Category Archives: Blog Posts

New administration building at Bristol Airport takes shape

The work on the new administration building at Bristol Airport begun some weeks back and is already taking shape, located on the south side of the airport the new building with replace the current administration building, or old terminal as it is also known.

The office structure, which will comprise of three storeys, will house the project teams and senior management, alongside other services such as meeting and training rooms.

It is the latest project in a series of developments that are set to modernise and expand the site, and demonstrates Bristol Airport’s continued investment into sustainable, low carbon systems. The new building has been designed with energy efficiency in mind, with a carbon emission reduction of 23% over facility-building regulations.

TUI announce new winter routes from Bristol Airport

TUI UK, the UK’s largest holiday operator, has launched its winter programme and reveals growth plans for Bristol Airport with new weekly routes to Keflavik, Dalaman and Naples and additional flights to Tenerife for the 2019 season.

The winter 2019 programme will continue to offer holidaymakers in the South West of England more choice and flexibility than ever before, with an increased capacity of nearly 8,000 additional seats at Bristol Airport. Continuing to recognise that not everyone wants to holiday for 7 or 14 nights, passengers will also have the option of 10 and 11 night holidays to Malaga in Spain and Palma in Majorca at the end season of next winter. There will also be an additional day added to the flight programme for flights from Bristol Airport to Tenerife.

The move to introduce these routes is part of TUI’s strategy to ensure customers across the UK can fly from their local airport and stay at the best hotels in some of the most exciting destinations around the world, including TUI flagship properties such as the TUI Sensatori Resort Tenerife.

Facebook group passes 2000 member milestone

Bristol Airport Spotting has today passed another major milestone with the dedicated Facebook group now having more than 2000 members, this great milestone has been achieved in just over 5 years of the group being formed.

Originally setup back in 2013 as a place for spotters to share photos the Bristol Airport Spotting group has rapidly grown to provide information, news and events to spotters and supporters of Bristol Airport. During the past few years BAS has organised and run aviation events raising £1000s for the airports various charities of the year.

Thanks to our admin team the website is now a useful resource of aircraft data, flight information, airport information and locations for spotting and we have become one of the recognised groups for spotting at Bristol Airport.

We would like to thank all of our members who have joined and support us by regularly posting, thanks also to everyone that have attended events in the past and also to companies and exhibitors that have attended and supported events.

There are many plans for the future, these include further events, meet-ups and expansion/improvement of our website, stay tuned for further information and ensure you are subscribed to our newsletter to get up to date information.

British Airways remove flights for Summer 2019

British Airways flights from Bristol Airport, operated by BA Cityflyer, have removed flights from their 2019 schedule from Bristol Airport. Based on the adjustment, the oneWorld member will no longer operate their weekend-only service at Bristol Airport in the summer 2019 season.

Reservations for following routes has been closed since last week.

Bristol – Florence eff 18MAY19 1 weekly E170
Bristol – Malaga eff 18MAY19 2 weekly E190
Bristol – Palma Mallorca eff 18MAY19 1 weekly E190

Source: https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/280776/ba-cityflyer-removes-birmingham-bristol-schedule-in-s19/

Bristol Airport celebrates record month of passengers travelling through the airport

Nearly one million passengers passed through Bristol Airport’s terminal last month, making August 2018 the busiest month in the history of Bristol Airport.

The record total of 951,973 passengers took traffic during the summer to over 1.8 million – a 6.7 per cent increase on 2017. This growth continues to generate new jobs, with Bristol Airport taking on 100 new employees since the start of the year, with further opportunities available with business partner organisations across the 196 hectare site.

The record-breaking summer follows an eighth consecutive year of growth for England’s third largest regional airport. Holiday operators TUI and Thomas Cook have performed particularly strongly, with the charter sector up 23 per cent on last year, while easyJet has also enjoyed double digit growth at Bristol. High performing destinations include Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt, with new routes to Gothenburg, Genoa, Seville and Cologne also contributing to the increase in passengers.

A new Master Plan is currently being prepared and will set out potential development required to handle up to 20 million passengers per annum from the existing runway by the mid-2040s. The first phase of this growth will be facilitated through the submission of a planning application to North Somerset Council later this year.

In June, Bristol Airport was named ‘Best Airport in Europe’ in the 5-10 million passengers category at the annual awards dinner held by European airports association, ACI Europe.

easyJet celebrates 15 years at Bristol Airport

easyJet celebrated the 15th anniversary of its base at Bristol Airport this week,  the largest base outside of London.

Celebrations took place throughout the day on the 28th August 2018 at Bristol airport, including an impressive balloon arch and cake for passengers at the easyJet check-in desk, and one lucky passenger won a fantastic prize of 2 return flights on easyJet to any of its destinations.

The crew room was filled with decorations and party food for pilots and cabin crew operating the day’s flights. Ali Gayward, easyJet UK Country Manager, and Dave Lees, Bristol Airport Chief Executive also joined the celebrations alongside cabin crew including Kate Bayley and Suzie Davies, who are proud to have been operating flights from Bristol with easyJet since the base opened 15 years ago.

easyJet is proud to be Bristol’s biggest airline, having flown over 53 million passengers since operations started there. With 15 based aircraft and over 650 crew members, easyJet provides Bristol passengers with 69 domestic and international routes, including the most popular destination Geneva.

New Bristol Airport CEO starts new role

Bristol Airport’s new Chief Executive Officer, Dave Lees started his new role on 1st August 2018. Mr Lees formerly Managing Director of Southampton Airport, which during his time at the helm achieved record passenger numbers and high customer satisfaction scores.

Before becoming Managing Director, Mr Lees served as Operations Director and Planning & Development Director at Southampton Airport. Prior to this he was Head of Service Improvement at Heathrow Airport, where he also held roles in operations and engineering. He has a BSc in Transport Management from Loughborough University.

Dave Lees, Chief Executive Officer, Bristol Airport said:

“I am proud, honoured and excited to be joining the Bristol Airport team. The Airport has a great reputation for its route development and network, passenger growth and the vital role it plays in the region. The recent ACI Best Airport in Europe award (5 – 10 million passengers) recognises Bristol’s place within the aviation industry in the UK and across Europe.

“This is an exciting opportunity, and I am looking forward to working with regional stakeholders and communities to build on the Airport’s success and ambitions for the future.”

Currently the ninth busiest airport in the UK, and the fifth largest outside London, Bristol handled over 8.1 million passengers in 2017, an 8 per cent increase on the previous year. Work has started in developing a new Master Plan setting out how the Airport could serve around 20 million passengers per annum by the mid-2040s.

Bristol Airport charity of the year flying high

Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) is delighted being Bristol Airport’s charity partner again for 2018. Each year Airport staff are asked to vote and support one charity and, for the fourth consecutive year, CHSW is the nominated charity of the year.

Last year alone the partnership raised over £25k and fundraising activities are continuing in 2018; the next activity arranged is on 28th July when eight Bristol Airport team members will walk 80k in just one day! A golf day is also arranged in September challenging business partners and suppliers to compete against the Bristol Airport team. Through aviation fairs and other events Bristol Airport Spotting has raised over £2000 for CHSW.

Bucket collections will continue throughout the year thanks to the charity’s fantastic volunteers. Many frequent flyers may recognise Denise and Garry Gooding who’ve been collecting at the Airport on behalf of CHSW for many years.

The couple catch 2 buses and travel 3 hours to Bristol Airport but despite the long journey, Denise looks forward to it each week. She said, “It’s lovely to chat to people who’ve travelled from all over the world, we meet people from all walks of life and even have regular givers who pass through the airport every week who will always greet us with a smile, come over for a chat and drop a couple of coins in our bucket.”

Thomas Cook Airlines adds 12000 seats from Bristol Airport for Easter 2019

Thomas Cook Airlines is adding Easter 2019 flights from Bristol airport, meaning that thousands people can head to Europe for some spring sunshine.

With 10 additional flights a week from April 3, 2019 until the end of the month, Thomas Cook Airlines has added over 12,000 seats to destinations including Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Majorca.

Thomas Cook Airlines now flies to 25 sun and beach destinations from Bristol and has increased its number of seats on sale at Easter by 40% versus 2018.

New easyJet routes for Winter 2018

easyJet has announced three brand new routes from Bristol Airport to Larnaca, Åre Östersund and Sofia which are now on sale.

These form part of the 16 new routes easyJet has put on sale across the UK this morning, including the airline’s historic 1000th route.

Flights to Larnaca will take off from Bristol Airport twice a week from 28th October, providing travellers with Cypriot winter sun. Bristol’s skiing and snowboarding passengers can enjoy Swedish snow on the weekly route to Are Ostersund, starting from 9th December. The new route to Sofia will be popular amongst passengers looking for a city break to the beautiful and historic Bulgarian city, flying twice a week from 8th December.

easyJet has flown more than 50 million passengers to and from Bristol Airport since opening the base over 15 years ago. The airline continues to grow and expand in Bristol, while offering low-fares and friendly customer service.

Bristol Airport wins Europe Best Airport Award

At ACI Europe’s annual gala dinner in Brussels yesterday evening, Bristol scooped the Best Airport Award in the 5-10 million passengers category.

ACI Europe represents over 500 airports in 45 countries, and the awards are judged by a panel of independent experts. They highlighted Bristol’s investment in facilities to enhance the customer experience, public transport improvements and special assistance initiatives.

On accepting the award, Business Development Director, Nigel Scott, said:

“It is a huge honour to be voted the best airport of our size in Europe by a panel of independent experts. This award is recognition of the hard work, passion and commitment of the team at Bristol Airport to delivering on our promise to passengers that ‘amazing journeys start here’. The judges were particularly impressed by our investment in facilities to enhance the customer experience, public transport improvements and special assistance initiatives such as becoming ‘autism friendly’.

“From the airlines which connect us with over 125 destinations around the world to our business partners who help to deliver a seamless customer experience, everyone in the Bristol Airport community can be proud of this achievement.”

Report from Bristol Airport Spotters Day 2018

Another successful event happened today at Bristol Airport, thank you to everyone that came along to the event, there were many happy faces who enjoyed a day out which makes organising an event so worthwhile.

We would also like to thank the airport police who gave an informative and interesting talk about their work and the current terrorism threat to the UK.

The event raised £106.00 for the airport charity of the year which is Childrens Hospice South West.

Below are some photos from the day, we look forward to welcoming you to another BAS event soon.

Bristol Airport Spotters Day this Sunday!

The Bristol Airport Spotters Day 2018 is this Sunday 10th June! This update is to confirm the arrangements for the event.

Location:

The spotters day is being held in the Bristol Room within the Administration Building (Old Terminal) which can be found on the left hand side when entering the airport via the main entrance, turn left at the first roundabout and you will see the admin building then on your right:

Time:

The event runs from 11.00am until 15.00pm.

Tickets:

All attendees MUST bring their printed ticket emailed to them by Eventbrite at the time of booking, this will help us to help you. Only attendees who have previously booked will be allowed entrance to the event.

Cost:

The cost of admission is £2 each which is payable on the door, all proceeds to Childrens Hospice South West.

Talk:

At 13.00pm there will be an informative talk from the Bristol Airport Police covering subjects such as the current threat picture, hostile reconnaissance and some background information about the police role at the airport and how to contact them.

Parking:

Free parking is being provided by Bristol Airport, when entering the airport, turn left into the enter marked in red on the map above and park. On entrance to the spotters day you will be given a car parking ticket to allow you to exit without charge.

Refreshments:

The Wings Cafe will be open for the duration of the event serving hot and cold drinks and light refreshments.

Observations:

The long range weather forecast looks like runway 09 will be in use, this means that aircraft will taxi past the windows of the room after landing. Good views of aircraft departing will also be possible. The windows are clean and will allow good photography.

We look forward to seeing you at the event. If you have any questions or concerns please let us know by emailing info@bristolairportspotting.co.uk. Further information can be found on our website at https://www.bristolairportspotting.co.uk/bas-events/bristol-airport-spotters-day-2018/

Bristol Airport Spotting celebrates its 5th birthday

This week Bristol Airport Spotting is celebrating its 5th birthday, started back in May 2013 by one of the current admins, Simon Fewkes, the group was originally setup to share photos, information about the airport and build an online community around Bristol Airport but rapidly grew and continued to evolve into the online presence BAS has today.

Five years on BAS has seen fantastic growth with a very busy and active Facebook group currently totaling over 1600 active members, frequently updated Flickr group with more than 9000 photos uploaded, active Twitter page with over 300 followers as well as the dedicated website seeing hundreds of hits per day.

As well as the online group we have ventured into real life events including 3 very successful aviation fairs raising nearly £2000 for the various airport charities of the year. In total the events saw more than 1700 visitors enjoy great views and interesting stands. Additional to the aviation fairs there have been regular “get togethers” for the first 787 Dreamliner flight, the Football charters and Rugby World cup flights which bring the BAS members together, the initial idea and goal for the group.

Working closely with Bristol Airport we have been able to provide information and news when available, access to the Bristol Room and old ATC tower during events and take over the display of the airport mayfly each week on the BAS website.

What does the future hold? We will continue to grow as a group in terms of member numbers, our online presence and further improve our website and features available to spotters. We are also planning some further events for next year that will be announced once more details are formalised.

We look forward to another 5 years and thank Bristol Airport for their help and co-operation with this group, the events and plans for the future. We continue to strive to be the spotting group of choice for Bristol Airport.

KLM celebrates 30 years of flights from Bristol Airport

KLM celebrated with its customers on Wednesday 16th May 2018 to mark 30 years of flights between Bristol Airport and Amsterdam Airport, connecting the South West to Amsterdam and onwards to various destinations around the world.

Customers departing Bristol Airport with KLM to Amsterdam joined in the celebrations at the departure gate with cupcakes and photos with the KLM crew.

