Bristol Airport

Everyone in the village should have now received the YOUR Airport, a leaflet asking for your views on a proposed expansion to 19 million passenger per annum (mppa). The airport currently has a throughput of 8 mppa. We encourage all residents to respond as it will affect the village through more noise night and day and more traffic on the A370 and lanes. Extension to car parking at the airport is a big issue as it will be on green belt land whilst the multi-storey car park and integrated transport network has not been delivered, as promised under the last planning consent.  On Tuesday 9th January, there will be a consultation run by the airport in the Village Hall from 2 – 9 pm and in Hangstones Pavilion Yatton on 10th January 4 - 8 pm. Please all take the chance to see how expansion will affect you.

Cleeve Parish Councils response:

Cleeve Parish Council has examined ‘Your Airport: Your Feedback Consultation’ and are disappointed that no explanation of aircraft movements has been given, i.e. frequency of movement, details on the night noise quota etc or increase in road traffic. From our point of view, it is ground and air noise and increased traffic going to and from Bristol Airport which is our main concern which impacts on residents within the village. Currently, Cleeve Parish Council object to any further growth until we are shown the mitigation put forward on the various proposed growth scenarios. Cleeve Parish request detailed analysis of traffic, air transport movements and environmental impacts especially with the removal of greenbelt and the impacts on the Greater and Less Horseshoe Bat which is situated in the special area of conversation in Kingswood in our village. We request that a no growth scenario is put forward in the Master Plan.

Until Cleeve Parish Council receive this information, it is impossible to give an informed comment on the three proposals being put forward for growth. ‘Cleeve Parish Council reserve the right to make an informed comment and comparison of the impacts of the scenarios until when detailed information by the airport is given in order that are decision making process is based on evidence’.

PCAA draft response 

The paper sets out high-level plans for delivering economic growth for all but the PCAA question whether the plans are sustainable in the long term for future generations, recognising that further growth at Bristol Airport will exacerbate climate breakdown. The PCAA wonder how you define ‘a sustainable future’ and what would be different in the proposals put forward if the word was absent.

The PCAA recognise that Bristol Airport is a successful airport already which allows businesses to be connected across the world via three European hubs, as does your document. The vision statement of the West of England Combined Authorities reveals that: ‘Our vision is to be a beacon of growth and innovation; a place where everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential and where prosperity delivers for everybody’. This advocates growth now with no mention of a safe environment for future generations; or another way of expressing it ‘business as usual’. The delivery of this vision implies that Bristol Airport will, again, be allowed to expand whatever the environmental costs because the West of England Combined Authorities is also focusing on:

Improving national and international connections to expand the region’s global reach’ and ‘Supporting our businesses in developing and maintaining success in existing and emerging markets around the world’

The PCAA want a vibrant, successful economy but it has to be sustainable. If more global connections are required this should be done by changing the destinations available at Bristol Airport rather an increase that leads to more air transport movements. Only 13% of activity relates to business travel, the vast majority is for leisure and fuels a tourist deficit which takes money away from the local economy. Growth in the airport will lead to a higher deficit and faster climate change – this is not a wise strategy.

Your documents recognise that Bristol Airport is constrained by the current infrastructure to the airport and the planning consent in 2011 which capped Bristol Airport at 10 mppa due to the road network. But there is no acceptance within the evidence document that the airport is situated in a location where it has reached its spatial growth limits and has reached its carbon emission limits.

Although the local infrastructure can be improved, changes should be, as the delivery of the vision states; ‘Developing infrastructure that is sustainable for future generations’.

However, viewing things from a purely cost angle, the PCAA question whether a rail link or metro bus link is attainable in the near future, especially when one considers the case of the Portishead railway. The financial accounts of Bristol Airport 2016 show that there must be considerable financial uncertainty about their willingness and ability to pay for any new infrastructure. 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. Loss of car parking revenue will hit the airport hard, evidenced by the case of the multi-storey car parks which were required by the planning conditions. The airport prefers low-cost car parking on green belt land and has successfully lobbied for the conditions to be lifted.

This does not seem like an organisation willing to pay its share for new infrastructure and mitigation of impacts to the environment. At a time of austerity, will public money will be used? And why should it be used for this particular project? Thus, the PCAA requests sight of a comparison of costs between infrastructure projects which are proposed for the future. These costs should consider in all negative externalities on the environment as well as quality of life for residents within the West of England.

One further but important point: an expanding airport does not fit within the vision of ‘Transitioning to a low carbon economy as a means to meeting the UK’s carbon reduction targets’.

The PCAA note that the Climate Change legislation obliges the Government to include aviation emissions within the Act passed in 2008. The PCAA also note that the Committee on Climate Change in October 2016 issued a statement that UK aviation emissions must be consistent with UK climate change commitments which are to cut greenhouse gases by at least 80% by 2050 as set out by the Climate Change Act. The Government has yet to announce its emission policy on the aviation sector but this does not preclude the West of England Combined Authorities being the first to say no to more expansion at Bristol Airport and becoming an example to the world. The City of Bristol made a climate pledge at the COP21 Paris talks within a global coalition of nearly 400 cities (C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to create a low carbon sustainable future.

Thus, the PCAA request that the development of the West of England’s energy plan and regional framework for energy and climate change, which is being formed at the moment, there is an inclusion of Bristol Airport’s flight emissions as well as ground activities. It is worth noting that our current business-as-usual trajectory takes us to a world that’s about 3.5C warmer not 2C. Therefore there is an urgent need for the business sector to recognise that in delivering sustainable economic growth for the long term, future growth plans at Bristol Airport beyond 10 mppa must be rejected.

PCAA response to questions the consultation questions 

Please click HERE to find the response. 


Suggested response: Bristol Airport has identified five ‘pillars’ for its proposed expansion:

Views of Bristol Airport

Views of Parish Councils Airport Assoc.

Cleeve Parish Council is a member of the 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 not we 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


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.