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Bristol Airport Expansion

Further airport expansion will affect the whole area.  Bristol Airport has identified five ‘pillars’ for its proposed expansion.  A Powerpoint presentation is available, which provides more information about this.

Download presentation here.    

(You can use this link to download Powerpoint software to open this file).

Judith Hoskin, Secretary, Parish Councils Airport Association has formulated a draft response for consideration of affected Parish Councils and residents. The draft response is reproduced below.  

Views of Bristol Airport Views of PCAA
A World Leading Airport 

Delivering easy and convenient access, excellent on time performance, friendly and efficient customer service, a great range of destinations, state of the art facilities and a distinctive sense of place that reflects the unique part of the world we serve.         


Why do we not want more expansion? 

Bristol airport is already a leading airport, it has 120 destinations including three European hubs which enable residents and business travellers to go anywhere in the world.  If the airport expands the quality of life and well-being of residents in the Chew Valley and surrounding villages will deteriorate.  There will be more noise night and day, light pollution, traffic on our roads and car parking on greenbelt land. Aviation’s carbon emissions will increase. 

Employment & supporting economic growth 

Creating employment and supporting economic growth by connecting the South West of England and South Wales to new markets, talents and tourists.


It is a myth that the airport is a major driver of the South West economy 

Bristol Airport is a leisure airport.  Nationally, business travel accounts for only 19% of passengers and at Bristol it is considerably smaller figure. Businesses can use Bristol Airport to reach anywhere in the world now.

In 2005 there were 52 businesses at Bristol Airport and in 2017 there are still only 52 businesses.

Due to technological advances such as automated check in, jobs at the airport are approximately 3,000. In the Master Plan of 2005–2030 it stated nearly 4,000 jobs at the airport at 10 mppa.

At the heart of an  integrated transport network

Making Bristol Airport an integrated hub by bringing together different modes of transport, not just for our passengers and staff, but also for people travelling within, to and through the region.


Why has an integrated transport network not been delivered as promised under the planning consent of 2011 to allow expansion to 10 mppa?

Conditions to the planning consent stated that there would be an ‘ erection of 2 multi-storey car parks of four and five storeys north of the terminal building providing 3850 spaces and a transport interchange for buses and taxis with a pedestrian bridge link’.  Where is it? This was to be delivered for 8 mppa to save green belt land from car parking.  Instead North Somerset Council has rolled over and granted green belt land with the hope that one multi-storey of three storeys will be delivered with 984 spaces. Bristol Airport prefers greenbelt land to building a multi-storey as it’s cheaper.

There is considerable financial uncertainty surrounding the airport, as shown in their accounts. The airport is currently unprofitable at the current level of operation after financing costs to construct the airport are taken into account. The consolidated accounts show a net loss for 2016 of £36M, and an accumulated loss of £262M.  Of the total revenue of £90M in 2016, £34M was aeronautical income, £27M car park revenue and £26M concession revenue.

This shows why they wish to have a near-monopoly on car parking and does not bode well for future contributions from the airport to new infrastructure projects. 

Sustainable approach

Seeking to reduce and mitigate our effect on communities and the environment, locally and globally, as well as finding opportunities to deliver enhancements.


Bristol Airport is the largest carbon polluter in North Somerset and continuing to grow its carbon footprint whilst all other industries need to reduce their emissions to fit within the UK’s legally agreed carbon budget. 

The airport cannot mitigate the impacts of noise day and night on residents as most residents would prefer to open their windows, sleep at night, enjoy their gardens and have less traffic.  If expansion happens there will be noise all day. There will be a substantial increase in air transport movements. The night noise quota point system will be reviewed whilst we already need a reduction in flights at nights. Houses from the 54 dBl noise contour may be devalued.  Bristol Airport should mitigate by offering to pay council tax on these properties.

Light pollution affecting the dark skies surrounding the Mendips will again be reduced from a new terminal, increased car parking and new infrastructure.

The public transport usage to and from the airport remains at approximately 13%.  This means that around 87% of passengers to and from the airport still continue to travel by car.   New roads and a rail link will further destroy the countryside and affect wildlife especially the bats, a protected species in this area. 


Developing proposals which are flexible enough to be delivered in phases to meet demand, and which represent value for money for passengers, airlines and other stakeholders.


So far Bristol Airport has not delivered on the integrated transport network under phased development to 10 mppa. 

Note that there is no mention of what is good for the community when delivering the phasing of the development.  It is all about profit for a private company that is based in Canada and Australia.   The phasing of this development allows Bristol Airport to grow at their convenience without delivering promised conditions, as has happened under the planning consent given in 2011. A rail link will not be delivered in the next decade, even it is affordable (think of Portishead Railway). New roads aren’t going to happen overnight.  An option should be considered by Bristol Airport that it has already reached its natural growth limit and is spatially constrained.

We demand that an option in the new Master Plan for no further growth is considered by Bristol Airport and North Somerset Council.

 A full cost of all negative impacts should be given in the Draft Master Plan which is the next stage, including estimated costs of the infrastructure required.

 Likewise the public would like to see all mitigations in the new Master Plan in case BA submits this development as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project to the Planning Inspectorate rather than a planning application to North Somerset Council.

 The public and residents have a right to know how much public money is to be spent on the developing infrastructure, in order to make an informed decision on whether to support further development at Bristol Airport or perhaps spend public money on education, health and social care.