The Bristol to Amsterdam route was first launched in 1988, initially operating under the Netherlines name between 1998-1991, with Saab 340 aircraft which had the capacity to carry up to 34 passengers. With increased demand on the route the introduction of the Fokker 70 was introduced, with Bristol seeing their final Fokker operated flight in March 2014.

The route is now operated by new and more fuel efficient Embraer 175 and 190 aircraft, carrying up to 88 and 100 passengers respectively, while using 22% less fuel in comparison to its predecessor.

There are currently 26 departures a week from Bristol Airport to Amsterdam, with our passengers top long haul connections being Beijing, Hong Kong and Johannesburg. The top European destinations are Budapest, Bremen and Copenhagen.

Data Protection Legislation

You may be aware that after May 25th 2018 new data protection legislation comes into force, we have updated and improved our Privacy Policy to reflect these changes and to highlight the data that we collect and how it is used.

Many of our members and visitors have either subscribed to our newsletter or purchased a product through our online shop, in order for us to comply with GDPR please can we ask that if you no longer wish to receive updates, events, offers and information from Bristol Airport Spotting that you click the Unsubscribe link in any email you receive from us.

If you don’t unsubscribe we will use that as consent to continue to email you, of course you will still be able to unsubscribe at any time.

You can view our new Privacy Policy on our website at – https://www.bristolairportspotting.co.uk/privacy-policy/

British Airways launches more than 20,000 seats from Bristol Airport for Summer 2018

British Airways begins one of its busiest summers next week with the launch of additional frequency and capacity on flights from Bristol Airport.

The addition of two new Embraer 190 aircraft to the growing fleet means that more than 20,000 seats will be on sale from Bristol to some of the most popular leisure destinations in Europe, an increase of 20% compared to last year British Airways flights.

There is an extra weekend flight from Bristol to Palma, as well as flights to Florence, Ibiza and Malaga. In May last year British Airways launched new summer-only routes from Bristol Airport after an absence of 10 years.

First TUI Boeing 787-9 flight operates from Bristol Airport

What proved to be a surprise to aviation enthusiasts and spotters today was the arrival of the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner which operated a flight to Cape Verde for TUI Airways.

The aircraft, G-TUIJ Boeing 787-9, named “Pixie Dust” departed around 12.30pm for its 5 hour flight to Espargos, in the Cape Verde islands after positioning in from Manchester earlier this morning.

This is the first time a Boeing 787-9 has flown to and from Bristol Airport, it is unclear at this stage if this will be a regular sight, but this does show that other airlines that operate the same aircraft type could fly from Bristol Airport.

Video

Thanks to Andy Moore for the above video and below photo.

bmi Regional and Air France announce new codeshare partnership

bmi Regional and Air France have announced a brand new codeshare partnership on bmi’s Bristol to Paris service. The partnership, which commences from 14th May 2018, will provide business and leisure customers from Bristol Airport with access to 25 french cities via Air France’s hub at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

The news comes less than a month after bmi announced that it would be increasing the frequency of its Paris CDG service from Bristol Airport. The airline currently flies twice daily between Bristol and Paris but, in response to customer demand the airline will be adding a further flight three times a week – on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from the 14 May 2018.

As well as opening up new destinations to the South West, the new codeshare partnership strengthens both airlines’ network presence at Bristol Airport and is also expected to benefit inbound tourism to the local area and economy.

Thomas Cook increases flights from Bristol Airport for Summer 2018

Thomas Cook Airlines will base an additional Airbus A320 aircraft at Bristol Airport from May 1, 2018 and increase its number of seats on sale from the airport to over 400,000 for the summer 18 season.

Taking the airline’s weekly flights from 28 to 39 for summer 18, the additional flights on sale include new destinations Egypt, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Costa Brava and Greece. They join favourite holiday spots like the Canaries and Balearics for both flight-only and package holidays from the airport.

From March 19, Tunisia will also join the Bristol programme. Three sold-out UK flights to Hammermet launched in February this year, increasing to 11 weekly flights across the UK this summer.

Compared to summer 17, capacity growth at Bristol airport for summer 18 to Greece is 27%, Turkey, 74% and Cyprus, 33%. The 5 hour 10 minute direct flight to Hurghada operates weekly on a Tuesday on the Airbus A321, with its first flight on May 1, 2018.

Announcing Bristol Airport Spotters Day 2018

Bristol Airport Spotting are pleased to announce that we will be holding a spotters day at Bristol Airport on Sunday 10th June, the event will be held within the Bristol Room located in the Admin Building. Previous aviation fairs have been held in this great room and we are holding this event before the building is removed over the next couple of years, for exciting airport developments.

The event will be held between 11am and 3pm and open to all members of Bristol Airport Spotting, the event will be a ticketed event on a first come first served basis limited to 100 places, the cost for entry will be £2 which will go to the airport charity of the year, which is Children’s Hospice South West. All visitors to the event must have a pre-booked ticket.

During the spotters day there will also be an informative talk from Bristol Airport Police and the opportunity to purchase some Bristol Airport Spotting branded merchandise. Free parking will also be available on the day and Wings Café will be open for light refreshments. Visitors will benefit from great views across the apron, taxiway and runway including close up views of taxiing and departing aircraft.

To book your tickets please visit our ticketing website, the entry fee of £2 will be payable on the door. We hope to see many of our members at the event which is certainly one not to be missed!

Further information and updates can be found on our website event page by visiting https://www.bristolairportspotting.co.uk/bas-events/bristol-airport-spotters-day-2018/

Bristol Airport celebrate inaugural TUI flight to Punta Cana

On Thursday 5th April 2018 Bristol Airport celebrated the inaugural TUI flight to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The flight is operating by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner which benefits from 30% bigger windows, quieter journey with 60% less noise than standard aircraft and mood lighting which helps keep passengers body clocks in tune.

Passengers on the first flight were treated to platters of tropical fruit and Dominican Republic themed cupcakes making each passenger have a memorable send off from Bristol Airport staff and TUI Cabin Crew.

The flight operates once a week between the 5th April and 25th October 2018 inclusive. More info can be found on the Bristol Airport website.

TUI UK launch new routes and additional flights for Summer 2019 from Bristol Airport

TUI first programme launch after last year’s re-brand reveals ambitious growth plans with two new routes and additional flights out of Bristol Airport for Summer 2019.

  • Two new routes to from Bristol Airport to Marrakech and Halkidiki
  • Additional flights have been added to popular destinations such as Antalya, Kefalonia and Cancun plus an extra cruise flight to Naples

Recognising that not everyone wants to holiday for 7 or 14 nights, customers can find more 10 and 11 night stays thanks to additional flights to Antalya, Kefalonia and Cancun reflecting the enduring popularity of Greece, the resurgence of Turkey and the demand for long haul flying on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Customers flying from Bristol Airport will see an increase of 10,000 seats offering holidaymakers more choice and flexibility than ever before. Additional flying has also been added to Naples (Italy) to support the new homeport for Marella Explorer 2, the new ship from Marella Cruises.

BMI Regional expand their Bristol to Paris route

bmi Regional has announced that it will be expanding the Paris CDG route from Bristol Airport with increased frequencies starting from 14th May 2018. bmi currently flies twice daily between Bristol and Paris but, in response to demand from customers, will be adding a further flight three times a week – on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

As of the 14th May, the Bristol Airport to Paris Charles de Gaulle route will operate as follows:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday – 3 x daily
  • Tuesday and Friday – 2 x daily
  • Sunday – 1 x daily

The additional flights will offer improved convenience and flexibility for all passengers on the route, and particularly those travelling on business between Paris and the South West of England.

This spring also marks five years of bmi’s successful Frankfurt and Munich routes from Bristol, which, since launching in March and May 2013 respectively, have grown consistently and become two of bmi’s hallmark services. Enabling business and leisure travellers from the South West to connect three times daily to Frankfurt and twice daily to Munich, the flights also have the advantage of allowing customers from the South West to continue their journey to destinations across Europe and further afield, via both bmi’s Munich and Frankfurt hubs and also its codeshare agreement with Lufthansa and Air Dolomiti.

Update from Bristol Airport Police Spring 2018

As a spotting group we work closely with both Bristol Airport and Bristol Airport Police to help share information and be the eyes and ears around the airport perimeter, we have recently recieved the below update from Inspector Gardom at the airport police along with links further down this article to some useful Youtube videos.


Dear Bristol Airport Spotters, 

I hope that you have survived the cold snap. As you know, we have not seen anything like it for many years and the huge pile of snow that you can see on the northwest side of the apron indicates the amount of work necessary to get the airport back open. The Police Team are relieved that we  are back to ‘business as usual’ after a challenging week.

The national security situation is still a  concern.  The national security threat level is at ‘Severe’ and I would ask you to continue to keep your eyes and ears open for anything that appears suspicious, both at the airport and where you live and work. We need the assistance of members of the public to provide that vital ‘heads up’, that vital intelligence and those vital ‘eyes and ears’. The security services cannot do this alone.

Please can I point you towards two videos on Youtube that are particularly relevant. The first is It’s okay to say, from the Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure. I must warn you that you will either love it or hate it, but I think that it gets over some key messages about how malicious people can exploit complacent people and how we all need to ensure that we are not that complacent person. The second is Run, Hide, Tell, which explains what to do in the event of an attack. The advice is simple, but if you are caught up in an incident it provides some really useful life-skills.

When you see my officers feel free to flag them down for a chat.

Best wishes 

Barney Gardom  


It’s okay to say

Run, hide, Tell

easyJet celebrates female pilot record for International Womens Day

easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, is celebrating International Women’s Day with more female pilots flying on one day for the airline than ever before – also believed to be a European record for the most female pilots rostered by an airline in one day.

  • On International Women’s Day, more easyJet passengers will be flown by female pilots than ever before
  • Over 100 female easyJet pilots are rostered to fly out of 24 bases and will be at the controls of around 300 flights, carrying around 45,000 passengers to hundreds of destinations.
  • Six all-female crews will operate on 16 flights
  • easyJet wants to encourage more women to become pilots and has set a target for 20% of its new entrant pilots to be female by 2020.

With over 100 female pilots on today’s roster, 60% of easyJet’s female flight crew have come out in force to take part in a campaign which is using the hashtag #SheFlies to raise awareness for the airline’s Amy Johnson Flying Initiative, a campaign by the airline to encourage more women to become pilots.

Today easyJet’s female pilots will fly from 24 bases in eight countries, to hundreds of destinations across the airline’s European network.

Women will be flying almost a quarter of today’s schedule meaning around 45,000 passengers will be flown by a female pilot today and in some cases, an all-female crew. Six all-female crews – which include a female Captain, First Officer and fourfemale cabin crew – will fly between London,Bologna, Rome, Milan, Munich, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Agadir.

Last week easyJet announced a partnership with Girlguiding which includes sponsoring the new Aviation badge for Brownies. 200,000 girls aged seven to 10 will have the opportunity to complete the badge which will engage girls in aviation, build a foundation for future study and raise awareness of the opportunities to become a pilot.The partnership will also extend easyJet’s pilot careers outreach work to a community of nearly half a million girls and young women aged between five and 25.

The current proportion of female pilots affects easyJet’s gender pay gap, which the airline has published for the third year running. easyJet has done this voluntarily since 2015 and is now reporting under the new UK gender pay gap requirements.

The overall gender pay gap figure at easyJet is heavily influenced by the gender imbalance in the pilot community at easyJet and across the commercial aviation industry as whole. Like all airlines pilots make up a large proportion of easyJet’s employees, they are paid more highly than other communities and, most materially, 94% of them are male. easyJet’s pilots salaries and other pay is collectively agreed and negotiated with the trade unions, which means that the pay rates are exactly the same for men and women.

Ryanair launch new Bristol to Shannon service

A new service to Shannon has been recently announced by Ryanair which increases the number of flights from Bristol Airport to Ireland to an all time high.

The new twice weekly service to Ireland’s third busiest airport takes the total number of flights per week to more than 100, these include routes to Dublin, Cork and Knock.

Dublin remains the most popular destination served from Bristol Airport, with more than 418,000 passengers using the route in the last 12 months.  Up to seven departures a day are operated by Ryanair and Aer Lingus, providing flexible flight options for business and leisure passengers.  Aer Lingus also serves Cork daily, while Ryanair operates three flights a week to Knock, in the west of Ireland.

Air links between Bristol and Ireland date back to 1936 when Aer Lingus operated its very first international route from Dublin to the city’s airport, then located in Whitchurch.  As well as being well used by businesses with interests in the UK and Ireland, flights also support significant two-way tourism traffic.  According to the International Passenger Survey, Ireland is Bristol’s fifth biggest market for overseas visitors.  Irish visitors to the South West of the UK spent a total of £29.86 million in the first three quarters of 2017, with the number of visits to the region up more than eight per cent over the previous corresponding period.

New CEO appointed at Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport have announced that Dave Lees has been appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer. He will be starting his new role on 1 August. Mr Lees is currently the Managing Director of Southampton Airport, which has achieved record passenger numbers and customer satisfaction scores during his time at the helm.

Before becoming Managing Director, Mr Lees served as Operations Director and Planning & Development Director at Southampton Airport.  Prior to this he was Head of Service Improvement at Heathrow Airport, where he also held roles in operations and engineering.   He has a BSc in Transport Management from Loughborough University.

Mr Lees’ appointment follows the departure of Robert Sinclair in October 2017, since which time Bristol Airport’s Chairman, Janis Kong, has been operating as Interim Chief Executive, a role she will continue in until August. Commenting on the appointment of Mr Lees said:

“I look forward to welcoming Dave to Bristol Airport.  He brings with him a track record of success and wide-ranging experience at major UK airports.   Dave joins at an exciting time as we look to the future as part of the process of preparing a new Master Plan.  He joins a successful team which has consistently delivered results for passengers, airline customers and shareholders.”

