Airport Operator Magazine - Spring

A High Court decision this year confirming an increase in Bristol Airport’s cap on passenger numbers will result in an improved airport offering more flights to a wider range of destinations, according to the airport’s CEO, Dave Lees.

He told The Airport Operator that the High Court go-ahead for an increase in Bristol’s annual ceiling on passenger numbers from 10m to 12m will lead to a much-mproved customer experience, including a “transformational” new public transport interchange, and encourage airlines to introduce new destinations and increased frequencies.

Lees said that lifting the cap “unlocks at long last what our customers quite rightly want in terms of an improved experience. It enables us to now start building the right facilities to give passengers a much-improved customer experience, including security, immigration and commercial offerings”. He said that construction would start this year on “our flagship project”, a new public transport interchange directly opposite the terminal building and linked to arrivals and departures by a covered plaza area. The project is due to be completed in 2025.

This year will also see the publication of Bristol’s carbon action plan, with the airport already committed to an ambitious target to be net zero for its own operations by 2030. The principal elements of the plan are electrification of the vehicle fleet, already under way, the introduction of air source heating in the terminal building to replace gas-fired boilers and increasing self-generation by constructing a 1.6 MW solar array on the airport to deliver just under 25% on-site solar generation by 2025.

Lees acknowledged that the bigger challenge for aviation will be to decarbonise flights. Seeking to make a contribution to that broader objective, Bristol Airport has entered a unique UK partnership with Airbus to explore hydrogen technology. Working with EasyJet and EDF’s Hynamics, the partnership will scope out the infrastructure requirements for the hydrogen-powered aircraft of the future. It will look at how to handle and refuel the aircraft safely, where production can come from, how it will be transported to the airport and then stored and distributed to the aircraft

Full Article on pages 32 - 34

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