Bath and North East Somerset Council rejects Bristol Airport application to increase night flights in summer months
Bath and North East Somerset Council has rejected an application by Bristol Airport to increase the number of night flights. The airport wants to increase the number of night flights to 4,000 throughout the whole year, starting in summer 2021. Currently the airport is allowed 3,000 night flights throughout the summer months and 1,000 in winter. The airport wants to be able to move some of their winter allocation to the summer, when demand is higher. Bath and North East Somerset Council rejected the application – stating it would have a negative impact on people living in towns near the airport. The request for more flights comes after the council opposed the expansion of Bristol Airport in March 2019. Then in March 2020 North Somerset Council threw out the plans, (which included increasing passenger numbers by an extra two million each year and building more car parks) on the grounds they were “incompatible” with the council’s declaration of a climate emergency. The extra night flights would cause noise nuisance to people in both councils.
Bath and North East Somerset Council has rejected an application by Bristol Airport to increase the number of night flights.
Bosses applied for ‘co-ordinated airport’ status which would allow them to move some of their winter allocation to the summer, when demand is higher.
They want to increase the number of night flights to 4,000 throughout the whole year, starting from Summer 2021.
Bath and North East Somerset Council rejected the application – stating it would have a negative impact on people living in towns near the airport.
The request for more flights comes after the council opposed the expansion of Bristol Airport in March 2019.
Then in March 2020 North Somerset Council threw out the plans, which included increasing passenger numbers by an extra two million each year and building more car parks.
The controversial proposals were rejected on the grounds they were “incompatible” with the council’s declaration of a climate emergency.
Councillor Sarah Warren, cabinet member for Climate Emergency, said in a statement:”Even before coronavirus, increased awareness of the climate emergency looked set to influence travel behaviour and now the pandemic’s impact has made the future of the airline industry uncertain.
Therefore it seems highly unlikely that passenger increases projected by Bristol Airport to reach 12 million passengers per year will be met in 2020 or in the future. We do not believe that Bristol Airport should be permitted to increase its slot allocation on a year-round basis but should remain with its current summer and winter scheduling.
The disadvantages of more night flights would primarily be borne by Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset residents living in villages and towns close to the airport who would experience more airport traffic.
The other major issue is the increase in pollution and carbon emissions. Approval of this application would lead to the airport having a wider impact on our environment that outweighs any economic benefits.”
Councillor Warren also pointed out that more flights could mean more parking problems in towns and villages on the airport bus route.
These include Newbridge, Bath, Corston and Keynsham.
Bristol Airport opened a public consultation on its plans to change flight numbers in February 2020.
It was due to close in April, but has been extended due to the pandemic.
The only airports currently with ‘co-ordinated status’ in the UK are the London ones – Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London City and Luton – alongside Manchester and Birmingham.
Bristol Airport expansion plans rejected by North Somerset council by 18-7
North Somerset Council’s Planning & Regulatory Committee has gone against the advice of their own planning officers and have refused permission for Bristol Airport to expand. It has been a “David versus Goliath” battle of local campaigners against the airport, (owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan). The airport wanted to expand from 10 million to 12 million passengers per year, with large carpark and other building. The opposition to the plans was huge, on ground of carbon emissions, as well as noise and general local damage. There were almost 9,000 objections sent in by members of the public, against 2,400 in favour. Councillors voted 18-7 against the plans, with one abstention. Councillors were persuaded that paltry economic benefits to the airport and airlines were far outweighed by the environmental harm. There would be large land take for the parking, and the extra carbon emissions would make targets of carbon neutrality for the area unachievable. Because the councillors went against the officers’ recommendations, the decision will return to the same committee to be ratified. If the decision is ratified, the applicant has six months to lodge an appeal, which would be heard at a public inquiry.
Plans to expand Bristol Airport accused of being flawed; decision put off till early 2020
A decision on Bristol Airport’s major expansion bid will not be made this year. They submitted proposals to boost passenger numbers from 10 million to 12 million a year by the mid-2020s, and to expand the airport’s on-site infrastructure. A decision had been due over the summer but people are continuing to comment – there are currently about 3,780 objections and 1,800 letters of support. Reasons for opposing the expansion include climate change, traffic levels, air pollution and noise. When they declared a “climate emergency”, Bath and North East Somerset Council members also voted to oppose the airport’s expansion, amid concerns about increased congestion on rural roads in their area. There is also doubt about alleged economic benefit. The airport and its supporters always talk up the possibility of more jobs, and improved “access international export markets.” In reality, the majority of air passengers are on leisure journeys. The application will be considered by North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee meeting in 2020, with possible dates the 22 January, 19 February and 18 March.
Crowdfunding appeal: Bristol Airport is Big Enough – Help Stop Further Expansion
Bristol Airport plans to significantly increase its passenger numbers, to grow eventually to 20 million passengers per year from a current level of 8.6 million. A group of environmental campaigners and local residents are raising money – through crowdfunding – to fund an important legal challenge to the airport’s planning application, that is being dealt with by North Somerset Council. The group hopes to employ a well respected barrister, Estelle Dehon, who is expert in environment and planning law (with particular expertise in climate change matters). She would be able to legally analyse the 400 plus planning documents on the application, on the Council’s planning website, and offer campaigners and the committee expert evidence for refusal. Estelle has previously worked on the Plan B fight against Heathrow’s third runway. The coming decade is absolutely critical in averting the climate crisis that is upon us. Yet, that same decade is to be used by Bristol Airport to increase the carbon emissions of flights using the airport, by over 500,000 tonnes per year. In addition to the carbon issue, many people in Bristol would be exposed to a range of air pollution substances, including NO2 and black carbon – as well as increased noise nuisance.
Bristol airport hope to expand from 8 to 12 million annual passengers; 73% rise in CO2 emissions
Bristol Airport is hoping to expand. There is a consultation that started on 19th December, and ends on 26th January, on their plans. Details can be found here. The headline application issue is a 50% growth in passengers – from the current 8.2 million per year, to 12 million by the mid 2020’s. Carbon emissions from flights are estimated to rise by 73% from 746 ktCO2 in 2017 to 1,290 ktCO2 with 12 million passengers. The increase in passengers will be achieved by de-restricting night flights up to 4,000 per year, expanding car parks, changing road lay outs, and building a multi-storey car park (persuasively capped with some wind turbines). There are further plans to raise passenger numbers to 20 million by 2040. There is a lot of local opposition, focused on issues such as congested roads, ‘parking blights’ (cars parked in lanes etc), other local environmental impacts, noise pollution – through the night and day. There are some minimal hyper-localised ‘Noise Insulation Grants’ (up to £5000 for glazing). The airport plans to get more income in from cafes, shops and car parking, to boost profits. Bristol Airport is entirely owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – it is not British owned at all.