Bristol Airport opened in 1930 but moved to its current location in North Somerset in 1957. Today, Bristol is the South West’s largest airport; England’s third largest regional airport; and the fifth busiest in the UK outside London. One of the country’s fastest growing airports in recent years, Bristol Airport handled 6.76m passengers in 2015. For more information visit our news item (8 January 2016).
Over 100 destinations are served direct and many hundreds more are accessible via frequent daily flights to international hubs such as Amsterdam, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Brussels. Many airlines operate scheduled services to and from Bristol Airport, including Aer Lingus, Aurigny, Blue Islands, bmi regional, Brussels Airlines, easyJet, KLM, Ryanair Thomas Cook Airlines, Wizz Air and Wow Air.
Around 3,000 people are employed by 45 different organisations at the Airport, making it one of the largest single-site employers in North Somerset. Development plans are in place to enhance facilities to handle 10 million passengers per annum by 2020. Infrastructure improvements include extensions to the terminal building, additional aircraft parking stands, a multi-storey car park, public transport interchange and an on-site hotel.
The Airport Environmental Improvement Fund (known as the Bristol Airport Local Community Fund) has been established to invest in a range of local projects which benefit the local community and the environment. Its main purpose is to mitigate the environmental and social impacts of the Airport’s operations and give something back to the surrounding communities who are affected by being situated in close proximity to an international airport. Visit www.bristolairport.co.uk/about-us/community.aspx for more details.
In March 2010 a new Airport brand was launched, putting ‘serving the region’ at the heart of the business. The Airport aims to reflect the personality of the area, providing a warm welcome to visitors from other parts of the UK and overseas.
In April 2012 Bristol Airport demonstrated its commitment to welcoming visitors to the South West and Wales by becoming the first Airport in Britain to gain WorldHost Recognised Business status. WorldHost is a world-class customer service training programme that has already been used to train nearly one million people worldwide, including tens of thousands of staff and volunteers at the London 2013 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The programme has been endorsed by Visit England and covers customer service skills and awareness of different cultures with the aim of ensuring visitors to the UK receive a warm and friendly welcome.
Bristol Airport, has been awarded the Investors in People Bronze Standard, demonstrating their commitment to realising the potential of their people. Bristol Airport’s commitment to communication, reward and recognition, and leadership were commended in the Investors in People assessment report. Investors in People is the UK's leading accreditation for business improvement through people management, and provides a wealth of resources for businesses to innovate, improve and grow, with a focus on good people making great business.
Developments at the airport include extensions to its terminal building; the opening of a £6.5m central walkway designed to ease congestion at peak travel times; the construction of three additional aircraft stands, additional immigration area, extended security search area and a new Executive Lounge. The total investment in infrastructure at Bristol Airport since 2010 is over £120 million.
Future objectives include:
- Further enhancing the route network available from Bristol, including key destinations in Scandinavia, the US and the Middle East.
- Reducing ‘leakage’ from the South West to airports outside the region, encouraging even more people to fly from their local airport.
- Improving the customer experience, through the use of technology and investment in staff training.
- Growing the number of inbound visitors using Bristol Airport as their gateway to the South West, and offering them a positive first impression of the region.
Bristol Airport’s North Somerset location offers a convenient gateway for inbound visitors to the area and its many attractions. Local clusters in sectors such as aerospace and technology help support frequent scheduled services to international hubs, and seven million people live within two hours’ drive time, providing a strong passenger base for both business and leisure flights.