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New M&S Simply Food outlet at Bristol Airport

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Page last updated: 24th Mar 2017 - 12:18 PM

Attention all Bristol food lovers! M&S is in the process of opening a new store within Bristol Airport. The outlet, which will provide high quality food and beverages, is expected to have longer opening hours compared to its equivalent high street stores. Even better still, both departures and arrivals will have access to it, too.

Simon Preece, commercial director at Bristol Airport said: “We are delighted to welcome the M&S Simply Food brand to Bristol Airport for the first time. This is an iconic brand that will significantly enhance the retail offer available to passengers, continuing to further extend the choice of retails shops on site. The location of the new store, situated within the new £24m west terminal extension, is suitable for all passengers whether arriving or departing and will offer extended opening hours not available on the high street.”

The new M&S Simply Food stores boast the very best and highest quality when it comes to providing for their customers. New ranges such as “food on the move” and “food for tonight” look to bring a sense of ease to M&S customers when they purchase food and beverages, while still providing that consistent high quality. The store will be open from the first available flight up until the last of the day.

Simon Smith, CEO, SSP UK & Ireland said :“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Bristol Airport with the opening of the new M&S Simply Food retail outlet in arrivals. We have been trading at the airport for over 10 years and this new partnership extends our long term relationship as the airport’s leading food and beverage supplier.”

The location of the new M&S store is situated within the new £24m extension to the West Terminal and has been open since March 8th 2017.

Want to keep up to date with all of the Bristol Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Bristol Airport launches new hidden disabilities assistance card

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Page last updated: 22nd Mar 2017 - 12:57 PM

Bristol Airport have exciting news; April will see the full launch of their new hidden disabilities assistance care,a programme put in place in an attempt to increase ease of travel for passengers with specific extra needs at the airport.

With planned implementation around the end of March 2017, qualifying passengers will be issued with a pass which is expected to be a similar size to a credit card. This will allow passengers to discreetly indicate to airport staff that they may need extra assistance throughout the facilities. The card will be able to identify a range of specific needs and medical conditions, such as alerting staff to extra time needed to board, extra assistance for reading of departure boards, and whether or not the use of sign language is required. A great example of when the card would be used is when the boarding pass is handed in for inspection.

The new plans are in partnership with OCS Group, a special assistance provider who work within many UK Airports, who have in turn collaborated with Thumbs Up World Limited to create a pocket sized booklet containing useful medical information. The content includes what to expect at the airport, along with photographs of vital medical points within the terminal, as well as important places of interest such as check-in and security.
Phil Holder, the Operations Manager at Bristol Airport, said: ‘We are delighted to work with OCS and listen to feedback from families and various charities in the development of the hidden disabilities special assistance card. For families it will remove and reduce some of the stress knowing that staff are aware and understand the challenges they may face.

‘The booklet will also be a great help to families and provides information in advance of their visit and allows the family to complete the booklet together not only before they visit, but during their time at the Airport also.’

Customer facing staff at Bristol Airport have been trained in a full awareness programme ahead of the new initiative beginning in March. The hidden disabilities assistance card, lanyard or booklet are available by request at the OCS special assistance desk within the main terminal prior to check-in.

Want to keep up to date with all of the Humberside Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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£2.3m redevelopment at Bristol Airport

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Page last updated: 24th Jan 2017 - 03:02 PM

New work has begun at Bristol Airport as part of its £2.3 million redevelopment project. Highlights of the new work include major improvements made to the immigration hall and a new hotel.

The 201-room accommodation, owned by Hilton Bristol Airport, is the first of its kind on the site which will be situated just a few minutes walk from the terminal building itself. Noticeable facilities such as free wifi, hot breakfast for all guests, business and fitness centres and meeting spaces for up to 20 people mean that the new hotel will be accommodating for everyone! If you would like to reserve a room here, there hotel are taking reservations as of March 1st.

Alison Roberts, head of customer operations, Bristol Airport, said: “These new facilities will be in place for passengers from April onwards, in time for the busy summer holiday season and will make a big difference to the airport experience.

“In the meantime, we will be working closely with Border Force to keep any inconvenience to passengers during the improvement works to a minimum.”
As well as the plans for a new hotel, the redevelopment to the immigration hall will see an increase in passport control gates from 10 to 17, as well as 10 state of the art ePassport gates. Once these changes have been made, further investment will be made to implement a new reception centre as well as improved changes to the heavily used Silver Zone car park, which is often the first facility experienced for many people travelling through Bristol Airport.

Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Airport, said:

“Completion of the west terminal extension will enable us to turn our attention to the immigration area, where passengers can sometimes wait longer than we would like at the busiest times. By enlarging and reconfiguring this area and introducing the latest Border Force technology we aim to make arriving at Bristol Airport as fast and efficient as possible.”

Want to keep up to date with all of the Bristol Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Get some winter sun with new flights from easyJet!

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Page last updated: 6th Oct 2016 - 02:44 PM

Take the chance to catch the sun this winter with the new flights launched by easyJet from Bristol Airport! The budget airline has started running a flight route to the sun soaked shores of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria which has been known to reach 25 degrees in mid-December, while Britain are reaching for their coats! .

Known for its white sandy beaches and black lava, Gran Canaria, one of the Spanish Canary Islands, will have easyJet flights running twice a week from Bristol throughout autumn and winter from £26.99 per person each way.

UK Commercial Manager for easyJet, Ali Gayward, said: "We're really pleased to launch yet another great route from Bristol Airport which is already proving extremely popular with our passengers.

"Gran Canaria has a something for everyone – from enduring beaches to the sand dunes in Maspalomas, the shopping in Las Palmas to the night time entertainment in Playa del Ingles.

"We're absolutely committed to making travel easy and affordable for our passengers in the South-West and Wales - we now fly to 60 destinations from Bristol Airport and it's one of the biggest bases in our network."

Since the beginning of operations 14 years ago, Bristol Airport marked a milestone at the beginning of the year of carrying over 40 million passengers.
Passengers travelling from Bristol Airport can also grab some winter sun through destinations such as Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Funchal in Madeira.

Want to keep up to date with all of the Bristol Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Bristol sees biggest ever passenger numbers within the last 12 months

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Page last updated: 25th May 2016 - 10:58 AM

Back in 1957, the first commercial flight from Bristol Airport took to the sky. At this time, it was used to welcome just 33,000 passengers per year. Back to the present day and things have certainly stepped up a gear for the West-Country airport. It has recently been announced that, 49 years later, a staggering 7 million passengers travelled through Bristol Airport within the last year.

Not only have the staff achieved major success this year, but the airport has been consistently growing since 2010. All of the hard work has now paid off as they were recently named the 9th busiest airport in the UK.

This is all down to the chartered airlines who operate at Bristol Airport increasing their number of destinations to 116, 16 of which are capital cities. New routes include; Bristol to Katowice in Poland, Kosice in Slovakia and Orlando in the United States.

