Bigger terminal planned as Bristol Airport seeks to increase flight routes

Bristol Airport has this week put in a planning application for a larger terminal. Picture: Bristol

Bristol Airport has this week put in a planning application for a larger terminal. Picture: Bristol Airport - Credit: Bristol Airport

The first step towards doubling the number of passengers flying in and out of Bristol Airport has been made.

Planning permission is being sought for a bigger terminal, improved road access and more parking.

Dave Lees, the airport’s chief executive, says the project would allow for more routes and jobs.

The main changes would affect the Lulsgate terminal, which would be made bigger with more room afforded to passengers and for baggage facilities. The front of the building would also have a canopy and a pedestrianised area added to improve access.

The airport is capped to 4,000 night-time flights, between 11.30am-6pm per year, and the airport does not plan to increase them. However, it wants to alter how the flights are split between winter and summer.

Mr Lees, said: “Following consultation with the local community, airline customers, passengers and other stakeholders, these plans set out sustainable development to meet demand for air travel to and from the South West and South Wales over the next decade.

“They will help deliver more routes, destinations and jobs.”

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The airport has permission to allow 10 million passengers to use the terminal each year. It is on course to reach 90 per cent of its capacity in 2018.

The application this week seeks to grow the figure by 20 per cent within six or seven years. Ultimately bosses want to welcome 20 million flyers through the terminal by the mid-2040s.

Travel links to the airport are also being looked at, with them aware increasing passenger numbers will affect the road network. The A38 junctions with West Lane and Downside Road are a ‘focus’ area for change.

Mr Lees added: “These plans are a practical step to ensuring we continue to connect our region to the world, providing a gateway for business, investment and tourists.

“At the same time, we have sought to minimise and mitigate any impacts on the local community and environment, building on our track record of investment in surface access improvements.”

Car parking is also being looked at to help cope with the proposed rise in passenger numbers. The number of multi-storey facilities would be increased to three while the silver zone section would be extended.