. The Airport provides a greater range of destinations with increased choice than ever before, whilst it has made progress towards a more sustainable future. Looking forward Bristol Airport will need to actively work towards a lower carbon future in parallel with its aspirations to support its growth as a key economic generator in the region. The latest CCC ( Climate Change Commission ) report underpins the importance of the issue of climate change and the level of ambition which aviation needs to meet moving forward through the adoption of new technologies, improvements in air traffic management including airspace redesign, newer aircraft including quieter more efficient engines, investment in research and development whilst accepting that carbon offsetting and carbon capture will also have to play a part in achieving the recommended target of a net zero UK emissions by 2050. Bristol Airport recognises this challenge and will be publishing its Sustainable Growth Strategy this year along with a carbon road map to deliver carbon neutrality.”

*Due to differences in the way some flights are recorded, Bristol Airport figures may contain small variances when compared to those reported by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).