Commenting on his new role at Bristol Airport, Dave Lees said:

“This is an exciting opportunity, and I am looking forward to working with the team at Bristol to build on the Airport’s success and ambitions for the future.”

New bmi route to Gothenburg launched

bmi Regional has expanded its route network from Bristol Airport by launching a new flight from Bristol to Gothenburg.

The first flight of the new route departed on 22nd January 2018, passengers were welcomed with Swedish ‘fika’ along with cakes and biscuits produced by a local Swedish bakery Fika Bristol. Also onboard the inaugural flight were leading business and travel influencers.

The new flight which is part of bmi Regional’s desire to expand its flights between key destinations around Europe will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Gothenburg is bmi Regional’s first Swedish route from Bristol. Gothenburg is the location of Scandinavia’s largest port and a hub for global trade, currently enjoying massive economic growth. It is a popular city break destination thanks to its fabulous food, eclectic culture and vibrant nightlife, as well as being the gateway to the stunning coast of West Sweden.

Bristol Airport welcomes easyJet’s new Airbus A320neo

This week easyJet brought its new Airbus A320neo aircraft to Bristol Airport for the first time. The Airbus A320neo aircraft has many significant environmental and operational benefits, these include up to 15 percent savings in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, and a reduced noise footprint of 50 percent on take-off and landings.

The quieter aircraft will have a positive impact on local communities living near the airport, currently easyJet flies to 65 destinations which makes Bristol the biggest base for easyJet outside of London. easyJet will be introducing the Airbus neo aircraft to some of these flights later this year as their fleet of neo aircraft increases.

This year easyJet started to operate the new generation Airbus A320neo aircraft. There will be 100 of these aircraft in the easyJet fleet by the end of 2022. These aircraft which are equipped with CFM LEAP-1A engines and wingtip sharklets are 15% more fuel efficient than current Airbus aircraft.

From summer 2018 easyJet will also start to receive 30 A321neo aircraft, with 235 seats compared to 186 seats on the A320neo aircraft. This will also contribute to easyJet’s carbon reduction target by reducing the amount of fuel used to carry each passenger.

Photo: Thanks to https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/picture-easyjet-puts-a320neo-into-service-438297/

Bristol Airport reports busiest year of passenger operations

More than 8.1 million passengers used Bristol Airport last year, surpassing the total for 2016 by over six hundred thousand passengers.  The record annual number represents an 8 per cent increase year on year, and the eighth consecutive year of growth for England’s third largest regional airport.

Both charter and scheduled airline sectors contributed to the rise with the number of direct routes served reaching over 125.  Highlights in 2017 included TUI’s long haul programme operating the 787 Dreamliner aircraft from the Airport for the first time. easyJet added two new destinations to its route network to Stockholm and Athens, and Ryanair started a new service to Cologne.  Other airlines such as Thomas Cook, bmi regional and KLM all saw an increase in passenger numbers in 2017.

TUI adds further destinations from Bristol Airport

TUI the UK’s largest holiday brand, has today announced that it has added an additional weekly flight to the Greek island of Kos and Turkish destination of Dalaman for summer 2018 operating from Bristol Airport.

Holidaymakers from the South West will now have even more choice when it comes to booking a holiday to Kos and Dalaman, with TUI adding a Sunday flight to the summer flying programme to The Turkish destination and a Saturday flight to the Greek island. Flights start in May 2018 and will now operate twice a week to both Kos and Dalaman.

The decision to add more flights is part of the holiday company’s plans to offer as much choice as possible, ensuring customers across the UK can fly from their local airport and stay at the best hotels such as the 5T TUI Sensimar Palazzo del Mar in Kos or the 4T TUI Family Life Tropical Resort, Dalaman.

As well as the additional flights to Kos and Dalaman residents from in and around Bristol now have a wider choice of destinations to choose from when booking their holidays this summer with new routes to Hurghada in Egypt and Skiathos in Greece already on sale.

Boeing business jet arrives at Bristol Airport

Today Boing Business Jet 9H-BBJ arrived at Bristol Airport for a few days, the Boeing 737-700 aircraft has visited Bristol Airport on previous occasions and is currently being handled and parked on the southside apron by Centreline.

The 737BBJ is certainly a stunning aircraft built in 2001 and refurbished in 2014, onboard facilities include wifi, power sockets, air conditioning, tea and coffee facilities, data port, DVD player, inflight phone, headsets, toilets, leather seats, oven, microwave, TV, satellite phones and even pets are allowed onboard.

The aircraft is owned and managed by charter company PrivaJet who specialise in aircraft management and jet charter.

TUI Air UK add weekly Punta Cana service onboard Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

TUI Air UK today (20 December 2017) announced a 4th Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Destination from Bristol. The Punta Cana route will operate 1x weekly on Wednesdays commening on 5th April 2018 (Thu). The move demonstrates the great success TUI is having with its first two Dreamliner routes from Bristol (Cancun and Orlando), which replaced the 767 last year. TUI also previously announced the 787 will replace the 757-200 on the Cape Verde route, stating this will commence on 2nd May 2018 (Wed).

The routes to Orlando and Cancun are returning at 1x weekly, commencing on 6th April 2018 (Fri) and 31st March 2018 (Sat).

Bristol Airport said: “We’re really pleased to hear that Thomson and First Choice are increasing the number of flights, holidays and destinations available from Bristol Airport. The introduction of Punta Cana as a long haul destination is particularly exciting we are sure it will attract plenty of local holiday makers who can’t wait to travel on the new 787 Dreamliner. Florida and Mexico destinations (commenced May 2017) are already proving popular and this new long haul route adds to the growing number of destinations available for our passengers.”

Further into 2019, Jamaica has been added as a one-off destination from Bristol, departing on 2nd April 2019.

Commences Wednesday Thursday
Outbound Inbound Outbound Inbound
BRS-PUJ-BRS 5th April 2018 11:40-15:15 17:15-06:00(Fri)
BRS-SID-BRS 2nd May 2018 12:30-16:15 17:45-01:05(Thu)
Friday Saturday
Outbound Inbound Outbound Inbound
BRS-CUN-BRS 31st March 2018 08:05-12:00 16:55-07:40(Sun)
BRS-SFB-BRS 6th April 2018 12:10-16:00 18:00-06:45(Sat)

More flight announced for Summer 2018

British Airways is to increase flights from Bristol Airport to some of the top European holiday hotspots in summer 2018

In May this year British Airways launched new summer-only routes from Bristol airport. From May 2018 there will be an extra weekend flight from Bristol to Malaga. Additional summer routes include flights from Bristol to Ibiza, Palma and Florence.

All flights operate on modern Embraer 190 jet aircraft, with spacious cabins and two abreast seating allowing every customer to have an aisle or window seat.

Bristol Airport seeks public views as it plans for the future

Bristol Airport has begun preparing a new Master Plan which will set out potential development to respond to increasing passenger demand forecast over the next three decades and beyond.

A ten week consultation begins today (16 November 2017) to seek views from the public on its priorities and initial concepts that will guide the airport in its development plans to respond to forecast demand of up to 20 million passengers a year by the mid-2040s. Feedback from individuals and organisations will help shape a draft Master Plan which will be subject to further consultation next spring.

Currently the ninth busiest airport in the UK, and the fifth largest outside London, Bristol Airport saw passenger numbers grow by more than 10 per cent in 2016, and will serve more than eight million passengers this year. Existing planning permission is already in place for facilities to handle up to ten million passengers a year, but this capacity is expected to be reached early in the next decade as demand for air travel to and from the South West of the UK continues to rise.

The consultation document, ‘Your airport: your views’, identifies five pillars which will guide the airport’s new Master Plan in order to meet the challenges and opportunities that emerging trends are expected to present aviation with in the future. These guiding principles are:

  • A world-leading regional airport
  • Creating employment and supporting economic growth
  • Providing an integrated transport hub
  • Taking a sustainable approach
  • Ensuring proposals are flexible enough to be delivered in phases over time, and deliver value for money for passengers, airlines and other stakeholders.

A number of design considerations influencing land use are examined, and three example scenarios showing indicative site layouts provide potential ways the airport could meet projected future demand.

Local communities, stakeholders, passengers and the public are invited to find out more and provide feedback online. Bristol Airport will hold a series of drop-in consultation events in local communities across the West of England for those wishing to speak to members of the airport management team first hand. Full details of the consultation, including dates and venues for the drop-in events, can be found by visiting www.bristolairport.co.uk/future.

Work Begins on Bristol Airport’s First Multi-Storey Car Park

A £9.5 million car park development commenced at Bristol Airport this week (8 November).  Construction of a multi-storey car park – the first on the Airport site – is now underway and will create more than 1,000 spaces situated within a short walking distance of the terminal.

Goldbeck Construction has been appointed to build the multi-storey car park which will be of a steel modular construction and will feature enhanced car parking bay technology, helping drivers to easily locate unoccupied spaces.  The development also includes improved internal road design, landscaping and signage all geared to assist passengers when parking cars on site.

Construction of the multi-storey car park follows recent improvements elsewhere across the site this year, including a £2.5 million customer reception centre in the Silver Zone car park and a £2.3 million upgrade to the immigration hall in the terminal.

Bristol Airport targets more long haul routes

Following the return of direct long-haul flights to Florida and Mexico this summer and the announcement of flights to the Dominican Republic in 2018, Bristol Airport has reaffirmed its ambitions to secure further long-haul routes.

The Airport, which will be consulting on initial priorities for a new Master Plan later this year, is confident that the success of TUI’s flights using the Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’ demonstrate the potential for even more destinations beyond Europe in future.

Bristol Airport’s runway is certified for Code E aircraft, a category which includes the A330 as well as the Dreamliner. This brings destinations across North America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and even parts of the Far East into range. Daily flights to New York operated in the past, before falling victim to the global financial crisis and retrenchment in the airline market. However, the Airport’s strong growth since (Bristol is the only major UK airport to have increased passengers every year since 2009) suggests that long-haul routes are a realistic prospect again.

In addition to existing direct long-haul flights, more than 100,000 passengers travel between Bristol and long-haul destinations via major international hubs including Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt and Munich operated by carriers such as Aer Lingus, Brussels Airlines, KLM and bmi regional.

Major investment in the South West, including the development of Hinkley Point C in Somerset, is expected to further boost demand for business travel to and from the region, while initiatives to promote inbound tourism, such as the recently announced Regional Gateway partnership between Bristol Airport and VisitBritain, are set to increase the South West’s profile in overseas markets.

Nigel Scott, Business Development Director at Bristol Airport, said:

“The strong short-haul network available from Bristol is a real asset to the region we serve, but we know businesses in the South West are also looking beyond Europe for new opportunities to trade. That is why we are working hard with existing airline partners to increase the frequency of services to major hubs, as well as exploring the potential for more direct long-haul services east and west. A level playing field on rates of Air Passenger Duty remains vital to achieving these ambitions.”

Having invested more than £160 million in new infrastructure and facilities since 2010, Bristol Airport is well positioned to serve passengers across the South West of the UK, and also provides a gateway to the region for international visitors.

Throughout 2017, Bristol Airport will be celebrating 60 years at its current site. As well as looking back on a rich aviation history, work will begin on an updated Master Plan which will consider how best to meet growing demand for air travel to and from the South West and South Wales over the next two decades. The views of customers, employees, neighbours and others stakeholders will be vital in helping to shape the Airport’s vision for the future.

Bristol Airport passes 8 million passenger milestone

Following a record summer in which passenger numbers reached eight million in a 12 month period for the first time in its history, Bristol Airport will be seeking views later this month on how to meet demand for air travel over the next 30 years and more. Feedback will help shape Master Plan for 2050.

Currently the ninth busiest airport in the UK, and the fifth largest outside London, Bristol saw passenger numbers grow by more than 10 per cent in 2016. Passing the eight million milestone demonstrates continued strong demand for air travel to and from the South West of the UK, highlighting the need to begin investigating options for extending capacity beyond the current limit of 10 million passengers a year. A consultation document to be published later this month will set out initial considerations and concepts for meeting this challenge in a sustainable way.

Local communities, regional stakeholders and the general public will be invited to provide feedback through an online questionnaire, with a series of events to be held in local communities and across the West of England for those wishing to speak to members of the Airport management team first hand. Feedback will help to shape a more detailed Draft Master Plan which will be subject to further consultation in spring 2018.

Changes to night flight regulations

The Department for Transport has approved Bristol Airport’s request regarding EC and UK Airport Slot Allocation Regulations.

The Department for Transport has approved Bristol Airport’s request to be designated as ‘partially coordinated’ under the EC and UK Airport Slot Allocation Regulations.

This puts in place effective controls to ensure continued compliance with seasonal night movement limits set out in planning permission for development to handle up to 10 million passengers a year.

For more information on this subject please read the Bristol Airport Frequently Asked Questions.

Thomson is changing to TUI

The UK’s leading travel company has kicked off its name change campaign to highlight that Thomson is changing to TUI.

A new TV ad debuted during ITV’s flagship Saturday night programme the X Factor.  The advert showed a man diving into clear crystal blue water; the message was simple, ‘Thomson is changing to TUI.’

The 20 second ad, created by Young and Rubicam, is at the heart of a wide scale communications offensive that will cement the name TUI in the minds of the British public as Thomson’s transition from UK number one to world number one reaches the final stages.   The company announced in December 2016 that its summer 2017 marketing campaign ‘moments’ would be the last under the Thomson brand name, paving the way for a full re-brand by the end of the year.

Read more here: hello.tui.co.uk

easyJet announce flights to Stockholm and Athens from October

easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, has today announced that it will start two new routes from Bristol Airport to Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm and the capital city of Greece, Athens later this year.