Robert Sinclair, who is the CEO of Bristol Airport, has told Bristol 24/7: “Increased demand for air travel is a positive sign that our region’s economy continues to thrive”. It would seem this isn’t only good news for the airport, but for the city itself. They are well and truly ready for the increase of passenger numbers, with a new £24 million west terminal expansion already in place. We are looking forward to watching this airport grow even more in the near future!

If you’ve got a Bristol Airport-related story, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

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Flights from Bristol Airport to Nantes and Venice now boarding!

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Page last updated: 30th Mar 2016 - 03:39 PM

Whilst the English weather is lovely in it’s own way, we know that by now, you are probably craving a little bit of sun! Well, easyJet can give you just that with their two brand new routes now available from Bristol Airport. The two routes - which let you escape to the French city of Nantes or the equally picturesque Venice in Italy - are expected to take 70,000 people in and out of Bristol per year.

Not only will you be able to visit these two beautiful cities, but you will be able to do it for probably cheaper than you think. Bristol to Venice could cost you just £32.24* per person whereas a twice-a-week Bristol to Nantes flight could cost as little as £22.24* per person.

Ali Gayward, who is easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, said: “Being one of the most romantic and magical places in the world, Venice often tops people’s list of places to visit at least once in their life. Meanwhile, Nantes attracts flocks of holidaymakers every year thanks to its numerous art galleries, museums, fine dining and beautiful architecture.” We have to admit, both sound absolutely lovely!

Of course, it was earlier this year that easyJet marked their milestone of 40 million passengers from Bristol Airport after setting up a base there 14 years ago. With these two stunning destinations added to the 56 others that easyJet already fly to from Bristol, it looks set to be another good year for both the airport and the airline.

*all prices found on Bristol Airport’s official website.

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If you were lucky enough to get your hands on tickets for the Rugby World Cup, that’s great news! We thought we’d make the trip a little less stressful by comparing easiest ways to get to the stadium on match days, including travel time and costs.

The Fixtures to be held at Kingsholm Stadium will be;

19th September - Tonga v Georgia
23rd September - Scotland v Japan
25th September - Argentina v Georgia
11th October - USA v Japan

Bristol Airport is ideally located and relatively cheap to fly to; a return flight from Scotland will cost from £120 direct. A range of public transport is also available, making Kingsholm easily accessible.

Bristol Airport Address:

Bristol Airport,
Bristol,
BS48 3DY

Distance to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium:

50 miles, 60 mins

By Train

Although not the quickest route, taking a train is the most convenient option;

Take the train from Bristol Airport to Bristol Temple Meades.
Depart the train here and jump on the connecting train to Gloucester. An off peak return ticket will cost around £28.
It is then a short, sign posted walk to the Stadium.

By Car

Your quickest option may be to hire a car from the Airport and drive to Gloucester. Prices start around £28 and gives you the option to go and explore the beautiful city and surroundings.

Sat-Nav Postcode: GL4 3RS (for park and Ride)
Leave the airport and join the M5
Leave the motorway at Junction 11A and merge onto the A417
You will see the EDF Energy Building in front of you. follow signs for the Overflow / park and Ride Car park.
For Match Days, the price for Park and Ride is £6.

By Coach

National Express Coaches run a convenient service into Gloucester, their quickest journey takes just over 2 hours and prices for a return ticket are around £25, depending on the times of travel.
You’ll then need to get a 15 minute taxi journey to the stadium.

By Taxi

An average price for a return journey comes in at £167! We would suggest the train with a short taxi journey at the other end!

Hotels

If you plan to stay for a few matches, or want to explore Bristol further, be sure to compare hotel prices to make the most of your stay.

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If you are planning on heading to Sandy Park Stadium, Exeter to catch Italy, Namibia, Tonga, Georgia or Romania battle it out for the World Cup Trophy, you may find our travel information useful!

The Fixtures to be held at Sandy park will be;

29th September - Tonga v Namibia
7th October - Namibia v Georgia
11th October - Italy v Romania

The UK is expecting a surge of international supporters throughout the World Cup, so we detailed the various ways to travel to the stadium from Bristol Airport.

Bristol Airport Address:

Bristol Airport,
Bristol,
BS48 3DY

Distance to Sandy Park Stadium:

65 miles, 1 hour 10 mins

By Car:

Driving direct is probably the easiest option if this is available to you.
You can hire a car at Bristol Airport with prices starting at just £27!

1) Sat-Nav Postcode: EX2 7NN
2) Leave the airport and follow signs for the M5 (South)
3) Continue on M5 and exit at Junction 30
4) Follow signs for the A3052 / West Point Arena (Park and Ride)
5) Shuttle Bus will take you to the Stadium Car park so will require a 2 minute walk to the stadium.

Taxi

An average price for a return journey comes in at £235. We think you’d be better off hiring your own car!!

By Coach

If you choose a National Express Coach, the journey will take around 3 ½ hours, and a return journey will cost from £18.40 depending on the times you choose to travel!

The Coach will take you to Exeter Bus and Coach Station, from which you can catch the Service 52 A, B or C (Exeter to Sidmouth) bus which takes approx. 30mins, or jump in a taxi direct in just half the time.

By Train

1) Grab a Taxi or Bus to Bristol Temple Meads Station
2) You’ll need the Cross Country service Towards Plymouth
3) Exit the Train at Exeter St Davids
4) From this station, you’ll need the First Great Western service towards Exmouth
5) Depart the train at Digby and Sowton. Your train journey cost is approx. £45 for an open return (return within one month)
6) Sandy Park is a 10 minute walk from here.

Hotels

Thinking of extending your stay, or simply getting a bit of rest in before you head home? With plenty of local hotels to choose from, comparing prices couldn't be easier when using our guide here. Pick from a wide selection of hotels, including those on the Airport itself.

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Three new routes from Bristol Airport

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Page last updated: 23rd Feb 2015 - 03:35 PM

BMI launches three new routes from Bristol: Paris, Düsseldorf and Nantes. The new flights to Paris and Düsseldorf will start from 27 April 2015, and the flights to Nantes will start on 4 July 2015.

Flights to Paris will be available 6 days a week, whilst the Düsseldorf flight will operate six times a week from Sun to Fri.

The route from Bristol to Paris will be a double-daily weekday service to the French capital’s key airport, Paris Charles de Gaulle. This new route also means business passengers will be able to complete a same day return trip to the French capital.

Residents and businesses from surrounding areas benefit from direct flights to Europe’s large cities such as Paris, with the convenience of boarding a flight locally instead of having to use London airports.

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easyJet to introduce new routes from Gatwick, Bristol and Southend

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Page last updated: 29th Oct 2013 - 01:59 PM

If you are a fan of low-cost carrier easyJet you will be pleased to know that the airline is adding numerous new routes to its schedules.

