Following a “record summer” in which annual passenger numbers reached eight million, Bristol Airport has confirmed it will soon be seeking feedback on how it can meet the increased demand for air travel over the next 30 years.
Currently the ninth busiest airport in the UK, Bristol saw passenger numbers grow by “more than 10 percent in 2016.” The airport claims that passing the eight million milestone “demonstrates continued strong demand for air travel to and from the South West of the UK.”
Local communities, regional stakeholders and the general public will be invited to provide feedback through an online questionnaire, with a series of events to be held in communities across the West of England for those wishing to speak to members of the Airport management team first hand. Feedback will help to shape a more detailed Draft Master Plan which will be “subject to further consultation” in spring 2018.
Simon Earles, planning and sustainability director at Bristol Airport, said, “Bristol Airport has come a long way since the publication of its first Master Plan in 2006. Passenger numbers have increased by more than 50 percent, yet the total number of flights remains lower than a decade ago as a result of higher load factors. A series of long-term strategies are currently being developed to ensure the continued success of our Region.”
Additionally, following the return of direct long-haul flights to Florida and Mexico this summer and the announcement of flights to the Dominican Republic in 2018, Bristol Airport has reaffirmed that it will also soon be looking to “secure further long-haul routes.”
Nigel Scott, business development director at Bristol Airport, explained that while the strong short-haul network available from Bristol is “a real asset” to the region it serves, the management team knows that businesses in the South West are “also looking beyond Europe” for new opportunities to trade.
He said, “That is why we are working hard with existing airline partners to increase the frequency of services to major hubs, as well as exploring the potential for more direct long-haul services east and west.”