The new route to Athens will operate every Monday and Friday on an A320 aircraft from 6 November 2017 with fares starting from £28.49* one-way.  Athens is a modern and bustling city, yet charming and steeped in history with museums and monuments at every turn.

These new routes will also support our ongoing efforts to grow inbound tourism to the South West and Wales, and we look forward to working with easyJet as well as our partners in the tourism industry to promote the fantastic attractions of the region to an even wider audience.

Bristol Airport CEO steps down

Bristol Airport announces that its CEO, Robert Sinclair, will step down later this year to become the new Chief Executive Officer of London City Airport.

Robert was appointed CEO of Bristol Airport in October 2008 and has overseen a 45% increase in passenger numbers, significant growth in new destinations, and the completion of a £160m development programme which has culminated in the Airport being ranked No1. in the UK for overall passenger satisfaction.

Janis Kong, Chairman of Bristol Airport, said: “Over the last nine years, Robert has been instrumental in leading our team and transforming Bristol Airport into one of the fastest growing and best regional airports in Europe. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank him for his excellent dedication and service. We wish him every success in his new role.”

Robert Sinclair added: “I have been incredibly fortunate to work at Bristol Airport. It is a fantastic team and I would like to pay tribute to the Board and all of the staff, airlines and business partners who I have had the pleasure of working with. Everyone at Bristol takes great pride in serving the South West region and ensuring our passengers have an amazing journey, and with that level of commitment I am sure the Airport will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Betty the Beech takes off from Bristol Airport

On Tuesday 20 June 2017 an historic Beech 18 aircraft departed from the Bristol and Wessex Aeroplane Club at Bristol Airport on the first stage of a round-the-world flight.

Well-known local hot air balloonist and director of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Phil Dunnington, and his wife Allie will fulfil a 20 year-old dream by flying an historic aeroplane around the world, taking one of the world’s lightest hot air balloons with them.

At each stop-over for the aircraft, Phil and Allie will fly the balloon, making for a unique and exciting aviation adventure. Planning and preparation started in 2014, when a suitable aircraft, which has since become affectionately known as Betty the Beech and painted in Bristol Blue colour, was purchased.   The couple have also been hard at work designing the hot air balloon with locally based Cameron Balloons.

The first part of the adventure is a series of hops from the UK to Cuba via the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Canada, and the United States.  Wherever Betty lands, the balloon will take to the skies.

This will involve flying an old aeroplane through some of the world’s most challenging regions and then, between flights, getting airborne in their two-person balloon. Many destinations on Betty’s travels may never have seen a balloon before.

Throughout 2017, Bristol Airport will be celebrating 60 years at its current site.  As well as looking back on a rich aviation history, work will begin on an updated Master Plan which will consider how best to meet growing demand for air travel to and from the South West and South Wales over the next two decades.  The views of customers, employees, neighbours and others stakeholders will be vital in helping to shape the Airport’s vision for the future.

New airline Powdair to launch at Bristol Airport

New airline powdair will launch in December 2017 with ticket sales now on sale through its website powdair.ski with a winter schedule that links Sion Airport with eight destinations in the UK, one of those being Bristol Airport.

The skiers airline, based in Sion – the heart of Switzerland’s winter sport region, the Valais, will offer skiers and snowboarders across the UK, Northern Germany and the Benelux Countries the chance to reach some of the world’s most famous winter sports resorts quickly and efficiently.

Flights commence from December 14, 2017 and will significantly cut transfer times to some of Switzerland’s most popular ski resorts for winter sports enthusiasts including Zermatt, Verbier, Saas Fee, Crans Montana and Nendaz. A variety of transfer options from Sion Airport to onward destinations are available to book at the point of ticket purchase, including shared and private journeys to the major resorts in the region.

Initial reports were that the airline would use a Tradeair Fokker 100 on the route but since then we have heard the airline may be using a leased aircraft painted in a bespoke Powdair livery, more information to follow once we know more.

Champions League Final flights take passenger numbers to record levels

During the weekend of Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th June Bristol Airport saw an extra 15,000 passengers en route to the UEFA Champions League final in Cardiff which was one of the biggest sporting events in the world this year.

In total well over 100,000 passengers travelled through Bristol Airport over the course of the weekend, making it the busiest in the airport’s history. 170,000 fans made the trip to watch Real Madrid play against Juventus on Saturday evening, or simply to join in the Champions League Festival activities based around the city of Cardiff over the weekend.

We understand UEFA followed a two airport strategy for the travel arrangements of fans, with Bristol Airport the designated port of entry for followers of Real Madrid, and Cardiff Airport the primary airport for Juventus fans. Months of planning and preparation went into ensuring those flying in for the final received a warm welcome and were able to continue their onward journey to Cardiff quickly and efficiently.

An extra 200 aircraft, including private and corporate jets, scheduled flights and special charter flights, arrived at Bristol Airport bringing supporters into the UK before the match in Cardiff.

Important Security Update from Bristol Airport Police for the Champions League Final 2017

At Bristol Airport Spotting we work closely with Bristol Airport Police to provide the eyes and ears when spotting around the airport. With the upcoming Champions League Final next weekend we have received an update from Police Inspector Barney Gardom:


Dear Aviation Enthusiasts,

You will all have seen the tragic news from Manchester and the recent development that the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) raised the threat level to critical on Tuesday night. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who have lost their lives or been injured.  I can confirm that we are taking extra security measures at Bristol Airport and many other places throughout the region. At the airport we are working very closely with Airport Security to ensure that all the passengers and staff can feel safe and be safe. Some of these measures are visible, but there are other measures that you will not see.

You will all know that we are expecting a significant number of Real Madrid fans to come through the airport next weekend as they make their way to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff for the UEFA Champions League Final. I understand that this is the biggest sporting event in the world for 2017. We are working hard with UEFA, South Wales Police, British Transport Police, Highways England and other agencies to ensure that the game is a ‘showcase’ for what we can do in the region. Again, making the fans be safe and feel safe is  our priority.

Meanwhile please can I ask you to keep your eyes and ears open. If you see anything concerning, either at the airport or elsewhere, then call 101 or the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321 or 101.

Please can I ask you to watch a Youtube video called Eyes Wide Open, a video about suspicious behaviour, not the Sabrina Carpenter song. Although it is aimed at those working in security it contains some useful information.

Best wishes

Barney Gardom
Bristol Airport Police Ports Unit

British Airways first flights take off from Bristol Airport

This Saturday 20th May 2017 marks the launch of British Airways flights from Bristol Airport again after a period of 10 years absent from the airport. The flights operate on Saturdays to Florence, Ibiza and Malaga using 3 Embraer 190 aircraft and 1 Embraer 170 aircraft with spacious cabins and two abreast seating so every passenger has an aisle or window seat.

British Airways are pleased to be restarting flights from Bristol and offering customers competitively priced flights on popular routes with our national airline. Depending on the success of the routes further routes may be added to the British Airways schedules.

The flights operate as follows:

Florence

  • Arrives: 12:25pm – E170
  • Departs: 13:10pm – E170

Ibiza

  • Arrives: 15:10pm – E190
  • Departs: 15:55pm – E190

Malaga

  • Arrives: 15:15pm – E190
  • Departs: 16:00pm – E190

Palma

  • Arrives: 15:45pm – E190
  • Departs: 16:30pm – E190

More details on all flights from Bristol Airport can be found on our Mayflys page.

Bristol Airport to welcome Real Madrid fans for Champions League Final 2017

Bristol Airport is set to welcome fans of Real Madrid between Friday 2nd June and Sunday 4th June 2017 for the Champions League Final which is being held at Cardiff. The Juventus fans will be flying into Cardiff Airport seperating them from the Real Madrid fans.

At the moment we have heard the following flights will be operated by Vueling during this period, these times and flights may change nearer to the date with more added, once we have more information this page will be updated.

Update: As well as Vueling BAS have been informed that Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia, Iberia Express, Privilege Style and SATA Azores may be operating flights to Bristol during this period. More info as it becomes available.

Madrid

Friday 2nd June

  • Vueling – MAD-BRS 05.00-06.05
  • Vueling – MAD-BRS 07.00-08.05
  • Vueling – MAD-BRS 11.00-12.05

Saturday 3rd June

  • Vueling – MAD-BRS 04.20-05.25
  • Vueling – MAD-BRS 10.15-11.20

Sunday 4th June

  • Vueling – BRS-MAD 07.55-11.05
  • Vueling – BRS-MAD 21.40-00.50
  • Vueling – BRS-MAD 22.55-02.05

Barcelona

Friday 2nd June.

  • Vueling – BCN-BRS 22.30-23.45

Sunday 3rd June.

  • Vueling – BRS-BCN 15.00-18.05

Information Source: http://www.forums4airports.com/threads/4230/

Updated 24 May 2017

IB2866 MAD 2130-xxxx BRS (01/06/17)
VY7760 MAD 0700-0805 BRS A320 (02/06/17)
VY7762 MAD 0745-0850 BRS A320 (02/06/17)
VY7764 MAD 1200-1305 BRS A320 (02/06/17)
IBS9686 MAD 1815-xxxx BRS A320 (02/06/17)
IBS9702 MAD 1840-xxxx BRS A320 (02/06/17)
VY7750 BCN 2230-xxxx BRS A320 (02/06/17)
IB2868 MAD 0215-xxxx BRS
IB2908 MAD 0230-xxxx BRS
IB2864 MAD 0240-xxxx BRS
IB2856 MAD 0245-xxxx BRS
IBS9998 MAD 0255-xxxx BRS A320
IBS9690 MAD 0300-xxxx BRS A320
IBS9688 MAD 0310-xxxx BRS A320
IB2858 MAD 0315-xxxx BRS
PVG1191 MAD 0400-xxxx BRS
VY7762 MAD 0420-xxxx BRS A320
UX957 MAD 0500-xxxx BRS
VY4010 MAD 0500-xxxx BRS
UX625 MAD 0500-xxxx BRS
UX821 MAD 0545-xxxx BRS
PVG8857 MAD 0635-xxxx BRS
PVG9963 MAD 0645-xxxx BRS
UX853 MAD 0645-xxxx BRS
ZI973 MAD 0710-xxxx BRS A320
ZI985 MAD 0720-xxxx BRS A320
VY7752 BCN 0725-xxxx BRS A320
VY7762 MAD 0745-0850 BRS A320
PVG9373 MAD 0800-xxxx BRS
UX941 MAD 0800-xxxx BRS
TDR263 MAD 0830-xxxx BRS
YW2830 MAD 0900-xxxx BRS
UX812 MAD 0900-xxxx BRS
YW2010 MAD 1000-xxxx BRS
VY7764 MAD 1015-xxxx BRS A320
UX929 MAD 1125-xxxx BRS
UX844 MAD 1140-xxxx BRS
UX889 MAD 1150-xxxx BRS

Information Source: http://footballcharters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/uefa-champions-league-final-3-june-2017.html

Bristol Airport celebrates 60 years of operations

Two very special aircraft took centre stage as Bristol Airport celebrated 60 years of flying from its current site today. 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.

The Dakota lined up next to its modern-day equivalent – an Airbus A319 – which easyJet has named Spirit of Bristol to mark the Airport’s anniversary.

Today Bristol Airport is flying high, with more than 8 million passengers expected to pass through the terminal during 2017 but back in 1957 the world was very different place. The airline industry as we know it today was still in its infancy and just 33,000 people used the Airport in its first year of operation – similar to a busy 24 hours today!

The origins of Bristol Airport can be traced back to the city’s early aviation pioneers, forming out of a flying club at Filton funded by public subscription before moving to a site at Whitchurch to the south of the city. Following the end of the Second World War, a ten year campaign began to secure a new site for a municipal airport, finally settling on the former RAF base at Lulsgate.

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 of the UK, as providing a gateway to the region for international visitors.

Thomson and First Choice increase capacity with new routes

Thomson and First Choice are today announcing increased capacity at Bristol Airport for anyone taking a holiday in summer 2018. This includes new routes to Funchal, Madeira and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The company is also offering new 10 and 11 night breaks to Bulgaria and Dubrovnik which gives greater flexibility to holidaymakers flying from the south-west of England.

The move to introduce new routes and increased flexibility is part of the holiday company’s strategy to ensure customers across the UK can fly from their local airport and stay at the finest hotels in some of the most captivating destinations. Today marks the launch of all summer 2018 holidays for the brands which includes new routes.

Customers flying to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from Bristol will get the added benefit of flying on Thomson’s brand new 787 Dreamliner plane and can visit some of the destination’s best hotels such as the 5T TUI SENSATORI Resort Azul Punta Cana. The newest Sensatori resort in the collection boasts beautiful white-sand beaches, designer interiors and a gourmet dining scene.

Aviation Sunday Special at Virtual Aerospace Gloucester

We wanted to inform you of a great offer and day at Virtual Aerospace Gloucester on Sunday 30th April 2017, for just £99.00 you can take the controls of a Boeing 737-800 fixed base simulator. From the moment you arrive at the airport themed reception you will be instantly transported into the world of the big jet pilot. This is not just a pretend aircraft used for experiences but a fully operational professional level 737NG used to train real airline pilots, join a fully qualified commercial pilot for the ride of your life! Virtual Aerospace Gloucester are good friends of Bristol Airport Spotting and have attended previous Aviation Fairs that we organised.

Every experience is tailored to your level whether you are a complete novice or a fully trained airline pilot we have something for you.

  • Upon arrival you will be met by one of the operations staff and shown to the waiting area where refreshments are available.
  • At your designated flight time you will meet your instructor and help them plan your session including choosing weather, time of day and location (They have the whole world to choose from).
  • This is where the fun really starts, it’s off to the simulator where you will find the engines running and the aircraft ready to go
  • Seat belt signs on, flaps down and throttles forwards – 30 minutes of flying goes in a flash and will leave you wanting more!
  • Spectator jump seat – share your experience with a friend or family member (Only enough room for 1 passenger).