Last month they announced a new service between London Southend and Tenerife, starting on December 13th. The service will run twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, and 11,000 passengers are expected to escape the British winter and head for the sun in the Canaries.

At the beginning of the month passengers in the south-west of England were delighted to hear of two new routes operating from Bristol. As from December, flights to Marrakech and Reykjavik will be on offer and are expected to attract some 55,000 passengers.

Last week the carrier gave details of various new routes added to their schedule from summer 2014. Those living in the south-east have four new services from London Gatwick to Jersey, Paris, Brittany (Brest) and Newcastle. Gatwick is easyJet’s largest base.

From next summer flights will operate from Belfast International Airport to Bordeaux and Jersey. easyJet is the largest airline operating out of the Northern Irish airport.

Residents of Scotland have not been forgotten, with Edinburgh and Glasgow airports unveiling new routes for summer 2014. Flights from the Scottish capital to Heraklion on the Greek island of Crete and Bodrum in the Aegean region of Turkey will prove popular with sunseekers. Those living in the west of Scotland will be able to choose from two new routes from Glasgow airport to Split on the Mediterranean coast of Croatia and the Greek island of Kos.

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Don't drink and fly, say Somerset police

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Page last updated: 25th Jun 2011 - 02:25 PM

Somerset police have asked travellers not to turn up at their local airport drunk, or with the intention of getting drunk while waiting for their flight. The warning, which applies to Bristol Airport, but could easily be extrapolated to any hub in the country, is designed to deter a “small minority” from causing trouble at the Lulsgate site.

The ‘Know Your Limit’ campaign may appear to be a response to an escalating problem, but the Somerset Constabulary was quick to point out that there have been no significant alcohol-related incidents at Bristol Airport in 2011. The purpose of the scheme, then, is prevention, rather than cure.

Bristol Airport is the largest airport in southwestern England, serving the counties of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, and of course, Somerset. The hub handled almost 6m people last year, many of which were heading to popular resorts in Europe, such as Alicante, Ibiza, and Prague. The popularity of Bristol’s routes with stag and hen parties means that large groups of people may be passing through the airport, and, more often than not, visiting the airport’s food and drink outlets.

While there is nothing immediately wrong with consuming alcohol at an airport, and many nervous or bored travellers will eventually make their way to a bar or coffee house, flyers who choose to drink beer or wine should be aware of their personal ‘limit’.

PC Andy Bibbings, of the Somerset Constabulary, said that anti-social behaviour that “negatively effects the enjoyment of other passengers” or “causes anyone to feel threatened or unsafe” would not be tolerated. “The reality is that the culprit may end up in a cell”, the police officer explained.

The Know Your Limit campaign will run in tandem with a customer information scheme, “Drink Awareness for Passengers”. The latter project will be supported by leaflets and ‘table-top spinners’, located around the airport.

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Bristol adds drop-off fee, promises new routes

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Page last updated: 27th May 2011 - 04:38 PM

Bristol Airport has become the latest hub to implement a £1 charge for the use of drop-off zones. The levy, which mirrors similar schemes at Newcastle, East Midlands, and Belfast airports, is designed to combat congestion at the Somerset hub, by encouraging motorists to travel on local trains, trams, and buses.

Drop-off fees are very unpopular. The introduction of the £1 levy at Newcastle Airport caused outrage amongst local motorists. Words such as, “chaotic”, “disgraceful”, and “disgusting”, were used liberally by critics in reference to the parking fee, but the scheme continues to gain in popularity at other UK hubs.

The relative apathy with which subsequent ‘pay-per-stay’ car parks have been greeted suggests that holidaymakers have accepted the spread of the £1 tax as inevitable, or that the media has grown tired of reporting on the issue. The addition of the levy at Bristol, for example, has been very sparsely reported, and without a single word of protest from local motorists.

Bristol’s new ‘express’ drop-off area, located a few metres to the southeast of the main terminal building, costs £1 for a stay of up to twenty minutes, and £4 for visits lasting up to half an hour. The new zone replaces a free parking area, which has been moved to the other side of the airport, and now resides within the long-stay parking zone.

A spokesperson for Bristol Airport said that the drop-off fee represents a “decrease in cost”, compared to the previous parking tariff. However, taxi drivers, arguably the group that is hit the hardest by parking charges, will almost invariably lose money, as Bristol has refused to offer any lenience beyond a simple discount.

In related news, Bristol Airport chiefs are “confident” that new destinations will soon be available from the Lulsgate hub. The announcement, made on Bristol’s official website, appeared a few days after the airport’s representatives returned from Routes Europe 2011, an annual ‘match-making’ conference, which aims to connect airports with airlines.

Shawn Browne, aviation director at Bristol, said that the Somerset hub is “fast becoming a destination that other airports want to see on their departure boards”. Mr. Browne noted that airlines were “impressed by the strength of the southwest market”. The new routes, if any, will be revealed in mid-to-late 2011.

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Fly to Boa Vista, Cape Verde, in winter 2011

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Page last updated: 4th Mar 2011 - 04:47 PM

From November 2011, Thomson Airways will connect Bristol Airport with the island of Boa Vista. The destination, which is a member of the independent Cape Verde Islands, is situated off the coast of Senegal and Mauritania in West Africa. Bristol Airport says that Boa Vista is “untouched” by world tourism, making it ideal for travellers who have grown weary of Benidorm, Alicante, and similar ‘sun and sea’ resorts.

Boa Vista is a paradise island, warmer and dryer than the Canary Islands, but just as picturesque. Towards the coast, gently sloping dunes end in white beaches. Rusty shipwrecks, some submerged beneath the sea, create an unusual panorama for first-time visitors. Boa Vista’s Rabil Airport and the popular Riu Karamboa Hotel are equally unique, resembling giant sandcastles. Bristol Airport’s aviation director, Shaun Browne, referred to Boa Vista as an “exciting new destination” for holidaymakers in need of a break from Britain’s overcast skies.

The route from Bristol will be operated by Thomson Airways until April 2012. The carrier already offers 40 destinations from Bristol Airport, including trans-Atlantic flights to Sanford in Florida and Cancún, Mexico. Planes will depart from Bristol every Tuesday for the duration of the winter season. Flights to Boa Vista from Glasgow and East Midlands airports will also begin later this year, courtesy of Thomson.

Package deals for holidays at the Royal Decameron, Riu Touareg, and Riu Karamboa hotels are being sold by Thomson, beginning at £704 per person for a seven-night stay. The hotels, located on Boa Vista’s beaches, generally offer three to four-star accommodation, with a variety of bars and restaurants available on site.

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Bristol installs ‘twisted’ wind turbine

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Page last updated: 27th Jan 2011 - 12:14 PM

Terms like ‘carbon footprint,’ ‘global warming,’ and ‘renewable energy’ are rarely out of the headlines in this enlightened century. The idea that an industry can be both productive and environmentally friendly is a favourite daydream of engineers and businessmen, but few companies have the money or the desire to install a few solar panels on the cafeteria roof.

