Bristol Airport’s ACC Chairman's Blog January 2021
Our meeting on 27th January was a busy one and please see below the key points of the meeting.
The committee received a presentation from students of Weston College who had been tasked with designing a logo for our committee. We wanted a logo which was different from the one used by the airport to stress the fact that the ACC is independent of the Airport and express the range of the work we do. We were very impressed with the ideas, creativity and preparation that went into the imagery and you will soon be seeing the results of the students hard work on our website page.
The CEO reported that Bristol Airport was granted a rating of ‘very good’ in the Civil Aviation Authority’s disability access report. Significant investments have been made, including a ‘Changing Places’ toilet to support passengers with complex health care needs. Also £400,000 has been spent on an improved waiting area in the departure lounge, continued investment in training and a Dementia Friends awareness programme across the business and, in Spring 2021, an experiential facility for autistic travellers will open to enhance their experience when travelling. The “Test to Release” regime was introduced on 15th December and it is a hugely positive first step towards eliminating the need for quarantine for arriving passengers at UK airports.
Bristol Airport partnered with Help Bristol’s Homeless charity to offer a large food donation from one of the restaurants. With the help of Airport staff and the charity founder Jasper Thompson, they worked together to load up a VW Transporter van which ended up being completely full. In addition to donating food, cutlery and crockery to Help Bristol Homeless charity the Airport has donated confectionary food to a local Food Bank; local NHS vaccine centre at Langford; and a charity supporting low-income families in North Somerset. This week 20 laptops will be donated to a local secondary and primary school.
Two years ago a new body, the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN), was formed. It exists to investigate the problems associated with aviation noise and advise the various bodies which deal with the problem; the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, for instance, has been tasked with producing new planning legislation to cover residential development near airports and other sources of noise. In addition to the formation of ICCAN the Department for Transport has recently launched a survey on the control of night flights at airports and we will report the results as soon as they are available.
The committee received a briefing from Wendy Walker. Wendy is a director of Wotton Travel and is on the Consultative Committee as our adviser on passenger matters and the travel industry. The briefing covered the problems facing passengers caused by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic and how the travel industry is coping with them. Even with travel restricted to essential journeys there is still a great deal of business travel through Bristol Airport and travel agents have been busy advising passengers on the ever-changing requirements for their journeys.
Our next meeting will be in April when we will, along with all other matters, be reviewing our constitution and committee membership prior to our AGM in July.