Councillors reject Bristol Airport expansion plans after climate protests

Feb 11, 2020

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Bristol Airport will not get an expansion, which would have boosted capacity by two million passengers a year.

On Monday, councillors rejected the proposal to expand Bristol Airport’s capacity from 10 million passengers per year to 12 million. The expansion would have seen a larger car park, an expanded passenger terminal and additional taxiways, though councillors rejected the expansion plans due to climate concerns.

“What the committee has considered is that the detrimental effect of the expansion of the airport on this area and the wider impact on the environment outweighs the narrower benefits to airport expansion”, leader of the council Don Davies said.

A rendering of the proposed expansion. (Photo courtesy of Bristol Airport)

Protestors said the expansion would damage the health of locals, harm flora and fauna in the area and worsen the climate emergency. Davies said the council could reconsider the decision “when the airline industry has decarbonised and the public transport links to the airport are far stronger”.

The application for expansion had about 8,800 objections from members of the public and 2,400 messages of support, according to the BBC. Councillors voted 18-7 to reject the plans.

Bristol Airport CEO Dave Lees said that the decision would hinder growth in the region, and the airport would consider appealing or submitting fresh plans.

Currently, about 8.9 million passengers travel through Bristol (BRS) each year, though it has the capacity to accommodate 10 million passengers a year.

Bristol Airport is serviced primarily by low-cost carriers — EasyJet, Ryanair, TUI and Wizzair, for example. However, it’s also serviced by carriers like Brussels Airlines, Aer Lingus, Loganair, Lufthansa and KLM.

Featured photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images.

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