However, Bristol Airport has made an effort to catch up with the country’s eco-warriors, by installing a new wind turbine on the front lawn. The turbine, standing 20m tall, has a unique helical, or ‘twisted,’ design, which produces less noise and fewer vibrations than conventional windmills, such as those at Thanet, off the coast of Kent. The structure, says Bristol Airport, is part of an ongoing pilot project.

The Southwest Regional Development Agency contributed £39,000 to the purchase of the turbine, while specialist manufacturer, Aeolus Power, was responsible for designing and installing the contraption, dubbed the Quiet Revolution qr5. Christine Griffiths, a partner of Aeolus, said that the qr5 was “ideal for Bristol Airport,” as the turbine was designed to function in built-up areas.

Bosses at the southwest airport hope to generate enough electricity to make 203,000 cups of tea (0.03kw per cup) during the turbine’s first year, a remarkable number of beverages for a lone windmill. Whether the hub has actually spent thousands of pounds on powering a giant kettle is debatable.

Alan Davies, planning officer at Bristol, referred to the turbine as a “high profile statement of our ambition to reduce our reliance on carbon.” The structure is ostensibly part of plans to expand and upgrade the airport to support 12.5m passengers by 2030, more than double Bristol Airport’s total traffic in 2010.

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Green light for Bristol's 'first hotel'

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Page last updated: 19th Jan 2011 - 02:22 PM

A sustainable (and rather unusual) hotel is to be built at Bristol Airport, according to news website Hotel Designs. The building, alleged to be the hub’s first dedicated hotel, is being developed by London-based firm EPR Architects, the scribblers behind the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground, Hampshire, and ITV’s Granada Studios in Manchester.

The structure, once complete, will stand within a short walk of the airport’s main terminal, providing travellers with unrivalled access to the UK’s ninth largest hub. The hotel’s day-to-day operation will be handled by Pederson Hotels, a company that owns similar accommodation in Sheffield and Reading.

Arranged into two ‘wings’, the hotel is H-shaped and has its own dedicated parking zone to the west of the building. The as-yet-unnamed structure will be built from materials which prevent the loss of heat and energy to the cold outside the walls. Current plans will allow a maximum of 251 guests on 3 or 4 floors.

“The hotel has been designed to have a strong horizontal emphasis with colour used to articulate the form,” explains Hotel Designs. In layman’s terms, the building has colourful stripes. The architects hope that the stripy exterior will distinguish it from the ‘office block’ style of many new budget hotels.

A restaurant and bar installed adjacent to the main reception area will delight hungry guests, while three meeting rooms will allow business types to discuss the latest pie chart over a hot projector. The hotel will be fronted by a "landscaped area” complete with a path that leads to the terminal doors.

The development will help officials at Bristol Airport achieve their collective dream of 10 million passengers a year by 2020, a goal that is supported by a controversial £150m expansion due to get underway in the coming months.

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The Land of the Pharaohs, from Bristol

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Page last updated: 18th Nov 2010 - 12:50 PM

Earlier this month, staff at Bristol Airport swapped their uniforms for something a little more extravagant, as the hub celebrated a new Thomson Airways route to Luxor, Egypt, with a pharaoh-themed fancy dress party.

Luxor, the site of the Ancient Egyptian city, Thebes, is one of the most popular tourist resorts in North Africa. The city sits on the banks of the Nile, and claims the ruins of the Karnak temple, and the nearby Valley of the Kings as landmarks.

Explorers can also book a felucca (a small yacht) ride on the Nile. The Greek historian, Herodotus, once said that Egypt was given to the world by the famous river, emphasising its importance in founding the ‘Land of the Pharaohs.’ Man-eating crocodiles, weighing 225kg, were also gifted to Egypt by the Nile.

With an average July temperature of 41 degrees Celsius, Luxor is an ideal destination for both sun seekers and would-be historians alike.

Airport bosses say that Thomson has helped boost winter capacity at the North Somerset hub by an impressive 55% over 2009, by adding the Luxor route, introducing a flight from Bristol to Gran Canaria at the beginning of November, and making the decision to base a second aircraft at the airport.

Bristol claims that seven new Thomson routes will go on sale during the winter of 2010/11, but it is unknown whether the airline’s latest additions are included in that figure. Flights to Larnaca in Cyprus, Heraklion in Greece, and Reus in Spain, are at least some of the routes to be introduced during the colder months.

Thomson is operating the flight to Luxor alongside its sister company, First Choice. Tickets for the route are being sold at £199 for a return trip, all taxes included. The price is for a single adult returning after a seven or fourteen day stay in Egypt. Naturally, First Choice is offering package deals for Luxor, with a week at the four-star hotel, the Iberotel Luxor, costing £374 per person.

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Man arrested with 'arsenal' of weapons

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Page last updated: 4th Nov 2010 - 01:59 PM

While smuggling is a staple of Hollywood blockbusters, from the global transport of heavy weapons in Lord of War, starring Nicolas Cage, to cocaine trafficking in Martin Scorsese’s, Goodfellas, the reality of smuggling is rarely flattering, with the culprits often portrayed as idiots in the media.

For example: a would-be cocaine smuggler was arrested at Newcastle Airport earlier this year, after locking himself in his own car, a feat that most would consider impossible, given that he had the keys on his person.

With airport security at its most paranoid in recent memory, pending a possible review in the coming months, smugglers are being captured at a prodigious rate, carrying such bizarre items as seahorses, boa constrictors, rare eggs, and even three alligators – possibly the last thing you would want to hide in your underpants.

Yet, audacious and ridiculous smuggling schemes happen every day, with one of the most recent occurring at Bristol Airport earlier this year. Liam Dimond, a 20-year-old male from Patchway, Bristol, was reportedly caught trying to bring an “arsenal” of weapons through his local airport, according to newspaper, the Evening Post.

Liam had been travelling back from a holiday in Bulgaria with his parents when customs officers discovered the haul.

The items, which were all melee weapons, barring a few throwing stars and a stun gun, included knuckle-dusters and flick knives, some of which were disguised as mundane items, such as cigarette lighters. The culprit claimed that the weapons, numbering ten in all, were “collection items” destined for his bedroom wall, rather than functional arms.

Owen Strickland, Dimond’s solicitor, said that the defendant had an “interest” in the handheld weapons after “seeing them in films.”

Dimond pleaded guilty to the offence earlier this month, but the case has since been referred to Bristol Crown Court, after a local magistrate ruled that the sheer size of the arsenal, coupled with Dimond’s previous convictions, meant that any sentence would need to be meted out by a judge with greater powers.

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Flybe pleads with islanders

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Page last updated: 4th Nov 2010 - 01:56 PM

Isle of Man residents need to start using Flybe’s route to Bristol Airport, or it will be axed, said airline boss, Mike Rutter.