To find out more visit their website at http://virtual-aerospace-gloucester.com/product/avgeeksunday/ where you can find contact details. Or join the event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1082749808538230/

Ryanair launch new Winter 2017 schedule at Bristol Airport

Ryanair today (23 Mar) launched its Bristol winter 2017 schedule, with a new route to Cologne, extra flights to Bucharest and Venice and 20 routes in total, which will deliver 1.7m customers p.a. and support 1,300 jobs at Bristol Airport.

Ryanair will continue to connect Bristol with major business and leisure centres on high frequency, low fare services including Dublin (2 daily) and Milan (3 wkly), on the lowest fares, making Ryanair the ideal choice for UK business and leisure customers.

easyJet celebrates a record 2016 with future expansion planned in 2017

easyJet, Bristol’s largest airline and the largest UK base outside of London, flew more than four million passengers during the course of 2016 – an 11% increase on the previous year, up a third on five years ago.

Two million of easyJet’s passengers were travelling for business. Since easyJet’s operations began out of Bristol in 2002, a massive 45 million passengers have travelled to and from the airport with easyJet.

In 2017 the number of seats on sale will increase by around 6.7% to over 4.86 million with more seats to the most popular destinations in Spain and Portugal than any other airline, and an ever expanding number of destinations available from the airport.

In 2016 the airline launched new routes to Vienna, Basel, Venice, Nantes, Dubrovnik, Gran Canaria and Turin and, this summer, will launch flights to Kefalonia and Pula. Additionally, due to an uplift in demand, it has also increased the frequency of flights to Palma to 15 times a week, flights to Pisa will increase to six times a week and Ibiza to three times a week. easyJet also connects the South West with the rest of the UK with daily multi-frequency flights. It also offers up to 20 flights a day to and from Scotland. Additionally, from the summer of 2017, the airline will position a further aircraft in Bristol, creating new jobs locally.

As well as adding new routes, easyJet now offers direct flights to all the main Canary Islands during winter and keeps the south west well connected to Europe’s key cities like Bilbao, Pisa, Barcelona and Bordeaux which now operate all year-round.

British Airways returns to Bristol Airport

British Airways is to start flying from Bristol Airport again with the launch of four new summer-only routes to popular European sunspots.

From May the airline will begin direct flights from Bristol to the popular Spanish destinations of Malaga, Ibiza and Palma and to the Italian city of Florence. They will operate on modern Embraer 190 jet aircraft, with spacious cabins and two abreast seating so every customer can have an aisle or window seat. The new return flights will operate once a week at weekends.

Photo thanks to British Airways PLC

WOW Air continues service from Iceland to Bristol Airport

WOW air, the ultra-low-cost transatlantic airline from Iceland, has announced that it will continue its service from Bristol to Iceland and beyond to the US and Canada in June due to the ongoing success of the route as well as the airline is set to relaunch the service with brand new aircraft arriving in June.

Though the route was originally planned to cease operations on 24 March 2017, the airline will recommence flights on 14 June 2017 with five new aircraft that will be put into service on the route.

The new schedule from 14 June to 27 October 2017 will be as follows:
WW831           BRS – KEF            10:25 – 13:30 UTC           Wed – Fri – Sun
WW830           KEF – BRS            06:15 – 09:15 UTC           Wed – Fri – Sun

New South Bristol link road opens

On Monday 16 January 2017 the South Bristol Link (SBL) a 4.5km express bus route and roadway that includes new cycle and pedestrian paths opened to traffic for the first time, it links the A370 at Long Ashton with the A38 and Hengrove Park.

The SBL will improve access to Bristol Airport for passengers and spotters travelling by car from the north, east and west, although journey time reductions may be tempered in the short term by delays caused by road improvement works elsewhere in the local area.

A year in review from Bristol Airport Spotting

Well, this year certainly has been one full of surprises for Bristol Airport Spotting. I would sum it up as “successful” year with lots of great news being announced, although some news was not so great too. I certainly has been one of the best years for BAS since it began!

In early 2016 there was not a huge amount of activity regarding rares and new routes. The winter charters consisting of Jet2, Enter Air and Titan Airways were slowly dwindling off. Up until the end of March it looked as if the year didn’t have much exciting in store, apart from 1 new airline, WOW Air, starting in May – we’ll come on to this later.

In April our hopes soon picked up as we received news of the Thomson Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner which would be visiting Bristol Airport on the 19th. Myself and Simon were further excited as we were offered by Bristol Airport to go air side for the arrival – it was now clear BRS were not taking the arrival lightly and it soon came to light that it would be more of an event than just witnessing the arrival! On the morning of the 19th it was a cloudy and miserable day but at exactly 11:20 the main gear of the Dreamliner touched Bristol Airport’s runway 27 for the very first time. After a short period of the ground workers making sure the steps were the correct height, BAS was allowed to go inside the aircraft to photograph it, including the cockpit, along with various other media crew.

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Could 2016 get any better for BRS and BAS? Surely not 2 very special arrivals in 5 days of each other? Well that was the case! On the morning of the 24th of April, many spotters headed to Winters Lane to catch the arrival of a French Air Force Airbus A310 – it was truly a spectacular sight. So by early summer a lot had happened for BAS already. As a spotter I was quite chuffed with how it had gone to far and wasn’t going to be disappointing if nothing else unusual came in.

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In May Bristol Airport Spotting launched the new Facebook group for spotters. This was done to allow members to more easily communicate with each other and bring more of a community feel to the Bristol Airport Spotters. In under 24 hours we had already accumulated over 100 members – a tremendous success which passed myself and Simon’s expectations by miles.

Bristol Airport Spotting Facebook Group

May also brought the first arrival of WOW Air to Bristol Airport.On Friday the 13th May at 11:10, the first arrival was TF-BRO from KEF. BAS was again grateful to the team at Bristol Airport for inviting us air side for the inaugural flight. Simon attended and I sadly had to turn down the offer as I had to be at school.The flight is still in operation today on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, however it is currently unknown if WOW Air are returning to Bristol Airport in summer 2017.

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Freebird also commenced a weekly Friday evening service to Bristol Airport in May, this is believed to have been charted in by a holiday company. The flight continued to operate throughout the summer on an Airbus A320 aircraft.

June now so the temperature was starting to pick up which brought out more and more spotters, combined with longer days allowed for some great spotting. BRS and Aer Lingus celebrated 80 years of the Dublin to Bristol route and flew in a vintage aircraft to celebrate. Simon from BAS was allowed to be on board one of the special flights which took passengers over the original Bristol Whitchurch Airport.

Little did us spotters know that a suprise was in store for us – BH Air flew in the Airbus A330 on the Burgas summer charter! This was listed as an A320 on the mayfly and so we were delighted when we found out it had come in. 2 weeks later, it was operated again, and spotters were out in full to catch its early Saturday morning arrival and departure. For someone who has not been a spotter for as long as most of the members it was a real treat to finally catch a Airbus A330 at Bristol. It is believed the last time a Airbus A330 came to Bristol was in 2006.

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So to recap, that was now 3 unusual aircraft types this year: 787,  A310 and A330!

Neos and CityJet also joined in the summer charter club, operating a B737-800 and Avro RJ85 into Bristol. BRS’s summer charter operation was now in full swing with Freebird, BH Air, Neos and CityJet.

Further on into July both myself and Simon were outside the country (on separate trips of course!). We’d like to thank SWAP owner and good friend Gary Morris for being a temporary admin on the BAS Facebook group during this time.

Soon enough it was September and that only meant one thing – the Aviation Fair was not fair away! Preparations had been well underway and we couldn’t wait to get it started. The day of the 18th came and what a busy day it was. Myself, Simon and many others who had volunteered to help us set up were at Bristol Airport on a cold morning at am, setting up. The aviation fair turned out to be a huge success with over 800 people attending – bypassing the previous years numbers massively. The day also showed the arrival of a Danish Air Transport ATR. Thank you to all of the exhibitors and those who helped out – the fair could not have happened without your help!

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We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2017 Aviation Fair, details of this will be announced in the upcoming months.

Most of the year had passed by now and we were all looking forward to the winter charter season. However none of the BAS team or our fellow enthusiasts were prepared for the news we would receive on the 3rd of October.

Martyn East, a BAS Admin and well known Bristol Airport enthusiast, had sadly passed away in hospital the previous night. We were all devastated at the news. Martyn’s knowledge of aviation was incredible and always had a new story to tell each time you saw him.

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And with that now it brings this review into the past few weeks. Winter charters have begun, these include Jet2, Enter Air, Small Planet, Austrian and Titan Airways.

Bristol Airport Spotting would like to thank the team at Bristol Airport and in particular Jacqui Mills for their help and organisation of the various air side visits and the Aviation Fair!

New voice communications upgrade by NATS

The UK’s leading air navigation services provider NATS has won a new contract to design and deliver a new voice communications system at Bristol Airport.

Over the next 12 months, NATS Services Ltd will replace Bristol’s Voice Communications System (VCS) in an overhaul of the bespoke system that allows air traffic controllers in the airport tower to communicate with the aircraft and vehicles under their management.

NATS is developing, designing and installing the new VCS system, built around the IP-based Frequentis 3020X VCS and Jotron transmitters and receivers, to provide a clear and effective solution capable of meeting Bristol Airport’s current and future technical requirements.

Placed around the airfield and in the tower itself, the new state-of-the-art equipment not only enhances voice clarity and brings the airport up-to-date with the latest technology but also ensures the system is well-placed to connect with technological advances of the future.

Photo courtesy of NATS.Aero

Ryanair increases traffic by 5% for Summer 2017

Ryanair has launched its biggest ever Bristol summer schedule (2017), with two new summer routes to Bucharest and Venice and extra flights to Warsaw, with 30 routes in total.

Ryanair has launched its biggest ever Bristol summer schedule (2017), with 2 new summer routes to Bucharest and Venice and extra flights to Warsaw, with 30 routes in total, which will deliver over 1.7m customers p.a. at Bristol Airport, as Ryanair grows its Bristol traffic by 5% in 2017.

Ryanair’s Bristol Summer 2017 schedule will see more frequencies to sun destinations, lower fares (as Ryanair passes on lower fuel costs), and an even better customer experience, as it rolls out year 3 of its “Always Getting Better” customer experience programme, and will deliver:

• 2 new summer 2017 routes to: Bucharest (2 weekly) & Venice Marco Polo (4 weekly)
• Extra flights to Warsaw (4 weekly)
• 30 routes in total
• Over 1.7m customers p.a.

Sad news from the team

We are very sad to report that Martyn East, one of the admin team here at Bristol Airport Spotting passed away on Monday 3rd October 2016 after battling a long illness for many months, Martyn worked behind the scenes on developing the ID Card Scheme and he was in the stages of beginning to take orders to get things moving, he also helped and supported the aviation fair planning as well as being a good friend to anyone he met sharing his wealth of 30 years aviation knowledge.

He will be very much missed by all who knew him and everyone within the BAS team and community. We plan on continuing with the ‘plane watch’ scheme in his memory and more information will be announced later in the year.

We are recruiting!

We are looking for another admin to join the team here at Bristol Airport Spotting, the group has continued to grow since it began back in 2013 and has now become very busy both on social media, the website, events and the upcoming “plane watch” project.

The admin role will involve keeping the website up to date, ensuring pages are current, creating new web pages and blogging about news articles where necessary. We have a presence on social media that needs improving to various other channels and so involvement with this will be required.

Unfortunately the role is unpaid but we need a dedicated individual to dedicate an hour or few hours a week depending on what is required to work on the above tasks as well as others that the individual may feel will enhance the group further. We want someone to come along for the ride and help us expand BAS, you will be working alongside the other admins as well as the founder of the group Simon Fewkes.

Desired experience:

  • Knowledge of WordPress content management system
  • Knowledge of social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus
  • Good written English and communication skills

If this sounds like something that interests you please send an email to info@bristolairportspotting.co.uk with your details, your past experience and why you feel you are ideal for the role.

Aviation Fair 2016 featured in Bristol Post

During the day of the aviation fair a photographer from Bristol Post was present, he took a selection of photos which were published in a two page spread on Tuesday 20th September 2016 in the Bristol Post newspaper, thanks to both the photographer and the newspaper for publishing this content which will further promote the event and show our support to the airport and charity of the year.

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Third aviation fair at Bristol Airport another great success

Another record breaking aviation fair was held on Sunday 18th September 2016 at Bristol Airport in aid of Childrens Hospice South West, the event was organised by Simon Fewkes the founder of Bristol Airport Spotting who has continued to build and develop on previous aviation fairs.

This years event saw a total of 873 adults and children through the doors of the administration building helping to raise a fantastic £986.32 for charity, the money was raised through donations and entry fees into the popular aviation fair which is currently in its third year. Entry fees for this years fair were £1.50 for adults and children under 16 free with all proceeds going directly to the airport charity of the year.

Visitors to the aviation fair were from all ages and backgrounds, families, enthusiasts, airport staff and anyone with an interest in aviation travelled from as far away as Kent, Cornwall and Manchester to visit the fair taking in the exhibitors at the fair as well as great views of aircraft taxiing, taking off and landing all within very close viewing of the Bristol Room that overlooks the main airport apron.

Each year the fair has been growing and following feedback from visitors to last years event to makes this years event even bigger the fair was able to make use of the upstairs room and the downstairs foyer allowing for a massive 39 tables of interest ranging from books, models, postcards, photos and exhibitions from various exhibitors all with an aviation background. This year Airliner World magazine exhibited at the fair after meeting them at an event earlier in the year, the guys had a great time and particularly enjoyed the great views of the airport.

