Yesterday, two aircraft took centre stage as Bristol Airport celebrated 60 years of flying from its current site in North Somerset.
Almost six decades to the day since the Duchess of Kent officially opened the airport in May 1957, a Douglas DC-3, a mainstay of commercial airline fleets in the fifties, returned to Bristol for the first time since making its final passenger flights nine years ago.
It lined up next to its modern-day equivalent, an Airbus A319, which EasyJet has named Spirit of Bristol to mark the airport’s anniversary.
Bristol Airport is now England’s third largest regional airport, with direct flights to more than 120 destinations in 30 different countries.
Having invested more than £160 million in new infrastructure and facilities since 2010, the airport is well positioned to serve passengers across the South West.
Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Airport, said: “Looking back over our 60-year history is a reminder of how far we have come from the days when flying was a special experience for a small number of people.
“At Bristol Airport, we are incredibly proud of our past and what we have achieved in the last 60 years. We are also excited about our future and very mindful of the important responsibility we have to connect the South West and South Wales to the world and to keep pace with the growing demand for air travel that our vibrant economy generates.
“New aircraft technology, automation of passenger processes, digital disruption of established business models and, most importantly, the challenges of climate change all mean we will need to adapt and innovate as we write the next chapter in Bristol Airport’s history.”