Bristol Airport beats rivals from across the world to land prestigious sustainability award

November 23, 2023

Bristol Airport has been named among the most sustainable in the world in recognition of its ambitious plan to achieve net zero on its operations by 2030.

The airport, which is currently being expanded to increase its capacity from 10m to 12m passengers a year, topped the Sustainable Airport (strategy, culture & ethos) category at the recent Airport Honour Awards, run by International Airport Review.

Bristol headed a shortlist drawn from three continents that also included San Francisco International, Athens and London Luton airports.

Bristol Airport bosses believe its recent multi-million pound investments in sustainability put it on target to be one of the first UK airports to reach net zero by 2030 – possibly even the first.

Trailblazing work at the airport is continuing, with a 1.6mw solar array recently opened on the airfield, gas being steadily removed and replaced with heating provided by air source heat pumps, and lighting upgraded to low-energy LEDs.

The award recognised the replacement of diesel vehicles with electric, including those used by baggage handlers, cargo operators and the buses used to transfer passengers to and from aircraft.

It has also stepped up efforts to increase the number of passengers and staff using public transport, including allowing staff to travel free on the Flyer bus services which link the airport to Bristol city centre and Weston-super-Mare.

Work recently started on a £3.5m upgrade of its 20-year-old air traffic control tower which will incorporate environmentally friendly elements such as energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling system to reduce the building’s carbon footprint.

The work coincides with the airport’s ongoing £60m investment in a new public transport interchange hub and multi-storey car park – the biggest development on the site since the current terminal opened in 2000, when annual passenger numbers were just 2m.

Bristol Airport head of sustainability Hannah Pollard said: “We’re proud to be recognised by the International Airport Review and to win this award. It supports our long-term sustainability plans and our aim to take a lead in this area.

“There’s a huge amount still to do, not only as part of our plan to achieve net zero operations by 2030, but to address emissions from road transport accessing the airport and from flights.”

The airport is also involved in a number of West of England-based partnerships pioneering research into zero-emission, hydrogen-powered flight.

The awards ceremony was part of the international summit in London which brought together representatives of more than 200 airports from 80-plus countries with industry leaders and innovators to discuss how to solve the biggest challenges facing the sector.

Pictured: James Cox, Hannah Pollard and Whitney Love from Bristol Airport collect the Sustainable Airport (strategy, culture & ethos) Award

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