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, and the fifth busiest in the UK outside London. One of the country’s fastest growing airports in recent years, Bristol Airport handled over 5.9m passengers in 2012.
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. Eleven airlines operate scheduled services to and from Bristol Airport, including Air France, bmi regional, KLM and Brussels Airlines. Bristol is also a major base for easyJet and Ryanair which serve a total of more than 70 destinations from the Airport. A range of other airlines operate services across the UK and Europe, including Aurigny, Blue Islands, and Flybe. In addition, Aer Lingus offers two daily flights to Dublin, providing convenient access to onward connections to the USA.
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 will 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.
Recent developments at the airport include the construction of three additional aircraft stands, additional immigration area, extended security search area and a new Executive Lounge.
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.
For details of Bristol Airport's response to the Government’s consultation on its Draft Aviation Policy Framework download our Bristol Airport calls for balanced Aviation Policy pdf (22 October 2012).
You can also download Bristol Airport's newsletters:
- Inner Circle (Issue 4) - inside information for business travellers
- Your Jobs 2013 - a world of job opportunities at Bristol Airport
- Your Airport (Issue 5) - giving the latest news and developments at Bristol Airport for the local community, staff and other stakeholders