Speaking in March, just a few days after the airline unveiled the route between the city and the island, Mike said, “Our Isle of Man passengers are looking for regular, reliable services with a carrier that is committed long-term to the island.”

However, the budget airline’s loyalty to the island has been tested by falling passenger numbers, prompting the carrier’s decision to review the route.

The Isle of Man, famed for the triskelion on its flag and its annual Tourist Trophy (or ‘TT’) motorcycle race, has been a staple of aviation news in recent months, chiefly concerning the activities of native carrier, Manx2.

Manx2 recently transferred its entire operation from Belfast International Airport to neighbouring Belfast City Airport, claiming that the move would “double” the size of its business in Northern Ireland.

Then, at the beginning of October, the airline was voted the best flight provider on the island, receiving 15% more of the votes than larger carrier, easyJet.

Flybe claims that the popularity of the Isle of Man is borne out by a rise in passenger numbers at other airports operating Flybe routes to the island, including Birmingham, Luton, and Manchester.

This means that either Bristol Airport is driving customers away, or travellers are being hoovered up by rival airports and airlines.

In this case, the fabled ‘giant-killer’ appears to be Gloucestershire Airport, located 50 miles up the M5 motorway. The tiny hub is home to just one airline, Manx2, which provides routes to Jersey, and its homeland, the Isle of Man.

EasyJet’s new route to Liverpool from the island has also been cited as a possible contributor to the failure of the Bristol-Isle of Man connection.

Bristol Airport bosses were not optimistic, with Director, Ann Reynolds, saying that she “would not be surprised,” if Flybe decided to operate the Isle of Man route on a summer-only basis, a dramatic cull of the 11 weekly flights operating at present.

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Officials seize cocaine suitcase

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Page last updated: 1st Oct 2010 - 02:21 PM

Border officials at UK airports have enjoyed some success in the fight against drug smuggling, after a would-be dealer was apprehended at Bristol Airport earlier this month and two more individuals were sentenced to a combined 10 years in prison for cocaine trafficking offences committed in January and June.

On Saturday, officials at Bristol Airport arrested a man trying to smuggle a suitcase full of cocaine into the country. The man, Andrius Karbauskis, believed to be Lithuanian in origin, arrived on a jet from Antalya, Turkey, carrying the £250,000 haul in "false compartments" inside the suitcase.

Cocaine, which is one of the most popular recreational drugs in the world, carries a maximum penalty in the UK of life imprisonment for supply, and seven years in jail for possession. People have been charged with ‘intent to supply’ after being found with just 1 gram of the Class A substance.

Gateshead man Dean Gilmore was sentenced to three years in jail on Friday for a botched attempt to escape Newcastle Airport with £88,000 worth of cocaine. Dean, who was carrying 2.4kg of the banned drug, was arrested in January after locking himself inside his own vehicle, a Vauxhall Omega with a malfunctioning auto-locking mechanism.

Detective Constable David Johnson said that the “vigilance” of airport staff and police officers had contributed to Gilmore’s arrest.

Completing the trio of convictions, Elphia Dlamini, an air hostess at South African Airways, was found guilty of cocaine smuggling on Monday and sentenced to seven years in prison. Elphia was rumbled by sniffer dog Clever Trevor at Heathrow Airport in June. She had been carrying a 3kg drugs haul worth £120,000 in her bra and knickers.

Somerset newspaper The Weston Mercury claims that the UK Border Agency is “cracking down” on a range of offences, from drug smuggling to sham marriages and illegal immigration.

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'Green light' for Bristol expansion

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Page last updated: 24th Sep 2010 - 01:19 PM

The UK secretary of state has raised no further concerns about Bristol Airport’s controversial expansion plans, meaning that work on the project can now begin as planned. The move ends years of bickering over the environmental impact of the £150m scheme.

Councillors had recommended that the expansion go ahead as recently as May 2010, but the paperwork had to be considered by a local planning association before construction could begin.

Bristol has one of the largest airports in the UK, handling an average of 5.6m travellers every year. However, the hub wants to attract 9m passengers within the next five years and 12.5m passengers by 2030.

Such a monumental jump in traffic is unachievable with facilities that are more accustomed to handling a few million a year. At least that is the argument that Bristol bosses have been putting forward since the airport’s Master Plan was published in 2006.

The Master Plan, which is a document detailing the airport’s plans for the near future, also mentioned a huge rise in the number of aircraft travelling to and from Bristol Airport, from 53,000 in 2004 to 108,000 in 2030.

Critics were not impressed with the news, and set about trying to block the expansion.

Four years later, a representative for the pressure group Stop Bristol Airport Expansion, Hilary Burn, said that the news of the airport’s success was “exceptionally disappointing” and “against North Somerset Council's policies".

Airport bosses claim that the plan was subjected to “vigorous examination" but opponents have drawn attention to the airport’s ‘policy’ of ignoring the results of public consultations after only 320 of 5,500 comments were in favour of the plan.

In protest, the magazine Beautiful Britain painted a runway in a Bristol field during May to highlight a perceived trend of runways springing up ‘overnight.’

The airport believes that the project will be a huge boon to the local area, creating 4,000 jobs and generating £340m extra revenue per year.

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Airport roads ‘filled with cars’

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Page last updated: 23rd Aug 2010 - 04:09 PM

Airport parking might not seem like a polarising subject, but the rapid adoption of levies for people wanting to use airport drop-off zones has kept the nation’s car parks at the top of the headlines in recent months.

Now, councillors in the southwest are bidding to keep parking problems in the spotlight for another week, by accusing Bristol Airport of increasing traffic congestion on the A38, a major trunk road that feeds the hub from the south.

The problem is again linked to drop-off zones, but unlike Edinburgh Airport, Bristol does not charge passengers for using the ‘kiss and fly’ area located outside the main terminal – for the first ten minutes, at least.

Drivers who want to stay for longer than ten minutes must pay a £4 fee for up to 30 minutes parking and £5 for 30-60 minutes. Stays of longer than 2 hours incur a charge of £50, the equivalent of 11 days parking in the long stay car park, when pre-booked.

Once the permitted stay has expired, drivers cannot use the free drop-off zone for a full 15 minutes.

Bristol councillors note that drivers are trying to ‘bend the rules’ by leaving the airport once the initial free period has elapsed, and parking on the roads surrounding the airport until the 15 minute no-return rule has lapsed.

Ironically, forcing drivers to leave the airport after ten minutes, a measure that is supposed to ease congestion at the hub, has contributed to a rise in the volume of traffic moving along nearby roads.

A spokesperson for the airport urged drivers to think carefully about how long they intend to stay – “customers using the drop-off zones for longer stays are reducing the number of spaces available for short 'kiss and fly' stops.”

