Justine Greening opens new aircraft stands at Bristol, and backs importance of regional airports to UK
Justine Greening officially opened 3 new aircraft stands at Bristol Airport, and said regional airports like Bristol are important for the UK’s economy and business success. The stands – to allow more aircraft – are the first of more than 30 projects worth around £150m which will enable Bristol airport to grow over the next decade. Bristol handled 5.8 million passengers in 2011 but hope for 10 million in due course. Justine Greening said the importance of airports such as Bristol would be underlined in the Government’s new aviation strategy. She also said electrification of the Bristol-London rail line would benefit the airport as it could bring inward investment to the city. Bristol wants some 5 million passengers who go to London airports to instead use Bristol.
Bristol Airport ‘key to future of UK aviation sector’, says Transport Secretary
Regional airports such as Bristol are essential for the UK’s economy and business success, Transport Secretary Justine Greening said this morning as she officially opened three new aircraft stands at the airport – the first of more than 30 projects worth around £150m which will enable growth over the next decade.
The new stands are key to increasing capacity for more aircraft to operate from the airport – the fifth largest outside London.
The first phase of the development will ultimately enable the airport to handle 10m passengers a year. Last year 5.8m passengers used the airport.
Ms Greening, pictured, said: “Bristol Airport really is a viable alternative to London’s airports. The Government recognises the role regional airports such as Bristol can play in making sure the country remains an important hub for international air travel.”
She said the importance of airports such as Bristol would be underlined in the Government’s new aviation strategy. She also said electrification of the Bristol-London rail line would benefit the airport as it could bring inward investment to the city.
The Government was also listening to the aviation industry over passenger taxes, she said.
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new aircraft stands was cancelled due to heavy rain and strong winds and Ms Greening made her speech inside at one of the airport’s new departure gates overlooking the stands.
Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said Ms Greening’s visit had given the airport’s management team the chance to press the case for support for the industry and, particularly, regional airports.
He said the new facilities along with an extended route network would provide more convenient travel options for many of the 5m passengers from the region currently flying from London airports and could bring in up to £2bn of investment to the region.
Each new aircraft stand has a fixed electrical ground power source. Strict rules govern the use of auxiliary power units and mobile diesel unites in order to reduce noise levels for local residents. The stands have been built on the site of some outdated aircraft hangars. Three further stands are to be built, taking the total to 29.
The new stands will be able to accommodate larger aircraft – including Airbus’s yet-to-fly A350 and its rival, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner – which in turn will mean the airport will be able to add longer haul destinations.
Other developments at the airport will include the extension of the terminal building to almost double its size; a new public transport interchange; further aircraft parking stands; and an on-site hotel.
Ms Greening also visited Bristol Port today where she met directors of the Bristol Port Company to discuss key issues affecting the business. She also toured the Avonmouth and Royal Portbury Docks.
The port is on target this year to handle 450,000 vehicles – a 3.5% increase on last year. Exports of motor vehicles are expected to increase this year by 2%.
Among UK car manufacturers using the port are Jaguar and Land Rover, which is shipping its new Range Rover Evoque model to overseas markets from the port.
Transport Secretary opens Bristol Airport development
The first phase of development plans which will ultimately enable Bristol Airport to handle 10 million passengers a year was officially opened by the Secretary of State for Transport today (Friday 22 June).
The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP cut a ribbon to mark the completion of three new aircraft stands – the first of more than 30 separate projects which will enable growth over the next decade.
Each stand has a fixed electrical ground power source, and strict rules govern the use of aircraft auxiliary power units and mobile diesel units in order to reduce noise levels for local residents. The new stands are key to increasing capacity for more aircraft to operate from Bristol, which is currently the fifth largest airport outside London.
With a comprehensive planning approval for infrastructure required to handle predicted growth to 2020 and beyond, Bristol Airport is well placed to meet future demand for air travel from the South West. New facilities and an extended route network will provide more convenient travel options for many of the five million passengers from the region currently flying from London airports.
Developments will include the extension of the terminal building to almost double its size; a new public transport interchange; further aircraft parking stands; and an on-site hotel. A comprehensive package of controls, monitoring and mitigation is in place, including substantial contributions to two major transport schemes in the West of England (the South Bristol Link and Bus Rapid Transit) to improve surface access to the Airport.
Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, said:
“Regional airports such as Bristol have a vital role to play in the life and success of our country, providing the connections, jobs and infrastructure we need to drive economic growth. The work I have seen at Bristol will stand the airport in good stead to serve the needs of regional passengers and businesses for many years to come. I welcome the investment that has gone into these improvements and look forward to seeing Bristol play a full part in the future of UK aviation.“
Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Airport, said:
“This is the start of an exciting journey for Bristol Airport, and I am delighted that the Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, will be joining us to mark the occasion. The Government recognises the value of regional airports, and I am sure the Secretary of State will enjoy seeing first hand how Bristol Airport can contribute to a sustainable future for UK aviation.”
Improvements to existing facilities are also underway, with an additional immigration facility opening this summer and an expanded security search area already in place to increase the efficiency of these essential processes and reduce queues at peak times.