What is Bristol International Airport planning to do?


Passengers6.2 million10 million60% INCREASE
Commercial Flights600008600040% INCREASE
Passenger car journeys3.7m5.7m50% INCREASE
Night flights3300450036% INCREASE
Summer night flights2300350050% INCREASE


CO2 Emissions


520000 tonnes       840000 tonnes       60% INCREASE

In 2008, Bristol International Airport (BIA) handled 6.2m passengers, 60000 commercial
passenger flights and a total of 76000 flights.

The expansion is to enable this to increase to 10m passengers by 2016, with 86,000
passenger flights and a total of over 100,000 flights per year.

This will mean a flight every 210 seconds through the 16 hours of normal opening
hours, but of course there will be far busier times than this average implies.

Extra flights will mean more noise during the day and at night. Most of the planes using the airport are modern planes which means that no
technical improvement in the noise per plane should be anticipated in the next
decade. The number of commercial flights is to increase by over 40%.

During Summer 2008, the airport had 2300 night flights – an average of 11 per
night with a peak of 25.

The airport has offered a cap on night flights of 4500 per year, but in reality
this is hiding a planned increase of 50% during the summer months, just when sleep
is harder and windows likely to be open.

Flights operations really start at 5am, not the published 6am, and with expansion
the number of early and late flights will increase. Not only will this generate
more air noise, but the traffic on local roads during the night will increase
and will start to clash with morning work traffic.

An increase in passengers will mean a increase in road traffic. In 2007, 93% of passengers got to the airport by car and even if BIA achieve
15% using public transport, there will still be an extra 2m car journeys every
year, plus more traffic due to staff and deliveries including around 25 tankers
of fuel each day.

More traffic means more parking, and this will take up a large amount of green
space to the South of the airport. Despite BIA agreeing to double deck and conceal
the northern car park, they have decided instead to have a more obtrusive multistorey
and still expand to the south.

BIA are offering to make a "contribution" of £4m to local road and transport
improvements. This may sound like a lot, but in reality it is a very small amount.
To achieve the 15% of 10m passengers by public transport they are relying on an
extension of the Bus Rapid Transit from central Bristol. Not only has this scheme
not received planning permission, it has not even made it onto local funding priorities.
The scheme would cost at least £50m and be almost exclusively to the benefit of
BIA, so the £3m they might chip in seems remarkably low. The remainder would have
to come from regional transport budgets and reduce the funds available to relieve
congestion and speed environmentally friendly transport throughout the region.

We will have more analysis here soon when we have had time to review the current
proposals in detail.