Road journeys to London airports by passengers travelling to and from South West England and South Wales generated an estimated 157,000 tonnes of carbon in 2018 (up from around 140,000 tonnes the previous year) – similar to the amount generated by charging 17.7 billion smartphones or powering a 42” LCD TV for over 94,000 years.
The analysis by York Aviation for Bristol Airport builds on previous work highlighting time and cost savings available to passengers by flying from within their home region. Updated figures show that 7.8 million journeys a year are made using London airports by passengers travelling to and from South West England and South Wales, resulting in total time lost of more than 500 million minutes and incurring more than £50 in additional travel costs per passenger.
Heathrow (43 per cent) attracts the most ‘leaked’ passengers from South West England and South Wales, followed by Gatwick (31 per cent), with the rest making even longer journeys to Stansted and Luton. Short-haul flights account for more passenger journeys and greater additional carbon costs than long-haul, suggesting higher frequency and more convenient flight times could be a factor in the choice of departure airport.
The potential carbon savings which could be made if these passengers used Bristol is equal to the domestic carbon emissions of nearly half the population of North Somerset , in which the airport is located.
Better serving passengers within its catchment area is a key objective in Bristol Airport’s proposals to increase capacity to 12 million passengers a year by 2026. More than nine million passengers are expected to use the airport in 2019, closing in on the current cap of 10 million passengers a year.