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Bristol Airport - General Thread

TheLocalYokel

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As has been said so often the BRS growth is mainly in the hands of existing airline partners. The airport seems convinced it will breach 10 mppa by 2021. Assuming that 2018 finishes somewhere around 8.6 mppa, possibly edging up towards 8.7, that would leave 1.3/1.4 million extra to be found in the three subsequent years - average 400/450K per year.

After the tremendous surge in the three years 2015, 2016 and 2017 when passenger numbers increased by over 1.9 million passengers - a growth rate of 30% in three years - anything markedly less than that rate of growth might be seen as less interesting by airport followers.

2015 saw an additional 448,000 passengers
2016 an additional 823,000
2017 an additional 630,000

The early years of this century saw similar passenger growth numbers and because the base numbers were much lower than they are now the percentage gains were far higher.

2018 is likely to see around another 400,000 passengers, and to reach 10 mppa by 2021 a similar sort of average passenger numbers growth would be required over the three years after 2018.

I emphasise that I'm writing this from the viewpoint of maintaining interest in a BRS-related aviation message board which is far removed from the practicalities of a well-run and profitable airport that BRS undoubtedly is. It would be good to have one or two more airlines but if that then skewed the balance of the airport's network as a whole with a resultant reduction in routes/frequencies then I would certainly not be in favour.

Thank you for the views and suggestions expressed since my post yesterday. They are very much appreciated and valued.
 

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I don’t want to say too much that might upset people but as a business the airport is thriving. Unfortunately for spotters this might seem to be a backward step but the fact is the business plan is working & although not everyone is happy it’s a very profitable enterprise. The fact is a business not making a profit isn’t in business long. The owners are also investing huge amounts of cash on improving facilities & infrastructure as well. Obviously there are some businesses that get benefactors who manage to get cash from various sources to prop them up but BRS isn’t one.
 

TheLocalYokel

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I don’t want to say too much that might upset people but as a business the airport is thriving. Unfortunately for spotters this might seem to be a backward step but the fact is the business plan is working & although not everyone is happy it’s a very profitable enterprise. The fact is a business not making a profit isn’t in business long. The owners are also investing huge amounts of cash on improving facilities & infrastructure as well. Obviously there are some businesses that get benefactors who manage to get cash from various sources to prop them up but BRS isn’t one.
I don't think anyone would be upset with anything you might say as I suspect you are speaking from an informed background so far as BRS is concerned. I doubt that any follower of BRS in these forums thinks those running the airport have been doing a bad job; very much the reverse.

The fact that the airport has been so successful for such a long time means there is little for local aficionados to get their teeth into in the BRS forums. It's something like a football match where a referee is so good that no-one notices him and therefore there is nothing to discuss regarding his performance.

I think what is exercising the minds of some BRS followers is how the airport will continue to grow its passenger numbers at the rate it has projected publicly.

If that growth in the foreseeable future really is in the hands of the existing carriers for the most part there is bound to be speculation as to how this will be achieved: larger aircraft?; more aircraft? (as Marko has asked); more routes?; more frequencies on existing ones?; a combination of these things? (to a lay person probably the most likely).

Then there is the question of persuading the local authority to increase the 10 mppa limit and to re-align the night noise limit quota; the almost certain need to have land taken out of the Green Belt for airfield expansion; the purchase of land to enable such expansion; will cargo feature in any way?; the path the airport will ultimately favour to develop the airfield infrastructure.

A lot of this is not likely to be of imminent necessity and, anyway, is relatively dull (but nevertheless vital) fare to many followers compared with such things as a new airline or new routes.

Carry on the good work at BRS and if this continues to mean a fairly quiet life on BRS aviation message boards then I don't think there are many BRS followers who won't consider it a price worth paying. If anyone disagrees let us know and why. As always, all shades of opinion are welcome on F4A.
 

superking

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I have said many times that the runway length is 1 factorin some routes that a wide body air craft is used.I see the cancun flight went via Man yesterday,its not that it requires miles of extra runway but any little bit will do. As long as the airport is run in the future like it is now,then they have a rosey picture.1 thing I do notice is that the routes run from BRS never seem to have any low numbers of pax loadings.
 

Jerry

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The one thing which for Bristol has always been a positive is the owners, they've continually invested in the airport by upgrading it's facilities and no doubt investing in the airlines that operate out of the airport and as a consequence created a very good airport and no doubt a very profitable one! They are an example to other airport owners and benefactors that if you invest properly then you'll get a profitable return.
 

TheLocalYokel

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The one thing which for Bristol has always been a positive is the owners, they've continually invested in the airport by upgrading it's facilities and no doubt investing in the airlines that operate out of the airport and as a consequence created a very good airport and no doubt a very profitable one! They are an example to other airport owners and benefactors that if you invest properly then you'll get a profitable return.
Absolutely correct and since privatisation over 20 years ago there has been a succession of owners. The original was First Group that took a controlling interest when the city council became a minority shareholder in 1997. In 2001 Australian Macquarie funds and the Spanish group Ferrovial through a subsidiary called Cintra took on the full private sector ownership of the airport.

Now it's the Canadian Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, although in November 2017 it was announced that 30% of OTPPs holding would be acquired by two Australian funds. I've never read anything confirming this arrangement was finalised.
 

superking

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The spannish group bought or took over LHR and if they wanted LHR they had to decide to sell brs as the monoplies commission would have stepped in. That was how the Ontario teachers stepped in and bought BRS,so leaving the door open for the spannish to take over LHR with no monoplies involvement.
 

