Report backs Filton Airfield closure plan

December 6, 2011

Bristol’s position as a major aerospace manufacturing centre would not be affected by the closure of Filton airfield, a report has concluded.

BAE Systems plans to shut Filton Airfield in a year’s time with South Gloucestershire Council planners recommending constructing up to 2,500 homes and a large business park on the site.

The council commissioned York Aviation to carry out the report after people living near the airfield protested about its closure. Councillors will debate the report on December 14.

The historic airfield has been at the heart of the area’s aviation industry for a century. Iconic aircraft from the Brabazon and Concorde to the Airbus A380 superjumbo have taken off and landed there.

But nearby aerospace firms Airbus and GKN, which design and make wings for Airbus aircraft, and engine-maker Rolls-Royce say closure would not impact on them.

Councillor Brian Allinson told the BBC: “Not one of our major local aerospace companies has objected to the airfield’s closure.

“A carefully planned approach to redeveloping Filton Airfield can help to ensure that the local aerospace industry has a future as great as its past.”

BAE says the airfield, which operates under night flying and other restrictions, is losing money.

South Gloucestershire planners have also recommended that Filton Halt and Henbury railway stations should be re-opened, the nearby A38 upgraded and a new east-west link road built to cope with additional traffic.


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