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Bristol Airport - General Thread

TheLocalYokel

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Fridays morning take off for balloons are cancelled due weather.Typical that this is happening with all the good balloon weather we have had over the last few weeks.
I said to my wife about a month ago that the good and settled weather would break for the Balloon Fiesta weekend. It seems from memory (not always sound the older one gets) that for every decent balloon weekend there are two or three not so good. Don Cameron, the main founder of the Fiesta, was on Radio Bristol this morning and said that he could not remember a Fiesta where there had been no mass ascents. He is hopeful for this evening and for tomorrow morning. After that the weather looks downhill, especailly Sunday.

This morning's mass ascent was apparently cancelled because of the threat of showers which can create wind gusts making landing very hazardous. As is the way of these things I don't think there were any showers until after the balloons would have landed.
 

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TheLocalYokel

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International Balloon Fiesta

The first (and probably the last this year) mass ascent took place this morning with 108 balloons taking to the sky. Wind direction took them over the north of the city on a still and sunny morning although, ironically and perversely, there was so little wind that some struggled to remain airborne and got no further than The Downs.

On a sadder note, a pedestrian was fatally injured overnight in nearby Abbots Leigh Road which remains closed with a consequent effect on those attending the fiesta.

It's now overcast and drizzly in my part of south Bristol and the forecast for the rest of the day and for tomorrow is not encouraging so far as mass ascents are concerned.
 

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International Balloon Fiesta

The first (and probably the last this year) mass ascent took place this morning with 108 balloons taking to the sky. Wind direction took them over the north of the city on a still and sunny morning although, ironically and perversely, there was so little wind that some struggled to remain airborne and got no further than The Downs.

On a sadder note, a pedestrian was fatally injured overnight in nearby Abbots Leigh Road which remains closed with a consequent effect on those attending the fiesta.

It's now overcast and drizzly in my part of south Bristol and the forecast for the rest of the day and for tomorrow is not encouraging so far as mass ascents are concerned.
The 40th anniversary Fiesta will not be remembered as a vintage one. After such a long hot, dry and settled summer the Fiesta had the bad luck to come along just as the good weather came to an end. Only one of the seven mass ascents took place and even the Balloon Night Glow on Saturday evening was downgraded as it was too windy for the balloon canopies to take part. Instead the crowd had to make do with the burners jigging in time with music.
 

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TheLocalYokel

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https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-airport-wheelchair-passenger-disabled-1927589

Seems a passenger's wheelchair was unloaded from an aircraft at BRS via ambulift, and left on the tarmac. The ambulift then returned to disembark the passenger crushing the wheelchair that had rolled underneath.

The passenger's mother said that at first TUI (the airline involved), Swissport that operates the ambulift and Bristol Airport all said the responsibility lay with one of the others.

She said that after two months, TUI has accepted responsibility and will pay for a replacement wheelchair.
 

Foxlimayankee

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Ultimately the contract is between Passenger and Airline. The Airline is liable to own the issue with the passenger. What the Airline does with the contractor (Swissport/OCS in this case) after that is up to the Airline.
Given the PR surrounding this particular case though, it's not surprising the blame game started. Given the level of the stands at BRS, it's hardly surprising it rolled if the brakes weren't applied on properly.
 

TheLocalYokel

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BRS press release this week:

https://www.bristolairport.co.uk/about-us/news-and-media/news-and-media-centre/2018/8/brits-and-weather-research

Seems an odd subject for the airport to spend money on a survey. The only possible relevant bit to the airport is where a tenth of the number of respondents stated that had either cancelled a holiday or cancelled plans to book one because of the recent very hot weather.

I can't see how often Britons discuss the weather or in what terms or how they cope with rain is of much consequence to an airport. Am I missing something?


Breezy Conversation: New Research

Created: 22nd Aug 2018

The average Brit spends the equivalent of four and a half MONTHS of their life talking about the weather, a study has revealed.


A poll of 2,000 adults has found the classic British stereotype of nattering about the weather is true, with the subject coming up three times in a typical day.

And with each of those conversations about the temperature, sunshine or rain lasting just under three minutes, that amounts to almost ten minutes a day or an hour of each week.

On top of that, the average adult will post six weather-related comments a month on social media, and spend 11 minutes a week checking the forecast either on TV, an app on their phone, or the internet.

Business Development Director, Nigel Scott at Bristol Airport, who commissioned the research, said: “The weather is quite literally a ‘hot’ topic at the moment and the lovely weather we’ve been having.

“And while conversations begin with discussing about how much we are loving it, slowly but surely the conversation links the weather to their next holiday or weekend away.”

Dr Glenn Wilson, a London-based Consultant Psychologist, said: “The weather is a favourite topic of conversation because it is ideal as “small talk”, common ground that is non-threatening.

“In the case of British people, the weather makes a particularly good topic of conversation because it is so variable.

“At the same time, however, we seldom have extreme weather for very long. As a result, Britain seems less able to cope with unusual heat, snow, wind or rain because we are not geared to cope with it.”

The survey found, unsurprisingly, that the majority of Brits are likely to talk about how hot it is outside.