TheLocalYokel

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The spannish group bought or took over LHR and if they wanted LHR they had to decide to sell brs as the monoplies commission would have stepped in. That was how the Ontario teachers stepped in and bought BRS,so leaving the door open for the spannish to take over LHR with no monoplies involvement.
Ferrovial still manages Heathrow and owns 25% of the equity of the company that owns the airport, Heathrow Airport Holdings. Along with Macquarie, Ferrovial also owns Glasgow, Southampton and Aberdeen airports through another company, AGS Airports. You have to wonder if the competition issues with BRS and Ferrovial were overblown given that Ferrovial and Macquarie now own two Scottish airports as well as another closer to LHR than is BRS, in roughly the same proportions that they owned BRS. It was reported that Ferrovial's association with BRS (through Cintra, a subsidiary) turned out to be an excellent investment for it. It sold its BRS stake to Macquarie in 2006.

Macquarie, whose involvement with BRS was through a number of its funds at different times, gradually sold its stake after that, with OTPP increasing its own stake as a result.

Competition issues surfaced in another area around 2006 when the BRS owners were named as preferred bidders for Exeter Airport that was about to be sold into the private sector. Local politicians, business leaders and others in Devon complained loudly, fearing that the BRS owners would run down EXT and close it. The EC and UK competition authorities became involved as a result of which the BRS owners withdrew their bid for EXT.

The BRS owners intimated that closing EXT was not on their agenda; they would use it as a complementary airport to BRS. Had the sale gone through I wonder if EXT would be noticeably busier than it is now and BRS less busy than at the present time. If the BRS owners were to be believed, and I have no reason not to, both airports would have benefited, perhaps EXT more than BRS given that the latter seems able to grow its passenger numbers anyway.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Early morning traffic jam. What a change from the past decade.
Typically 15 overnight easyJets park up, four Ryanair, four TUI (sometimes a fifth with the 787), three Thomas Cook, one KLM Cityhopper and however many flybmi aircraft put in an appearance (four or five?).

This morning there were 30 departures between 0600 and 0800 - yesterday it was 32 - and that's not counting the corporate shuttles and anybiz jets from the south side.

When I started using BRS over 40 years ago you could go for several hours at times without seeing an airline departure.

As you are so well aware, BRS is still peaks and troughs. With most services operated by based aircraft it's going to be difficult to smooth out the flow and get more movements in the quieter periods of the day.
 

TheLocalYokel

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New CEO starts today. Airport press release below.

https://www.bristolairport.co.uk/ab...a-centre/2018/8/new-ceo-joins-bristol-airport

New Chief Executive Officer joins Bristol Airport
Created: 1st Aug 2018

Bristol Airport’s new Chief Executive Officer, Dave Lees joins today. 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.
 

TheLocalYokel

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New CEO

Dave Lees was interviewed on BBC Radio Bristol this morning. It was a very gentle probing - since Steve Le Fevre left the radio station the presenters are very lightweight when it comes to serious interviews on the morning programme - and anyone who follows the fortunes of BRS learned nothing new from the interview.

After hearing his opinion on 'reality' airport documentary programmes (he was asked but what that had to do with BRS I have no idea) and later about his sailing hobby, the interview amounted to a very brief summary of the airport's master plan consultations. He did say that the most likely terminal scenario was further extensions to the current one, but I think we had gathered that already from the airport's environmental submission we discussed recently.

I suppose that really there was nothing eye-catching he could say unless he was going to reveal something completely unanticipated - very unlikely and he'd probably not have chosen Radio Bristol as the means anyway.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Not great for balloon flying. This evening's mass lift-off was cancelled because of the strength of the wind but the spectacular Night Glow will take place. That rarely if ever is cancelled. I hope I'm not being too premature because there is another Night Glow on Saturday evening.

The mass lift-offs, usually with well over 100 balloons, are scheduled for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings and Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. I think that last year four of the seven mass lift-offs managed to go ahead which is probably just above the average over the past 40 years (this year is the 40th anniversary).

Even when the ordinary balloons can get themselves aloft the special shapes which are everyone's favourites sometimes find the wind strength too much to risk a lift-off.

There is plenty to do on the site throughout the day even whe the ballons are not flying. At least this year the ground will be dry. There have been years where it's been like a boggy, ploughed field.
 

Aviador

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I sounds spectacular and the pictures available on Google look fantastic. Is it a popular event locally, does it attract the crowds?
 

TheLocalYokel

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I sounds spectacular and the pictures available on Google look fantastic. Is it a popular event locally, does it attract the crowds?
Over the four days, around 500,000 are reckoned to attend although some will probably be the same people on more than one day. The setting is superb - in the wooded 850-acre Ashton Court estate next to the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Avon Gorge. Visitors attend from all around the country and from abroad.

Because of Cameron Balloons being based in Bristol for so long - Don Cameron (a Scot) was one of the originators of the Fiesta 40 years ago - Bristol is well used to seeing balloons in the sky throughout the summer when the weather is good. The most spectacular wind direction is from the south-west which drives the balloons right across the city. North-west wind direction can drive the ballons towards the BRS flight path.
 

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