The first phase of development plans, which will ultimately enable Bristol Airport to handle ten million passengers a year, has been officially opened by the secretary of state for transport.
Justine Greening cut a ribbon to mark the completion of three new aircraft stands – the first of more than 30 separate projects which will enable growth over the next decade.
Each stand has a fixed electrical ground power source, and strict rules govern the use of aircraft auxiliary power units and mobile diesel units in order to reduce noise levels for local residents.
The new stands are key to increasing capacity for more aircraft to operate from Bristol, which is currently the fifth largest airport outside London.
With a comprehensive planning approval for infrastructure required to handle predicted growth to 2020 and beyond, Bristol Airport is well placed to meet future demand for air travel from the South West.
New facilities and an extended route network will provide more convenient travel options for many of the five million passengers from the region currently flying from London airports.
Developments will include the extension of the terminal building to almost double its size; a new public transport interchange; further aircraft parking stands; and an on-site hotel.
A comprehensive package of controls, monitoring and mitigation is in place, including substantial contributions to two major transport schemes in the West of England (the South Bristol Link and Bus Rapid Transit) to improve surface access to the Airport.
Transport secretary Greening, said: “Regional airports such as Bristol have a vital role to play in the life and success of our country, providing the connections, jobs and infrastructure we need to drive economic growth.
“The work I have seen at Bristol will stand the airport in good stead to serve the needs of regional passengers and businesses for many years to come.
“I welcome the investment that has gone into these improvements and look forward to seeing Bristol play a full part in the future of UK aviation.”