Plans to expand Bristol Airport opposed by West of England Combined Authority and Joint Committee

West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris along with the West of England Combined Authority and West of England Joint Committee have announced their opposition to Bristol Airport’s expansion plans.

The formal opposition to the airport expansion was agreed at a joint meeting of the committees on the 21st of September. The opposition will now be submitted to the Government’s current Planning Inquiry, after Bristol Airport appealed against North Somerset Council’s decision to refuse it planning permission to expand beyond 10 million passengers a year.

The meeting, held at Watermore Primary School, in Frampton Cotterell, was an opportunity for the Metro Mayor to listen to young people to understand their hopes and concerns for the environment and make sure that they have the support and opportunity to be involved in action to address the climate emergency.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Plans to expand Bristol Airport are badly-judged, badly-timed, and bad for our planet. This vote sends an important signal to people living across the West of England that politicians are prepared to show moral leadership and listen to public opinion.

“I am grateful to Watermore Primary for kindly hosting this meeting. I think it’s important for politicians to take decision-making out into local communities, and the children were clear thinking, straight-talking, and passionate about their future.”

The West of England Combined Authority and Joint Committee voted in favour of the opposition motion led by Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

The motion featured amendments including recognising the need for a just transition to a greener economy that does not leave Bristol Airport workers worse-off; the importance of the wider aerospace centre of excellence at Filton to the region’s economy, skills base and industrial heritage; and ongoing efforts being pioneered locally by industry to decarbonise aviation, including through the Jet Zero initiative.

What is the word from Bristol Airport?

Here at Business Leader, we recently spoke to Bristol Airport’s CEO Dave Lees and its Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Director Simon Earles in an exclusive interview about the airport’s expansion plans. The video and a summary of the key points are available below:

    • Bristol Airport’s ambitious growth plans (9:52)
    • Their next steps after expansion plans were initially voted down by North Somerset Council (13:34)
    • The impact of not winning the appeal for expanding the airport (15:44)
    • “Aviation is 2% of global Carbon Dioxide emissions” (17:17)
    • “The UK has been pushing for an international emissions trading scheme from the get go” (18:38)
    • “We’re proud to be a member of a pan-industry group called sustainable aviation” (19:08)
    • “Neo Aircraft from Airbus has 20% lower carbon emissions than its predecessor” (19:56)
    • “Signed a group pledge to accelerate decarbonisation in the South-West” (20:43)
    • “In 2019, we published a new roadmap when it comes to reducing our carbon emissions” (21:24)
    • “If we’re talking carbon for a second, the key way to get through this is innovation” (22:32)
    • “We want to be the most sustainable airport in the UK” (22:51)