The airport claims that the existing parking scheme encourages people to park in the “most appropriate car park” for the length of their stay, but residents in the village of Wrington, Bristol, want their local hub to make on-site parking more attractive to potential visitors.

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Deal secures peace for Bristol villagers

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Page last updated: 17th May 2010 - 02:52 PM

Barrow Gurney is a small town in Somerset, situated by the banks of a reservoir, and surrounded on all sides by open farmland. It has a traditional village hall, the ‘dirtiest hospital in the country’ prior to its abandonment in 2006, and traffic calming measures that would make a tank pause.

The town has been blighted by heavy congestion over the past few years, with regular travellers using Barrow Gurney’s roads as a shortcut to Bristol Airport. The town has the incredible misfortune to be stuck on the only major road that connects the A370 and the A38, with no other routes within 5 miles of the village green.

As the A38 leads directly to Bristol Airport, the Somerset hub has been much blamed for most – if not all – of Barrow Gurney’s traffic problems. Fortunately, a newly signed contract between the airport and local taxi firm, Checker Cars, could help alleviate rural congestion in a number of small towns and villages in the Bristol area.

Checker Cars will now be encouraged to avoid Barrow Gurney, wherever possible, or risk losing its exclusive contract with Bristol Airport. Drivers must also honour the town’s 20mph speed limit if no alternative routes can be found. The airport’s transport officer, Ian Hiles, hopes that Checker Cars can be instrumental in ‘improving’ local communities.

‘Fuel-efficient’ cars and buses will be added to Checker Cars’ ranks over the coming year, suggesting that Bristol Airport is trying to lose its reputation as an enemy to the rural environment. The airport was recently the target of a campaign by magazine, Beautiful Britain, which implied that an expansion of Bristol’s terminal was being undertaken without regard for public opinion.

The magazine sketched a giant runway in a field beside the M5 motorway. The words ‘Planning Approved’ were stamped across the middle, epitomising the public’s struggle against aggressive expansion.

Related Links

Campaigners Paint Runway Mural

Councillors Back £150m Expansion

Cabbies' Disgust at Parking Scheme

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Campaigners paint runway mural

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Page last updated: 7th May 2010 - 02:23 PM

At first glance, Bristol and Heathrow airports might appear to have little in common, save for a few similar airlines and a bookstore or two, but these two hubs share a rather unpleasant accolade: they have both drawn criticism for their expansion plans, however successful they might be in the end.

Campaigners’ main concern is that public opinion is being ignored, especially with regard to the environmental impact of night flying, terminal upgrades, and runway extensions at Britain’s many airports. Birmingham, Manchester, and Edinburgh have also proposed or undertaken expansion projects in recent years, with little regard for the feelings of local residents.

Whilst Manchester’s decision to destroy two listed buildings and build a hangar on a newt colony might have given eco-warriors something new to complain about, there is no denying that aggressive expansion by UK airports is eroding the public’s confidence in both the government and the aviation industry.

So, when Bristol Airport’s expansion plans were given the green light by local councillors, despite months of aggressive lobbying by concerned residents, Beautiful Britain magazine commissioned an unusual piece of art, designed to draw attention to a perceived lack of consultation on major construction projects.

Painted in a field beside the M5 motorway, Beautiful Britain sketched the outline of a 70m runway. The words, ‘Planning Approved,’ are stamped across the middle. The magazine had previously questioned thousands of its readers, and discovered that 80% of respondents wanted more ‘red tape’ to prevent new runways from appearing overnight, much like Beautiful Britain's giant painting.

The mural was painted with biodegradable paint, naturally.

Related Links

Bristol Councillors Back £150m Expansion

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Councillors back £150m expansion

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Page last updated: 19th Mar 2010 - 04:06 PM

According to the World Development Movement, a campaign group that seeks to eradicate world poverty, the volume of carbon dioxide produced by Bristol Airport in 2007 was equal to that produced by the entire nation of Malawi, Africa.

At the time, local councillors were unimpressed with the news, and Bristol Airport was forced to shelve its expansion plans for the next three years, until bosses found a way to deal with the smog that was clouding the terminal windows. The airport was finally granted a reprieve from its critics on the 10th March 2010, with a six-to-three vote in favour of the expansion.

Bristol councillors endured a three hour meeting on the 10th March, attended by more than one hundred people, both advocates and fierce opponents. The ultimate decision came as a blow for members of the Stop Bristol Airport Expansion group (SBAE), which had received over 1000 complaints about the expansion, and was hoping to block the plans forever.

The appropriate documents will now be passed to the local planning committee, the final page in Bristol’s great expansion odyssey. The airport hopes to boost passenger numbers to 10m people a year, but eco-warriors continue to fight for a cap at 8m. The SBAE website claims that any expansion at all will lead to a “wanton increase in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Airport bosses have countered the figures with some of their own: 3000 direct jobs and a £200m boost to the local economy. The expansion will include a new car park, modifications to the existing terminal, and a complete rebranding of the airport’s public image.

Bristol Airport has already dropped the word ‘international’ from its name, as the need to emphasise its global connections becomes less important.

Related Links

Bristol Council Opposes Airport Expansion

Expansion Could Cause Job Losses

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Bristol Airport bus service gets £2 million boost

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Page last updated: 26th Feb 2010 - 02:48 PM

Bristol Airport has announced that the bus service linking the airport to the city centre is to undergo a £2 million makeover. The complete overhaul of the bus service will improve transport links and bring greater accessibility to and from the airport.

The Flyer route operates between the airport and the city centre. 12 new buses will be added to the service, at a cost of £180,000 each, replacing the current nine that are in operation. The first six new buses are going to arrive this spring, with the rest following in 2011.

Bristol Airport has been criticised in the past for not having a rail link like most other airports. It is hoped that the new bus service will go some way towards making up for this and will show that the airport is doing all it can to improve its public transport network.

One of the main improvements the new bus service will bring is that buses will be leaving from the airport once every 10 minutes at peak times rather than once every 15 minutes. To ensure that as many people as possible can take advantage of the buses, they will stop at important locations such as Bristol Temple Meads Station.

The bus service is operated by First, with whom the airport has just renewed its partnership.

The commercial manager at Bristol Airport, Tom Hack, said that over half a million passengers used the bus service last year, and that the new service “will ensure inbound visitors receive a good first impression, and will provide an even more attractive alternative to the car for local travellers.”

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Hotel for airport; jobs for Bristol

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Page last updated: 9th Oct 2009 - 02:52 PM

Pederson Airport Hotels is to build a new hotel at Bristol Airport, just 100m from the main terminal building. Costing £20m to complete, the hotel will incorporate meeting rooms, a bar and restaurant, and two hundred and fifty shiny new rooms.

Bristol is the largest international airport in the UK without a hotel to its name. Officials claim that the facility could generate twenty-five direct jobs at the airport, with tens more in the city centre.

