Today, Bristol is the major airport serving the South West of the UK with more than eight million passengers a year passing through the terminal. We are the ninth busiest airport in the country, and England’s third largest regional airport.
A range of low-cost, full-service and charter airlines fly to more than 120 destinations, including multiple daily services to hub airports with easy onward connections across the globe
In 2006, we published our first Master Plan setting out how the airport should develop. It outlined specific plans to cater for up to nine million passengers a year by 2015 as well as setting out early ideas for a 12.5 million capacity by 2030.
Despite the global financial crisis resulting in a fall in passenger numbers in 2009, the upward trend has continued every year since.
In 2011 we obtained planning permission from North Somerset Council to develop facilities for up to ten million passengers.
£160m of investment
Investment of £160 million between 2010 and 2017 has helped to improve the passenger experience and enabled the airport to develop a ‘sense of place’ linked to the regional identity of Bristol, Bath, Somerset and the wider South West.
Inside the terminal, this funded a new central walkway to ease congestion in a much expanded departure lounge, a state-of-the-art security search area and upgrades to the immigration hall with more passport control points.
Two major extensions have given us hundreds of extra seats, new retail and catering outlets, a second executive lounge, an outdoor rooftop terrace and vastly improved security and baggage reclaim areas.
Elsewhere on the site, there is a new car park reception building, a 201 room hotel and additional aircraft parking stands.
Positive economic impact
This growth is vital for the economy of South West England and South Wales. Today, Bristol Airport supports around 15,000 jobs and adds £1.3 billion to the region’s economy. This includes the spend resulting from more than one million journeys made each year by overseas residents.
We expect demand to reach ten million passengers a year by the early 2020s, rising to 20 million passengers a year by the mid-2040s. This is an opportunity for the region to benefit from increased connectivity, reducing reliance on airports in other parts of the UK. A new Master Plan will set out how we can meet this exciting challenge in the best way for our customers, stakeholders and the local community and environment.
Realising our potential
We recognise that a successful future for this or any other airport is not guaranteed.
In order to realise this potential, capacity constraints will need to be addressed; these include local roads, operational land, and land-use designations. Some of these will need to be overcome in partnership with others.