Exhibitors included Bristol Aero Collection, Fly2Help, GS Models, Sapiart Publications, Bristol Flight Simulator Club, Bristol Air Cadets, Bristol Balloons and Bristol Wessex Aeroplane Club to name but a few.

New for this years fair and for Bristol Airport Spotting members were visits to the old control tower situated above the Bristol Room, the tower, or VCR as its better known, is still in use as a contingent but small groups of photographers and spotters were allowed into the room to get a clearer and different view of aircraft and the airport, this was very well received and tickets sold out within minutes of going live on our website.

The fair also welcomed presenters from BBC Radio Bristol who used the aviation fair as one of their destinations on the radio programme called Clueless, organiser Simon Fewkes spoke live on air to presenters, this publicity on live radio also helped increase the numbers of visitors to the fair who may not have seen it advertised previously, also at the fair was a photographer from Bristol Post who went on to feature a two page spread in the newspaper the week after the fair.

BAS would like to thank everyone who came along to the event, supported the event, helped with setting up and packing up and everyone that helped promote the event on social media or through their website, we are looking forward to another aviation fair.

Aviation Fair 2016 this Sunday!

Its that time of year again, Bristol Airport Aviation Fair 2016 is this coming Sunday 18th September 2016, all final preparations have been made for the event which is going to be the biggest aviation fair at Bristol Airport to date.

With over 35 tables to browse ranging from books, DVDs, models, photographs to exhibitions from the airport police, Bristol Aero collection from Filton, Fly2Help flying charity, aviation software companies and flight simulation exhibitors there really is so much more to see and do this year. We really do look forward to welcoming you to this years fair on Sunday.

For any last minute questions you may have we have put together the following commonly asked questions:

When is the event taking place?

The event is being held on Sunday 18th September 2016 between 10.30am and 4.00pm.

Where is the event taking place?

The event is being held in the Bristol Room and foyer within the administration building at the airport, this is the first building on the left when you enter the airport site.

Will car parking be available?

Yes free car parking will be available in front of the admin building but spaces this year are limited so we would like to encourage visitors to either car share or use the excellent public transport to the airport, the barrier will be removed for the day so there will be no restrictions on cars and duration at the event. Car parking is clearly signposted, we will give you a free parking voucher which you will need to exit the car park.

How do I find the admin building?

All visitors to the event should enter the Bristol Airport site from the main roundabout on the A38, then take the first left at the next mini roundabout and then head into the car park which will be in front of you, at this point the admin building is on your right hand side, you will see the entrance clearly marked. Us the map below to help you, follow the black arrows below to enter the car park marked in red, the admin building is marked in green.

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How much is the event?

The event is free for children and £1.50 for adults, all money raised is being donated to the airport charity of the year which this year is Children’s Hospice South West.

What can I see and do?

The Bristol Room has great views across the apron and will provide views of aircraft taking off, landing and taxiing past the window. We will have exhibitors from:

  • Bristol Airport Police
  • Bristol Aero Collection
  • Bristol Airport Spotting
  • GS Models – Model aircraft for sale
  • IPMS Avon Model Club
  • Fly2Help
  • Bristol and Wessex Aeroplane Club
  • Miniature Bristol Airport
  • South West Aviation Photographers
  • SpottingLog
  • Bristol Airport Air Cadets
  • Bristol Flight Simulation Club
  • Wingtip Aviation Postcards – Aviation based postcards
  • Sapi Art Publications – Aviation art
  • Airliner World Magazine
  • Trijet50 – Aviation books and magazines
  • Brian Down Photography
  • Made in Bristol TV
  • Weston Helicopter Museum
  • Bristol Balloons

Refreshments will be available to purchase from the new cafe, choose from tea and coffee, sandwiches, crisps and bacon rolls. No food is to be taken into the Bristol Room. Event programmes and information on aircraft activity will be available as well as colouring for the younger visitors.

How do I show my support for this event?

If you are coming along to the event please Join the Facebook event below so we have a rough idea of numbers – https://www.facebook.com/events/1570757296550824/ or if you aren’t on Facebook just turn up on the day, bring a friend, family or colleagues.

We would love to hear your feedback after the event on how things went and any suggestions or comments you feel appropriate to improve next years fair which is already pencilled in for Sunday 17th September 2017.

Bristol Airport Spotting ID Card Scheme

Quite some time back we started to explore the idea of setting up and running a Bristol Airport Spotting ID Card Scheme, we are now looking to progress this further to an intended launch but before we do we need to get an idea of numbers of people who would be interested in joining, there would be a small cost to join which covers printing of the ID card and a lanyard, some ARGUS training would also be provided by Bristol Airport Police as part of the scheme. The ID cards would have no security or access rights and are purely for spotter identification purposes only, we are looking to work towards a similar model adopted at Gatwick, Manchester and Stansted who also work in partnership with the airport police. If you would like to join please can you submit your name and email address using the following Mailchimp form – http://eepurl.com/cc0wmf, we will then contact you once we have an idea of numbers and if the project can progress as intended.

Downside Road Closure

We have been contacted by Bristol Airport to share information about an upcoming road closure.

North Somerset Council (NSC) have advised us they will be completing essential road maintenance resurfacing work on Downside Road for 4 weeks (weekdays only) between the hours of 08.00h – 20.00h commencing from Monday 5 September 2016. 

During the above times no vehicles will be able to access the Airport via Downside Road to enable to work to be completed safely. Downside Road will be re-opened each day. A temporary road surface with 20mph speed restriction signs will be in place and vehicle access will be possible but with caution. Between the hours of 08.00h – 20.00h the 3 way traffic lights at the junction with Downside Road and the A38 may be switched off. 

Diversion signs will be in place along the A38, A370 and B3133.  The diversion route will be via Brockley Combe Road, A370 (Main Road, Rhodyate Hill, Bristol Road), B3133 (High Street, Brinsea Road, Stock Lane), A38 (Bypass, Station Road, Redhill, Bristol Road) and vice versa.  

Reasonable access to properties and businesses will be maintained and the diversion routes will be clearly signed.

Please be aware and share as appropriate, and please advise to allow additional travel time whilst the works are taking place.

Please contact North Somerset Council directly if you experience any issues.

(Image courtesy of Google Maps)

Second phase of terminal extension opens

Phase two of Bristol Airport’s £24m terminal extension opened to passengers on Saturday 29 July, bringing the number of new security lanes in operation to ten.

The 9,000 square metre structure features state-of-the-art technology in a significantly enlarged security search area and forms part of development plans which will enable 10 million passengers a year to use the Airport. Work continues on a dedicated Fast Track zone which will go live later this year, along with an expanded baggage reclaim and arrivals ‘meet and greet’ area.

Completion of the terminal extension will then enable immigration facilities to be enlarged, with plans being progressed to enhance facilities by spring 2017. This will include the introduction of faster new ePassport gates featuring the latest technology to speed processing times, taking the total number of passport control points from 10 to 17.

In the meantime, arriving passengers can help keep time spent at the border to a minimum by having passports open to the photograph page and removing hats and sunglasses in advance of inspection, with families encouraged to go through the border together.

The route network available from Bristol Airport is also growing, with direct services to 117 destinations and frequent daily services to major hubs including Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin and Frankfurt, as well as a recently launched WOW air service to Reykjavik offering onward connections to North America. From May 2017, Thomson Airways will operate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Florida and Mexico, highlighting the scope for more direct long-haul destinations in future.

First phase of terminal extension opens

The first phase of Bristol Airport’s £24m terminal extension opened to passengers this morning ahead of what is expected to be its busiest ever summer holiday season.

The 9,000 square metre structure features state-of-the-art technology in a significantly enlarged security search area, the first phase of which includes five new lanes, with a further five coming on line at the end of the month. The terminal extension forms part of development plans which will enable 10 million passengers a year to use the Airport, the largest in the South West of the UK, and England’s third busiest outside London. Passenger numbers passed seven million for the first time in a rolling 12 month period, and traffic is up by more than 10 per cent for the first half of the year.

In total, the completed extension will comprise 12 security lanes, including a dedicated Fast Track zone which will go live later this year. A pre-boarding preparation area provides a new space for passengers to get their belongings ready for screening, and an automated tray return system with extended conveyor belts will streamline the process through metal detectors, x-rays and security scanners where required. All of this will take place against the backdrop of Europe’s largest digital wall, measuring 14 metres in length and displaying a mix of information on overseas destinations and short films featuring inspirational journeys made by local people.

While the priority of this first phase of development is to address bottlenecks for departing passengers, an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities, and meet and greet area will be completed by the end of the year, also enhancing the arrivals experience. Completion of the current extension will then enable the immigration hall to be developed in 2017, with plans including the installation of up to 10 of the latest ePassport gates.

Completion nearing of first phase of terminal extension

The opening of Bristol Airport’s biggest ever terminal extension is just three weeks away as the first phase a 12 month construction programme nears completion. The first section of the £24 million facility, including a bigger and better security search area, will open on 18 July.

The Airport has experienced a very busy summer so far, with record passenger numbers expected throughout the holiday season. Combined with the temporary loss of space while construction work is underway, this has resulted in congestion in the terminal at the busiest times of day. This has been compounded by air traffic control strikes in France, Greece and Italy which have caused disruption across Europe, resulting in some delays at the UK border when flights have arrived off-schedule.

The 9,000 square metre terminal extension features state-of-the-art technology in a significantly enlarged security search area which will deliver a faster, more efficient service to departing passengers. The first tranche of new security lanes opens in mid-July ahead of the school summer holidays, with the remaining new lanes coming on line from the end of the month.

easyJet announce new routes from Bristol Airport

easyJet is this week celebrating new routes from Bristol Airport to Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Bristol Airport to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria with the first flight to Dubrovnik having taken off over the weekend.

Flight EZY6251 to Dubrovnik carrying more than 170 passengers took to the skies for the first time on Sunday. The airline will fly twice a week between Bristol and the Croatian city on Wednesdays and Sundays over summer, with more than 11,000 people expected to travel on the new route in its first summer alone.

easyJet now flies to 59 destinations from Bristol Airport meaning our passengers have a great choice of some of Europe’s best city, ski, summer and winter destinations to choose from, including Amsterdam, Innsbruck, Porto and Reykjavik in Iceland.

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Bristol Airport and Aer Lingus mark 80th anniversary

Bristol Airport celebrated the 80th anniversary of Aer Lingus today (27 May) with a visit from the Irish Ambassador to Great Britain and series of very special flights. The Irish airline, which operated its very first route from Baldonnel (Dublin) to Bristol back in 1936, also marked the occasion by announcing the introduction of additional daily flights linking the two cities and consolidating operations in the South West of the UK to Bristol.

Along with a daily flight to Cork, the current Bristol-Dublin service (operated by Stobart Air on behalf of Aer Lingus Regional) provides an important link between Ireland and the South West of England, as well as opening up onward connections to North America. Its popularity with business and leisure passengers has resulted in demand for additional frequency on the route. The airline will now operate four daily flights every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, alongside the existing three daily flights each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. In total, Aer Lingus Regional will now fly 25 flights per week between the two cities, taking weekly capacity to 4,500 seats – a contrast to the first ever flight 80 years ago which carried just five passengers on a six-seater De Havilland 84 Dragon.

A sister aircraft and exact replica of the original Dragon, named Iolar (meaning eagle), took to the skies over Bristol, taking in the original site of the city’s Airport in Whitchurch, with passengers including the Irish Ambassador, Daniel Mulhall and other VIP guests. The occasion was also marked with a presentation of specially commissioned Bristol Blue glass shamrocks to the Ambassador and senior airline representatives.

Bristol Airport passes another passenger number milestone

Bristol Airport reached another major milestone this week, with a total of over seven million passengers using the Airport in a 12 month period for the first time in its history.

This major landmark continues the upward trend which saw annual passenger numbers reach 6.76 million in 2015 – a sixth consecutive year of growth for England’s third largest regional airport.

Scheduled and charter airlines contributed to the rise, taking the total number of destinations served to 116, including 16 capital cities. The South West and South Wales’ major airport has also attracted new entrants into the regional market, with Wizz Air commencing services to Katowice in Poland, Kosice in Slovakia, and the Bulgarian capital of Sofia within the last 12 months.

In addition, Bristol Airport is the only the second UK departure point for Icelandic low-cost airline, WOW air, with flights to North America via Reykjavik. In April, Thomson Airways announced it will be operating weekly flights to Orlando and Cancun from next spring, which will see the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fly from Bristol for the first time.

Development of passenger facilities to cater for this increased demand continues, with work well underway on a £24 million west terminal extension which will transform the security search process for passengers when phase one is completed this summer, as well as creating an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities and meet and greet area by the end of the year. A 201-room Hampton by Hilton hotel is also set to be open this winter.

Beyond the Airport boundary, the completion of the South Bristol Link (SBL) will enhance access to the Airport from the north, east and west. The SBL forms part of the MetroBus network of rapid transit routes in the West of England, to which Bristol Airport is contributing more than £4.7 million towards the cost of construction as part of planning permission for development to handle up to 10 million passengers per annum.

To celebrate the seven million milestone passengers and staff were treated to free ice creams sourced from local supplier, Gloucestershire-based Marshfield Farms.

Announcing Bristol Airport Aviation Fair 2016

Bristol Airport Spotting are once again pleased to announce that they are holding another Aviation Fair in partnership with Bristol Airport on Sunday 18th September 2016 between 10.30am and 4.00pm supporting the Airport’s charity of the year which is Children’s Hospice South West.

Following the success of previous years aviation fairs the organisers are making this year’s fair bigger and better with more exhibitors providing more things to see and do. This year the airport are also opening the old control tower up to visitors and this will be accessible on guided tours, a chance to see a part of the airport not very often opened to the public. Unfortunately due to numbers the tower tours are only available to members of Bristol Airport Spotting and not the general public.

