‘Transformational’ development underway at Bristol Airport as it prepares for 2m more passengers

September 29, 2023

Work has started on the largest capital project for more than two decades at Bristol Airport – a £60m public transport interchange hub and multi-storey car park.

The project forms part of the airport’s overall multi-million pound development plan to increase its capacity from 10m to 12m passengers a year.

Bosses at the airport described the project as “transformational”, saying it would enhance services and accessibility for passengers whether they were arriving or departing.

It is the biggest development on the site since its current terminal was opened in 2000, when passenger numbers were 2m, and will take 18 months to complete.

As well as the transport interchange and car park, the development will also include a glazed bridge link between the car parks and terminal, new waiting area and rest facilities and an enlarged drop-off and pick-up area.

The work has started just four months after the High Court’s decision to dismiss a legal challenge from environmental protestors against the airport’s expansion, which will also involve expanding the terminal building.

More than 9m passengers are expected to use the airport in total this year – nudging its current capacity of 10m for the first time since 2019.

Bristol has recovered faster from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic faster than most other UK airports.

Over the past year it has attracted a number of new operators and is also benefiting from the introduction of new destinations from its two main budget airlines Ryanair and easyJet, increased frequency on some scheduled routes and a major increase in the summer holiday charter flights.

The new public transport interchange hub on the top level of the multi-storey car park will be the main arrival and departure point for coaches, buses and other public transport and will increase the number of bus and coach bays from six to 16.

The airport said this would make it one of the region’s largest bus and coach interchanges, underlining its commitment to improve public transport links across the region.

The top level of the car park will also provide a dedicated drop-off and pick-up location for cars and taxis and provide a new gateway for all customers to the terminal.

The new car park, which will be next to the existing multi-storey car park, will have more than 2,000 spaces and include state-of-the-art payment technology and blue badge parking.

The glazed pedestrian bridge link will give passengers level access to the terminal and remove the current route of steps and slopes from the car parks and bus interchange. The internal road improvements and design will also segregate pedestrians and vehicles.

Bristol Airport CEO Dave Lees, pictured, said: “This project is transformational for our customers.

“As with all large-scale projects, they are complex and the development work will need to be phased to accommodate the normal day to day airport operations.

“During the project, customers will see several temporary changes taking place, including temporary relocation of some car parks and changes to internal roads layouts.

“We will continue to keep customers informed of the changes via directional signage, customer messaging on car park bookings, the website and on social media.”

The airport said raising capacity to 12m passengers a year would create thousands of jobs over several years, open up new direct air links and support inbound tourism.

It aims to do this in a responsible way and in line with its commitment to becoming the UK’s first net zero airport by 2030.


Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email info@bristol-business.net for more information.