Bristol Airport's 'carbon neutral' claims 'misleading', say councillors

Exeter Airport charges just £1 for stop-offs from five to 30 minutes. Picture: Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport claims it will be carbon neutral four years ahead of schedule. - Credit: Bristol Airport

Green councillors in North Somerset have rejected claims made by Bristol Airport that it will become carbon neutral before the end of the year.

The prediction, which is four years ahead of schedule, has been described as “utter nonsense" by the political party - which adds that Bristol Airport "promoting itself as a ‘net zero airport’ is misleading".

The announcement was made by the airport at the Future of Flight Business Breakfast which was attended by aviation industry leaders.

Bristol Airport's chief executive believes this breakthrough to be possible and states that it highlights the industry's mission to address climate change issues.

Dave Lees said: “Today is another milestone in looking towards the future showcasing how businesses in the region collaborating together using the latest technology and innovative solutions will meet decarbonisation targets.

"The aviation industry is taking its responsibilities seriously in addressing climate change challenges, working together to create the solutions now and in the future.”

Dave Lees, left, and Liam Fox MP, right, both back calls for Covid-19 testing at Bristol Airport. Pi

Dave Lees, left, and Liam Fox MP, right, both back calls for Covid-19 testing at Bristol Airport. Picture taken pre-Covid. - Credit: Liam Fox MP

The council's executive for its climate emergency, which was declared in 2019, revealed that some North Somerset residents have told her they can smell fumes emitted from the airport from their own garden.

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Backwell Cllr Bridget Petty said: “For an airport where less than 15 per cent of passengers arrive by public transport, it is farcical for them to claim net neutrality by this year.

"Residents of North Somerset know how much the airport contributes to air pollution locally - and some contact me often to say they can smell the fumes in their garden.”

North Somerset councillor Bridget Petty. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Cllr Bridget Petty said it was 'farcical' for Bristol Airport to claim net neutrality by this year. - Credit: Archant

Bristol Airport has responded by saying it will improve public transport access and its sustainability.

A spokesman said: "Our plan is to go further than making just the airport net-zero - expanding public transport, making buses zero emissions, and supporting our customers who drive to the airport make the transformation to electric by installing new charging infrastructure.

"We are supporting aviation to decarbonise through a new £250,000 innovation fund, which is open to any organisation in the region, working with our region's globally leading aerospace companies, and opening the airport up as a testbed for new technology."