The Aviation Fair will take place in the Bristol Room which overlooks the main aircraft operational areas and runway giving panoramic views of aircraft departing and arriving, the Bristol Room is located in the Administration Building which used to be passenger terminal which closed in March 2000, the Bristol Room is rarely opened to the general public and we are very privileged to be able to use and allow visitors to see this great space. Ample seating will be provided to sit and watch the aircraft or to take photographs.

This year we are expecting a larger number of exhibitors to the fair, exhibitors to the fair include: Bristol Airport Spotting, Bristol and Wessex Aeroplane Club, Bristol Aero Collection, Fly2Help, IPMS Avon Model Club, South West Photographers and many other selling postcards, photos, aircraft models, books and anything related to aviation.

Free car parking will be available on the day but we would like to encourage visitors to car share where possible or use public transport as parking spaces at the airport are limited, information on travel can be found on our website. Hot and cold refreshments and snacks will also be available in Wings cafe, the newly refurbished cafeteria which is located downstairs within the same building.

Entry to the fair will be £1.50 for adults and children under 16 obtain free entrance, all proceeds from admission fees goes directly to the Airport’s charity of the year. The aviation fair is a perfect day out for families, individuals, enthusiasts or anyone who wishes to see the airport and the fair as well as browsing the exhibitors on display. Also available once the fair has finished will be a barbecue and events for children and adults over at the Bristol and Wessex Aeroplane Club.

We look forward to seeing you there for another great aviation fair.

Please visit the Aviation Fair Facebook page and let us know you are coming along – https://www.facebook.com/events/1570757296550824/

WOW Air arrives at Bristol Airport

On Friday 13th May 2016 the very first WOW air flight touched down at Bristol Airport, the flight was operated by an Airbus A320 TF-BRO arriving at 11:10am from Keflavik International Airport. The first flight marks the start of a new service from Bristol Airport to Iceland with connecting flights to various destinations in the USA. The flights will be operating on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and we are hoping after a while the airline starts sending Airbus A321 aircraft as well as the Airbus A320 that operated the first flight.

Simon Fewkes from Bristol Airport Spotting was privileged to be able to be airside for the aircrafts arrival and for promotional shots on stand while the passengers disembarked. When passengers arrived at the airport they were greeted by Jane Austen and Isambard Brunel giving them a real sense of the west country. Thanks to the airport for this opportunity and to airfield operations for the positioning alongside the runway for its arrival.

New aircraft on-ground system released

Bristol Airport Spotting have developed and recently released a new exciting feature on the website known as “Aircraft On-Ground”. This feature displays a list of aircraft that are currently being reported as on the ground, the information displayed includes the airline, aircraft type, registration, airline logo and a thumbnail of the aircraft. The data is being supplied to us by a third party who’s data is very accurate but at times can misreport aircraft on the ground, this new feature can therefore only be used as a guide.

To view the aircraft currently on the ground navigate to our website and hover over the “Spotters Tools” menu heading and then click on “Aircraft On-Ground”, the information will then be displayed. Alternatively please click the following link – https://www.bristolairportspotting.co.uk/spotters-tools/aircraft-on-ground/

The on-ground system is powered by a Raspberry Pi mini computer:

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We hope you find this new tool useful, if you have any comments or feedback on this or any aspect of our website please do not hesitate to contact us.

New Facebook presence launched

After a period of discussion and decision we have upgraded our Facebook presence by creating a new Facebook Group, this new group allows all members to quickly and easily post their photos, videos, links and other media to the group for everyone to see, our previous Facebook presence was established as a Facebook Page which only allowed admins to post clearly with any posts to the page not showing in the same way or on users timelines, as we continue to grow we wanted to have more visibility as well as giving our members more choice and options when interacting with us.

Bristol Airport Spotting Facebook Group

This was a hard decision for us to make but based on user feedback and keeping in line with other aviation related groups we felt this was the sensible way forward for the BAS community.

To join the new group please head over to – https://www.facebook.com/groups/bristolspotting/ and click Join, one of the admin team will approve your membership and you will then be able to post, read and view our posts and other members posts. We look forward to welcoming you.

BMI Regional launch new flights to Jersey

BMI regional is expanding its Bristol flight network to add a new seasonal route to the island of Jersey beginning on 16th July and finishing on 3rd September. Flights depart at 12.30pm and arrive at 13:15pm returning from Jersey at 13:45pm and arriving back at Bristol at 14:30pm.

Commenting on the new route Jochen Schnadt said: “Bristol is a major UK hub for us with our existing routes performing well both with business and leisure customers. With our stated ambition to offer relevant products for our customers trying to evolve our product offering in line with our many loyal customers’ demands, we are delighted to be offering these seasonal service on this highly sought-after route. As customary with bmi regional, our customers will experience the usual quality, professionalism and high level of service that travellers on our existing routes have enjoyed for years.”

The launch follows on from a busy year for the airline in Bristol. bmi regional has enforced links with the airport and local businesses including a three year partnership with Bath Rugby. On 7 May, bmi regional will be throwing 50 balls into the air at a Bath Rugby match, with eight containing winning tickets to travel with the airline.

bmi regional also recently increased its rotations and improved flight times on its existing routes out of Bristol. The airline currently operates seven routes from Bristol to Aberdeen, Paris, Milan, Munich, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Hamburg. Codeshares with Lufthansa and the airline’s own existing inter-European routes also means that passengers from the south-west can use Bristol as a gateway to hundreds of worldwide destinations.

Rare French Air Force A310 visits Bristol Airport

It was an early start for many spotters on Sunday 24th April 2016 as overnight news that a French Air Force Airbus A310 was visiting Bristol Airport ensured many spotters and members were at the airport early enough for its arrival as well as making for great photo opportunities of such a rare aircraft to visit the airport.

The Airbus A310 F-RADC aircraft was picking up French troops from an exercise and taking them back to Toulon, France. The previous day the same aircraft had arrived at Newquay which we believe to be doing a similar role.

Once again Winters Lane was very busy with spotters and military spotters who don’t often visit the airport but turned out today for such a rare visitor, many spotters commented that is was so nice to see a wide body aircraft at the airport again, and being an A310 becoming more and more rare globally.

To ensure you stay up to date with announcements and news please ensure you follow us on Twitter, Facebook or signup to our Newsletter mailing list, all of which can be found on our website – www.bristolairportspotting.co.uk

Photos of French Air Force A310:-

First ever 787 lands at Bristol Airport

On Tuesday 19th April 2016 Bristol Airport welcomed the arrival of the first ever Boeing 787-8 aircraft from Thomson, the aircraft was visiting the airport on trials and to launch new services from the airport in Summer 2017 to Mexico and Orlando.

At 11:10am Boeing 787-8 G-TUIB named ‘Alfie’ landed at Bristol Airport and was welcomed by a large amount of spotters on Winters Lane, the last time the lane was that busy was for the rugby world cup charter flights, one of the videos below show Winters Lane and how busy it got on the day. The team from Bristol Airport Spotting were invited by Bristol Airport to be airside for the arrival of the aircraft which was both an honour and a privilege. We were able to take very close up photos of the aircraft landing, taxiing and arriving on stand.

As part of the day we were also invited onboard to see the cabin and flight deck as well as talk to the Captains onboard who regularly fly the 787 Dreamliner. Being able to see the flight deck on this fairly new aircraft was a nice moment for myself being a student pilot and comparing the differences of other aircraft in the fleet.

The Boeing 787 aircraft will start services from Bristol Airport in May 2017 to Cancun and Sanford on Saturdays and Sundays, the 787 aircraft will not be based at Bristol Airport but we are hoping over the years more destinations are added and eventually an aircraft will be based here.

Both myself (Simon) and Callum would like to thank the airport for their generoisty and for inviting us airside on this historical day for the airport and Thomson.

Please see the gallery of photos below, below the photos are some videos taken and permission given to use in this article on our website.

Boeing 787 arrives at Bristol Airport:-

 

BAS visit Gatwick Aviation Fair

On Sunday 19th April 2016, Bristol Airport Spotting took a trip down to London Gatwick Airport to visit the Gatwick Aviation Fair held in a leisure centre a few miles from the airport, the fair is one of the largest aviation fairs in Europe and includes exhibitors from across the UK and Europe selling aviation models, DVDs, books, clothing, photos, postcards, memorabilia, magazines – pretty much anything to do with aviation.

The idea of the visit to the fair was to build some more interest in the upcoming aviation fair at Bristol Airport, we managed to speak with a few of the exhibitors who were very interested in visiting or exhibiting at the fair in September 2016 and so we are now working with them to hopefully get even more exhibitors to this years fair. It also allowed us to view another fair to get some potential ideas for change and improvement.

The Gatwick fair was very large and attracts alot of stalls and visitors, being located in the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley there was plenty of room for everyone, unfortunately we do not have that amount of space for the Bristol Aviation fair but with this years fair being on 2 levels we will try our best to make the event bigger and better than previous years.

The Gatwick aviation fair has been running for 27 years and I would like to say a massive congratulations to the organisers for keeping going and organising a great event.

Some photos from the Gatwick fair:-

IMG_2158 IMG_2159 IMG_2160

New partnership with SpottingLog

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with SpottingLog a web based aircraft spotting log database, the partnership will allow information on aircraft, aircraft types, registrations and spotters to be displayed on the Bristol Airport Spotting website, this information forms a new section called Logs which will build into a very useful library of aircraft seen at Bristol Airport.

Since our launch a few years back we often get asked by members if we have a log feature or information on an aircraft recently visited, as long as someone has logged it into SpottingLog we will know about it and be able to provide information where necessary, as the data grows and builds we will be able to adapt and use the stored information for a variety of uses. We are always looking at ways to improve and enhance our website and this is just one stage of this, we are also one of the first airport enthusiasts websites to offer this feature.

We would like to encourage our members to head over to SpottingLog – www.spottinglog.com and take a look for yourselves by registering an account and start to log aircraft not only seen at Bristol Airport but any airport in the world. If you have any questions or problems with this new feature please let us know. We look forward to seeing your registration logs.

Screenshots of SpottingLog in use:-

Spotting-Trips Sample-Sighting My-Profile SpottingLog

Wow Air inaugural flight to Bristol Airport

On Friday 13th May 2016 at approximately 10am the first flight by Wow Air will arrive at Bristol Airport from Keflavik, this marks the start of a new service between Bristol Airport and Iceland with further flights onto various destinations across America, aircraft operating the route will either be Airbus A320 or Airbus A321 and will provide spotters and enthusiasts some new interest at the airport, the exact aircraft will be known nearer the time, we have created an event on Facebook to get the community together for this event to both mark the occasion and get members of BAS together, if you are coming along please show your support on our event page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/260245374309149/

easyJet launches new flights to Venice and Nantes

easyJet celebrated the inaugural flights of two new routes from Bristol Airport to Venice and Nantes, with passengers being welcomed on board with chocolates to jointly mark the Easter period.

The airline’s first flight from Bristol to Venice Marco Polo took-off on Wednesday afternoon (23 March) and flights to Nantes commenced on Thursday (24 March), with hundreds of passengers jetting off to the new destinations for their Easter holidays. Both routes combined are expected to carry around 70,000 tourists in and out of Bristol Airport each year.

The airline last month opened its 27th base in Venice as part of its growth strategy in Italy. As part of the base opening, easyJet unveiled an aircraft with a special livery featuring one of Venice’s iconic gondolas that will help to promote the city across the 32 countries easyJet flies to.

New rare aircraft system launched

We have recently launched a new rare aircraft database on our website, along with our regular updates on social media we are gradually building up a database of rare aircraft that have visited or will be visiting Bristol Airport and entering them into the website, any flight not usually seen on the flight schedules we class as a rare aircraft, currently there are 22 entries in the database but that will grow each week as more aircraft visit the airport. Future developments will be added to the system to include past rare aircraft, rare aircraft photo gallery and an email alert system to registered members. we will be asking friends and followers of BAS to get involved and help us where they can to populate this system further.

To view the database please head over to – https://www.bristolairportspotting.co.uk/information/rare-aircraft/, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get announcements and alerts to visiting aircraft.

Upcoming Social Evenings at Bristol and Wessex Aeroplane Club

Bristol Airport Spotting in conjunction with Bristol and Wessex Aeroplane Club are organising a series of social evenings over the coming months, the evenings will include a talk from aviation related guests including airport personnel, chief pilots, aviation stunts and more. A previous event received a great turnout from spotters, enthusiasts, pilots and aviation fans. During the evening food and drink will be available along with a quiz night for tables of approximately 4 people. We also invite attendees to submit some photos new and old of aircraft at Bristol Airport that can be shown during the course of the evening.

Upcoming events include:

Doors open to all events at 18:00pm with the evening starting at 18:30pm, usually the event finishes around 22:00 to 22:30pm. We look forward to seeing you there!

Read more about the Bristol and Wessex Aeroplane Club.

Show Your Support for Bristol Airport when it comes to devolution of APD to Wales

The South West economy is set to lose £843 million and 1,569 jobs if the power to set Air Passenger Duty (APD) is devolved to the Welsh Government, according to figures released today.

Launching its campaign for “A Fair Flight For The South West”, Bristol Airport has published a report highlighting the risks to the South West economy of APD devolution to Wales – something that the Chancellor is likely to announce at this year’s Budget on 16th March.

The risks of APD devolution to Wales include:

  • The loss of £843 million in gross value added (GVA) from the West of England economy over the next decade.
  • The loss of 1,569 jobs in the West of England over the next decade.
  • The likely loss of almost a third of Bristol Airport’s existing air routes, and long-haul routes expected to be launched soon, reducing choice for passengers from the region, air access for overseas visitors, and trade links for the local economy.
  • A 25% drop in passengers travelling from Bristol Airport by 2020 – seriously damaging a regional business which generates almost £400m in GVA and supports 11,000 jobs for the regional economy.