An expansion of the airport’s terminal and improved transport links will also form part of the planning application, due to be submitted by April 2010. Officials hope to reduce the airport’s impact on the local environment by making it more convenient for flyers to leave their cars at home. On-site parking will also help to alleviate congestion in and around the airport site.

Bristol’s latest endeavour is designed to appeal to a particular audience – late and early arrivals too tired to stand up. Airline crew members will also spend time at the hotel during overnight stopovers.

Chief executive at Bristol, Robert Sinclair, was keen to boost the overall appeal of Bristol Airport. “The hotel will provide a much-needed service, for business passengers in particular, and will improve first impressions of the region for visitors.”

The hotel, which will be Pederson’s fourth in the Bristol area, will begin accepting bookings in 2012. A prominent service brand is expected to take over from the developer during the later stages of construction.

Despite the perceived benefits of an expansion to Bristol Airport, a number of local councils have objected to the scheme, claiming that the extra flights will cause significant damage to local eco-systems, and to the ears of nearby residents.

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Bristol launches £1.2bn e-border

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Page last updated: 18th Sep 2009 - 01:29 PM

Bristol Airport has introduced automated security measures at its border controls, allowing passengers to scan their own passports, and helping police identify wanted crooks before they enter the country.

Costing £1.2bn to implement, the e-Border system scans the facial features of passengers, and then checks the data against their passport photo – however grim it may be.

The addition of fingerprint visas and ID cards, in tandem with e-Border, represents a major overhaul of airport security measures, the first of its kind in almost fifty years.

Bristol joins Stansted and Manchester airports as pioneers of self-scanning technology, but fingerprint visas have been a facet of airport terminals for a number of months. The UK Border Agency hopes that all UK sites will carry the technology before the end of the year.

UK border controls were tightened following the destruction of the World Trade Centre in September 2001 and the discovery of the transatlantic bomb plot five years later – an event that reached a crescendo at the beginning of the month.

Since then, passengers have had to endure lengthy queues, a ban on liquids, and gun-toting police officers stalking the terminals. All of that could change, however, if trials of a new liquid scanner prove successful.

The device, designed to detect flammable and explosive products, could save the Border Agency over £100m in extra surveillance systems. Used in conjunction with e-Border technology, UK airports could experience gentle security measures for the first time in a decade.

Critics have warned officials away from entrusting life and limb to robots and machines, but the ‘automatic airport’ is clearly a priority for the Border Agency.

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Bristol City Council opposes airport expansion

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Page last updated: 11th Sep 2009 - 03:01 PM

The £150 million plans for the expansion of Bristol International Airport have not been backed by Bristol City Council. The Council, the original owners of the airport, have formally objected to North Somerset Council, the authority dealing with the planning application.

In a letter to the Head of Development Control at North Somerset on 18/08/09, Bristol City Council stated that their ‘position on the development proposals remained substantially unchanged’ from their original objections. These were raised after the publication of the Master Plan for the airport in 2006.

The plans will double the size of the terminal which was only opened in March 2000; there will be a five storey car park, a new runway apron and new passenger walkways. Passenger numbers are expected to rise from the current 6 million to 10 million by 2016 and to 12.5 million by 2030.

Bristol City Council recommends that the airport minimise the increase in noise the expansion will bring. It suggests that ‘the expansion is likely to work against the City Council’s aspirations for cleaner air in the city’. The Council is unclear how the proposal will reduce the airport’s target for carbon dioxide emissions but does back the increase in the Bristol Flyer coach service to Bristol.

The objection from Bristol City Council was submitted as part of the wider public consultation process which has now ended. The decision on the expansion plans will be taken by North Somerset Council at a date yet to be decided.

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Jobs will suffer as result of Bristol expansion

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Page last updated: 19th Mar 2009 - 12:59 PM

Another week sees another airport expansion causing headlines. With Heathrow, Stansted and Aberdeen all attracting controversy in the past few months, now it is the turn of Bristol Airport to face the wrath of the protestors.

The group in question is SBAE (Stop Bristol Airport Expansion), and it has recently picked up on a report by the Aviation Environment Federation entitled “Airport Jobs: False Hopes, Cruel Hoax”. In it, the claim is made that increasing airport sizes in the south west would only lead to more people choosing to travel and spend their money abroad. As a result, the area would actually lose jobs rather than gain them.

The report made reference to the tourism deficit of over £1 billion in the south west in 2005. This is the amount of money spent abroad by people flying from Bristol Airport, compared to the amount spent in the area by people flying in. The group stated that by 2030, this deficit would rise and lead to the loss of 64,000 jobs in the area.

Despite being described as “laughable” by Jamie Christon, the deputy managing director at Exeter International Airport, who said that skilled jobs and tourism would both benefit from expansions to airports in the region, the report has been taken up by the campaign group.

The proposals that the group is fighting against include the doubling of the terminal size, the increase in the number of aircraft stands by nine, extra walkways to the planes and a new hotel and car park.

In total, the cost of the plans comes to £150 million, and it is hoped that by 2016 passenger numbers will have risen from 6 million to 11 million a year with an extra 4,000 jobs created.

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4000 new jobs likely at Bristol

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Page last updated: 10th Feb 2009 - 01:05 PM

New plans to expand Bristol International Airport could create approximately 4,000 new jobs if approved by North Somerset Council. The decision will probably be announced by the end of May and opinion is currently split as to what the best outcome would be.

The firm in charge of the new plans to extend the terminal building at Bristol and introduce extra car parking space as well as brand new stands for aircraft believes that the boost to the local economy which could result from the plans would be significant.

The chief executive of Bristol International Airport, Robert Sinclair, mirrored the thoughts of the firm, stating that the expansion (which would see the airport capable of handling approximately ten million individuals, an increase of four million on the current figure) would help “attract tourists directly into the region”, which would undoubtedly help to support “the local economy”.

Although officials at Bristol have revealed that the environmental impact of the new plans would be managed carefully, several organisations have made their opposition to the scheme known. The Stop Bristol Airport Expansion group is one such example and a spokeswoman revealed that the proposed expansion “makes a mockery of the government’s green credentials as supposed leaders on climate change”.

Groups such as Stop Bristol Airport Expansion believe that the potential economic boost is negligible in importance when viewed in the light of the environmental impact. The news from airport officials that airlines would try to operate quieter planes after the expansion is unlikely to calm their fears.

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Bristol Airport expansion plans criticised

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Page last updated: 6th Nov 2008 - 02:47 PM

Stop Bristol Airport Expansion, a campaign group actively opposed to the expansion of Bristol Airport, has spoken about its fears that a change in Government policy will prove detrimental to local businesses. The group’s anxiety has arisen as a result of carbon reduction targets announced by the Government. MPs recently voted in favour of an alteration to the Climate Change Bill. This amendment will see aviation emissions included in the carbon reduction targets for Britain.