Dr Liam Fox, local MP, says: “The South West is set to lose out massively if this tax on flying is devolved to Wales. The toxic combination of less consumer choice, job losses and reduced economic activity is simply not acceptable and I am today calling on the Government to halt this measure.”

James Durie Chief Executive of Bristol Chamber of Commerce at Business West, says: “Bristol Airport plays an increasingly important role in the regional economy of the South West. We have the best performing economy outside of London and ambitious plans to grow. A critical part of this is excellent air connectivity to international markets for trade and commerce. Unilateral devolution of this tax to Wales would substantially undermine and damage this. We are supportive of the devolution of power from Westminster but it must be based on terms that will grow UK plc not just transfer activity across boundaries. The Government must properly recognise the economic dangers of unintended consequences for neighbouring regions.”

Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive of Bristol Airport, says: “If this tax is devolved to Wales and scrapped, we will be put at a significant commercial disadvantage to Cardiff Airport, which is owned by the Welsh Government and less than 100km away from Bristol Airport. Even if limited to long-haul flights, there would be a significant impact on more than 100,000 passengers who use European hubs and it would jeopardise plans to launch direct long-haul flights in the near future.

“We expect competition in the aviation industry, but that competition needs to be on a level playing field. Distorting this market will mean less choice and increased costs for people in the South West when going on holiday or doing business overseas.”

West Terminal Extension Takes Shape

A ‘topping out’ ceremony was held on the 27th January 2016 to mark a key milestone in the construction of Bristol Airport’s west terminal extension. The celebration – a longstanding tradition in the construction industry – followed the completion of the steelwork for the £24 million structure.

To mark the occasion guests from the design team, (architects, structural engineers, M&E engineers) and main contractor, Balfour Beatty, joined Bristol Airport’s Chief Executive Officer and senior management team to view the extension’s highest point.

The west terminal extension is Bristol Airport’s single biggest investment project since the terminal building opened in March 2000. Once completed later this year it will transform the security search process for passengers, as well as creating an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities, arrivals retail, and meet and greet area.

The new security search facility will house 10 customer channels, a dedicated Fast Track zone, an enlarged area in which customers can prepare for search in a more comfortable and relaxed environment, and significantly longer 21 metre security lanes. The combination of design, space and new technology is expected to deliver an industry-leading passenger experience.

The 9,000 square metre facility will be opened in three phases following a 14 month construction build, involving over 200 people working on site. Phase one will open in summer 2016, closely followed by phase two and three, with the entire project completed before the end of 2016.

Wizz Airs first flight from Sofia to Bristol

Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, started operating its new service from Sofia to Bristol, U.K in January 2016. The twice-weekly service will be operated on Mondays and Thursdays.

Together with the recently announced Sofia – Birmingham route commencing on 28 March, there is a total of three low-fare WIZZ services between Sofia and the United Kingdom.

Bristol is one of the U.K.’s most popular tourist destinations, with two universities and a variety of artistic and sporting organizations and venues.

With the new route, Wizz Air offers 32 routes to 16 countries from three Bulgarian airports: Sofia, Bourgas and Varna.

Royal opening of Bristol Airport Terminal Extension

The 17th December 2015 marked a major milestone and special occasion for Bristol Airport when Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal opened a multi-million pound terminal extension.

This is not the first time Her Royal Highness has visited the Airport, having officially opened the terminal building back in March 2000. That year just 2.2 million passengers passed through the new facility. Annual throughput has since increased to an expected 6.7 million in 2015, highlighting the development opening.

The major terminal extension follows a 12 month build programme and £8.6 million investment. The development provides a significantly enlarged departure lounge featuring hundreds of additional seats as well several retail and catering brands and a second executive lounge. A stand-out feature is an outdoor rooftop terrace area with views of arriving and departing aircraft, including bar and restaurant seating under a retractable roof.

Design features of the terminal extension include finishes, colours and textures taking inspiration from the Airport’s local area. The use of timber and reeds alongside interior planting reflect the region’s natural beauty, while a striking lighting feature makes use of Bristol’s iconic blue glass to dramatic effect, with the glass chandelier sculpted in the shape of the River Avon flowing through the city.

During the visit and tour of the terminal Her Royal Highness met key stakeholders, representatives of the local community, business partners and staff. To add a festive spirit to the event, pupils from Wrington Primary and Winford Primary Schools sang traditional Christmas carols in the main check-in area.

One of the first stopping points on the tour showcased work already underway on a second terminal extension, to the western end of the main building. This £24 million project, the largest since the terminal opened in March 2000, will transform the security search process for passengers when it opens in summer 2016, as well as creating an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities, arrivals retail, and meet and greet area. Once completed next year, this will take the total investment in infrastructure at Bristol Airport since 2010 to over £120 million.

Work has also commenced on the construction of a 201 room Hampton by Hilton hotel set to be completed in 2016.

New airline to operate from Bristol Airport

A new airline known as WOW air is to start operating from Bristol Airport in 2016 and Bristol is to become WOW air’s second UK departure point for flights to Iceland and North America. Flights will depart Bristol Airport for the airline’s hub in Reykjavik on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Passengers travelling through will then have a short stopover before continuing on to one of the airline’s North American destinations – Boston, Washington D.C., Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Airbus A320 aircraft will operate the Bristol to Reykjavik flight with single-class A321 and A330-300 aircraft operating the routes between Iceland and North America. Standard seat pitch is 30 inches with the option to increase this to 34 inches on the North American legs of the journey for an additional charge.

Flight Schedules:

  • WW830
    • KEF – BRS
    • Mon, Wed, Fri
    • 06:20 – 09:10 UTC / 06:20 – 10:10 Local
  • WW831
    • BRS – KEF
    • Mon, Wed, Fri
    • 11:00 – 14:00 UTC / 12:00 – 14:00 Local

Find out more by visiting their website at www.wowair.co.uk

Christmas colourscheme for Thomson 757

Keep an eye out at Bristol Airport for a Thomson Airways Boeing 757 that has been painted in a fun Christmas livery including antlers, holly and Merry Christmas titles. The aircraft registration G-OOBE may well visit the airport between now and Christmas and we will certainly look forward to seeing it and capturing some photos which will be shared on here and our social media channels.

Keep up to date with news and announcements

Over the coming weeks we will be making some exciting announcements regarding BAS and some projects we will be involved with, to be sure you stay up to date and will be included in the news please make sure you sign up to our newsletter, its quick and completely free and will ensure you won’t miss out on anything, to register click the ‘Newsletter Signup’ tab above or visit https://www.bristolairportspotting.co.uk/signup/. We will not spam your email address and will only be used for BAS related information.

easyJet adds 13th aircraft to Bristol base

It has been announced that from summer 2016 there will be up to 13 easyJet aircraft based at Bristol Airport to cater for extra demand from its passengers across the South West and Wales, enabling the airline to fly to even more destinations, the announcement comes following easyJet’s full year results which were issued earlier today announcing the airline had delivered record profits and returns for the 12 months ended 30 September 2015.

 

Rugby World Cup charter flights at Bristol Airport

On Sunday 11th October 2015 Bristol Airport played host to a number of rugby world cup charter flights from various countries around Europe and beyond bringing supporters to the games being held in Cardiff. The spotting areas on Winters Lane and Felton Common saw a record number of spotters from very early in the morning until late, parking space was non existent and many members from BAS were able to meet and be introduced to other members which is one of our core aims of the organisation.

This was a rare day at the airport that normally happens every few years, over the course of the few days the following airlines and aircraft visited Bristol Airport:

  • Air Contractors – Boeing 737
  • Avantiair – Fokker 100
  • Air Dolomiti – Embraer 195
  • Jota Aviation – Bae 146 / RJ
  • Europe Airpost – Boeing 737
  • Transavia – Boeing 737
  • Volotea – Boeing 717
  • AerLingus – Airbus A320
  • Titan Airways – Boeing 757
  • Carpatair – Fokker 100
  • Go2Sky – Boeing 737
  • Aigle Azur – Airbus A320

Images and Video from the Day

 

Second charity aviation fair at Bristol Airport a great success

On Sunday 20th September 2015 a second charity aviation fair was held in the administration building at Bristol Airport, the event was organised by Bristol based aviation enthusiast Simon Fewkes the founder of Bristol Airport Spotting the organisation behind the fair.

The fair is the second of its kind to happen at the airport and attracted over 440 visitors during the opening times of 10.30am and 4.30pm with visitors young and old including families, individuals, groups and enthusiasts.

Visitors to the fair were able to watch aircraft land, taxi and depart very close to the room where the event was taking place; this gave visitors a very rare opportunity to get up close to the action. This year’s fair attracted a larger number of exhibitors and over 23 tables were occupied by companies and organisations from the aviation world, items for sale included postcards, airline amenity kits, model kits, plastic and metal model aircraft and framed photographs.

Exhibitions from the Bristol Aero Collection, Bristol Airport Police, Fly2Help and South West Aviation Photographers provided interesting information on local projects and organisations that visitors can be part of and get involved in.

Entry fees this year were £1.50 for adults and free for children, all proceeds going to the airport charity of the year Children’s Hospice South West. The fair raised a total of £563.00 through entrance fees and donations for the charity, officials from the airport were very impressed with the money raised and the attendance of the event by the public which shows what a great interest there is for aviation in Bristol and at Bristol Airport.

Another aviation fair is planned for 2016 and details of this will be announced and posted on social media and through the www.bristolairportspotting.co.uk website.

Lima India Tango Tango Echo Romeo

Following a meeting with Bristol Airport we are helping to support them with the launch of a new campaign to help target the litter problem along Winters Lane, Felton Common and other viewing areas around the airport, the new project is known as Lima India Tango Tango Echo Romeo phonetically Litter. Signs will be going up to help remind people about litter and what they should do with it, the LITTER posters will also be on display at this years Aviation Fair, we are asking all BAS members and followers to help the airport by keeping an eye out for litter and either letting us or Bristol Airport know. We can all work together to make the viewing areas a better place for the enthusiasts and local community.

Litter poster

Announcing Aviation Fair 2015

Following the overwhelming success of the Aviation Fair in 2014 Bristol Airport Spotting are hosting another Aviation Fair in partnership with Bristol Airport on Sunday 20th September 2015 between 10.30am and 4.30pm in aid of the airport charity of the year which this year is Children’s Hospice South West.

The event will take place within the Bristol Room which is located in the airport administration building, or as some will know the old terminal.  Plenty of free car parking will be available on the day along with refreshments in the newly refurbished cafeteria. Entry to the fair is £1.50 for adults and free for children, all proceeds from admission going to charity.

The Bristol Room has great views across the apron of aircraft departing, arriving and taxiing just a short distance from the windows, ample seating will be available to sit and watch the activity. This year we have a large amount of exhibitors coming along to the fair, visitors to the fair this year can expect to see Bristol Aero Collection, miniature Bristol Airport project, IPMS Avon model club, T7 Models, Fly2Help aviation charity, Aviation Postcard Man, Bristol Airport Police and South West Aviation Photographers to name but a few.

This years aviation fair is expected to be bigger and better and is the perfect day for families, enthusiasts or individuals wishing to spend their Sunday learning more about the airport, seeing it in action and browsing the wide range of exhibitors on display. Also available this year will be live information on aircraft activity, colouring for the children and Bristol Airport Spotting branded items for sale.

For more information and directions to the event please visit – https://www.bristolairportspotting.co.uk/bas-events/aviation-fair-2015/

Register your interest in attending the fair by joining the event on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/events/478020752355707/

Update from Bristol Airport Police Summer 2015

On the positive side Bristol Airport continues to expand with more passengers, more airlines and more routes. As you will all know from the news the international security situation is still worrying but we are still concentrating on keeping the airport safe for staff, passengers and visitors.

We are already planning for the Rugby World Cup matches in Cardiff this autumn and I will soon be having my first meetings in relation to Euro 2016. As I type this, Wales has not yet qualified. I am assuming that they will get though and I know that the airport would welcome any Welsh fans who need to get to France next year.

Please can I ask the spotters to continue to be vigilant? Security at the airport is a team effort and the police cannot do it alone. Your support is much appreciated.

Finally, we hope to meet as many of you as possible on Sunday 20th for the Aviation Fair. Please come along and meet the team.

Barney Gardom

Busiest ever month at Bristol Airport

Passenger numbers at Bristol Airport have topped three quarters of a million during a single calendar month for the first time, with a total of 768,587* passing through the terminal this August – up six per cent over the previous year.
Growth is the result of the enhanced flight and holiday programmes on offer this summer from the ‘big two’ tour operators – Thomas Cook and TUI Group (which operates the Thomson and First Choice brands) – as well as a raft of new services from scheduled airlines and increased load factors across all sectors (meaning flights are operating with more passengers on board).

Thomson Airways added a third aircraft to its Bristol-based fleet in May, opening up new destinations including Dubrovnik, Pula and Santorini, while Thomas Cook operates two Airbus A321s to a total of 20 destinations from the Airport. New easyJet flights to Bilbao, Isle of Man, Porto, Gibraltar, Lanzarote, Catania and Zante all commenced earlier this year. Wizz Air also entered the South West market for the first time in June, launching twice weekly flights to Katowice in Poland.

Inbound traffic also received a boost recently with the high profile opening of Banksy’s Dismaland in nearby Weston-super-Mare. This is expected to attract visitors on scheduled services from across the UK and Europe, as well as private charter flights from further afield.

An enlarged departure lounge opened in July to help meet this growing demand, and work is already underway on a second major extension to the terminal building which will deliver significant improvements to the security search and arrivals areas next year.