Overall, the Government wishes to see emissions across the UK reduced by 80% by 2050. However, with the proposed expansion to Bristol Airport, other businesses will have to lower their emissions drastically in order to compensate for the extra impact on the environment caused by the growth.

Jeremy Birch, a spokesman for the Stop Bristol Airport Expansion campaign group, has commended the Government for including “the UK’s international aviation emissions in our new 80% target”. He stated recently that including emissions from every flight in the target creates “a level playing field between all industries”.

However, Birch continued to state that every industry must now take part in “delivering the cuts”. As such, according to the spokesman, Bristol Airport must not be allowed to expand. If expansions do occur as planned, there will be a subsequent “drain on the economy” as other industries struggle to meet the targets.

He finished by speaking about the current problems caused in the local area as a result of the airport’s location. The South West region of the country is already losing “millions of pounds” because local people travel abroad to spend their hard-earned cash, and tourists do not bring in enough money to compensate for this fact.

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Bristol launches scheme to help stranded passengers

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Page last updated: 30th Oct 2008 - 02:37 PM

Bristol Airport has announced exciting plans to launch a new service which will help stranded passengers. Every year, one in eight travellers suffer the misfortune of missing their flight through no fault of their own. Missing a flight can have devastating financial knock-on effects as passengers desperately attempt to rearrange car hire reservations, change hotel bookings and alter transfers. They may even have to fork out on travel to a different airport.

However, the new service, offered by missedaflight.com, will help passengers find convenient travel alternatives from Bristol Airport. The head of commercial aviation and route development at the airport, Shaun Browne, expressed his delight at the introduction of the scheme. He believes that it is fantastic for passengers to have “an expert resource at their fingertips” following a missed flight. Browne continued to discuss the “in-depth knowledge of international connections” boasted by missedaflight.com.

Bristol Airport has always been a popular choice with travellers living in the surrounding regions. Two years ago, the airport was the ninth busiest in the UK and over 5 million passengers passed through its doors.

If you are unlucky enough to miss a flight, follow these simple steps provided by the website:

  • Firstly, do not panic.
  • Contact a member of the company and inform them of your intended destination and previous travel plans.
  • The company will do all it can to find alternative travel arrangements by taking advantage of pre-negotiated rates with airlines, coach and bus companies, car hire companies and hotels.

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Bristol goes green with wind turbine and cooking oil recycling

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Page last updated: 20th Aug 2008 - 02:04 PM

At a time when the aviation industry is constantly under fire for its poor green credentials, it is good to learn that Bristol Airport, although planning a huge expansion, is keen to improve its energy efficiency and reduce its harmful emissions.

Plans are afoot to build a wind turbine which would produce around a tenth of the electricity required by the airport. The proposed turbine would be 65 feet tall (less than the height of the existing light columns) so would not be obtrusive and would be positioned between the old and the new terminals.

At the moment feasibility studies are being carried out before plans are submitted to North Somerset Council. There is some doubt as to whether the turbine will need planning permission, but once this is clarified hopes are high that the turbine can be installed later this year with others planned for the future.

Other green initiatives under consideration include the burning of waste timber from a local supplier to heat the airport, and recycling used cooking oil from Bristol’s catering industry to produce fuel for the vehicles used on the ground.

A spokesman for the airport has said that he hopes the plans will demonstrate the airport’s commitment to lessening the impact of their activities on the environment and reducing the airport’s carbon footprint.

The proposed expansion of Bristol Airport is worth £80 million and would increase passenger levels by 50% from six million to nine million by 2015. Currently flights to and from Bristol are responsible for 0.4% of the region’s emissions, but this figure could rise to 0.7% if the proposed expansion plans are given the green light.

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£5 to fast track security at Bristol

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Page last updated: 11th Aug 2008 - 03:13 PM

One of the least enjoyable parts of flying off on a holiday has to be standing in queues at the airport. However, from 5 Aug holidaymakers and business travellers flying out of Bristol airport will be able to fast track through security for just a fiver.

The fast track passes are available either in advance when making an online booking or at the airport kiosks. The move has come after 60% of business travellers using the airport said they would be willing to pay for such a facility.

Alison Roberts from Bristol airport said that they had taken note of passengers’ views and realised that people want to spend less time queuing and more time in the departure lounges. Measures have already been taken to improve queuing time but there are still people, especially regular business passengers, who are willing to pay for the privilege of being able to “guarantee an even quicker journey through the airport”, hence the decision to introduce the Fly Thru option.

Similar schemes operate at Liverpool airport, where passengers can pay £2 to join a separate security channel. Newquay airport charges £5, whilst Norwich charges £3 for the same service. Passenger watchdog, the AUC, condemned the move last year, raising concerns that it was resulting in much longer queues for passengers not willing to pay the extra charge.

In America passengers can pay a fee of $128 a year to undergo security checks and have data such as finger prints and iris scans put on a Clear card which then allows them to fast track through security.

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Obstacle for walkway plans at Bristol Airport

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Page last updated: 12th Jun 2008 - 02:54 PM

The first round of a heated campaign has been won by protesters at Bristol International Airport who are fighting to stop a new walkway being built to transfer passengers from the airport terminal to waiting aircraft. Those opposing the plans say that the 450 metre long walkway, set to cost an estimated £7 million, is actually a major building, and a covert way of increasing user capacity.

Airport bosses hoped that the walkway could be built without them needing to submit a formal planning application, believing that they had the ‘permitted development rights’ which would allow them to expand the airport. But councillors from North Somerset have backed supporters of the Stop Bristol Expansion Group campaign, demanding that the airport submit a full planning application inclusive of an environmental impact assessment.

The decision was made by councillors from the North Somerset south east committee at a meeting in Weston-super-Mare on May 14. Anti-walkway campaigners were jubilant at their triumph and delighted that local communities were being given a chance to air their views.

Meanwhile, airport officials were "extremely disappointed" at the decision, describing it as an "environmental own goal". Paul Kehoe, the airport’s chief executive, said he was undecided as to whether the airport would mount a legal challenge to overturn the decision but maintained his belief that the airport already had permission to build the walkway. He added, “there is a lot of emotion at the moment and we need to put a cold towel around our heads before deciding what to do next.”

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It's easy being green

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Page last updated: 4th Jun 2008 - 02:29 PM

To raise awareness of climate change, Bristol Internationl Airport has joined up with Climate Care, the UK’s leading carbon offsetting organisation. This will offer passengers the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions they produce on flights to and from Bristol. Bristol Airport have also signed an agreement with Climate Care to offset carbon emissions produced by its staff in 2007.

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New destinations scheduled from Bristol Airport

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Page last updated: 4th Jun 2008 - 02:28 PM

This year has seen the announcement of a number of new destinations from Bristol Airport.
Easyjet have announced new routes to Warsaw and Milan. They have also announced that they will increase their Bristol to Paris flights to twice daily from October.

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