And half of the population have used the banal phrase: “Lovely day, isn’t it?”

Other popular weather-related conversation starters include “It’s humid, we need a good storm to clear the air” and “At least my plants/lawn will be happy,” when it’s been wet.

A third of people are happy to talk about the current climate with a stranger, and four in 10 will use the opportunity to fill a silence with a work colleague.

Nearly 50 per cent of respondents admit that talking about weather is their go-to subject when making small talk with someone.

And three times as many people will start a conversation about the temperature outside than a recent TV show or sporting broadcast.

Just under two-thirds of the population believe Brits are ‘obsessed’ with talking about weather, with 24 per cent admitting they could personally be described that way.

Four in 10 Brits are so used to the rainy weather at home they’ll carry on living their lives regardless of whether they get poured on.

A tenth have cancelled a holiday or cancelled plans to book a holiday due to the recent heat wave which swept the nation.

And 47 per cent believe they’ve massively upped their levels of weather-chat during the recent spell of hot weather.

Dr Glenn Wilson added: “The weather can have a profound effect on our mood. We feel best when the sun is shining but it is not excessively hot and humid. This effect is more obvious in the UK where sunshine cannot be taken for granted.

“Sun on the skin is a major source of Vitamin D, which is essential to our general health.

“It is not just sunshine that lifts mood, however. Surveys show that people also feel good when they see a rainbow and when it snows.

“These effects also mark a change in the weather from something dull and boring to an unusual and stimulating environment.

“Snow, for example, may be cold but it reflects plenty of ultraviolet and a skiing holiday is a good way of topping up Vitamin D etc.in winter months.”

Nigel Scott, Bristol Airport continued:
“This summer more than ever we are seeing some great deals on late availability holidays, and at prices we have not seen in recent years. Whilst the weather has been exceptionally good this year, the determining factor for a majority of passengers when arranging a hard-earned holiday or weekend break is to experience a different culture, taste different foods, visit new places, or try a new activity. Passengers using Bristol Airport can easily access the wide range of destinations available whether it’s to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival, Amsterdam to celebrate King’s Day or to go skiing in the Alps. Whatever the destination a holiday or weekend away definitely provides lots of great experiences and photos to share …………. including stories about the weather! ”
 

mathers_wales_uk

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I used Bristol today and was pleasantly surprised how relatively quiet security was etc.

I am unsure however if I was jus lucky at the time I arrived 10:30 for a 12:40 departure.

I was however annoyed by the long term parking being almost full and like finding a needle in a haystack.

I was also annoyed by the lack of information from the boarding gate staff who held us captive as we were called to the gate before the aircraft had landed and we were delayed as a passenger on the inbound was taken I'll and assessed by the fire section.

No announcements were made at all throughout the boarding process. It was only I seen an unmarked 4 x 4 arrive on Stand prior to aircraft arrival and the fire section having the medical bag (which I was used to in my previous job at CWL).

No announcement when they opened the door for boarding just the dispat her shouting priority passengers and passengers with children under 5.

I wonder what immigration has in store for me when I return on Tuesday but from La Rochelle.
 

TheLocalYokel

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I used Bristol today and was pleasantly surprised how relatively quiet security was etc.

I am unsure however if I was jus lucky at the time I arrived 10:30 for a 12:40 departure.

I was however annoyed by the long term parking being almost full and like finding a needle in a haystack.

I was also annoyed by the lack of information from the boarding gate staff who held us captive as we were called to the gate before the aircraft had landed and we were delayed as a passenger on the inbound was taken I'll and assessed by the fire section.

No announcements were made at all throughout the boarding process. It was only I seen an unmarked 4 x 4 arrive on Stand prior to aircraft arrival and the fire section having the medical bag (which I was used to in my previous job at CWL).

No announcement when they opened the door for boarding just the dispat her shouting priority passengers and passengers with children under 5.

I wonder what immigration has in store for me when I return on Tuesday but from La Rochelle.
Bristol Airport doesn't make announcements for any airline in the terminal departures area regarding departing flights, unless some checked-in passengers are missing. Instead passengers have to keep on eye on the FIDs to discover their gate which usually appears 30-40 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Some gates entail up to a 400-metre walk along a first-storey walkway/corridor from the main part of the terminal departures area to the gate area.

I last used BRS with Ryanair in June and the gate number came up 40 minutes prior to departure time and before the inbound had landed. The gate for that was in the central pier so the walk to the gate area was relatively short. On that occasion we weren't called for the flight by the gate staff until the flight was ready to board, although the priority boarders most of whom no doubt were regulars and knew the system had already formed a voluntary queue to await the announcement to board. Once it came there was little delay as we descended stairs onto the apron to join the aircraft. On the return from Dublin we were held on stairs for a few minutes after we had shown our documents to the gate staff and again on the tarmac before we were allowed to climb the steps to the aircraft.

When we've used easyJet at BRS we have, on occasions, had broadly the same experience as you, ie being held in a queue after the boarding announcmeent had been made and we'd gone past the gate staff. When we've flown in the past I think the gate staff have made their announcement via the PA but for the life of me I can't be sure. It's funny how mundane matters that you have experienced regularly sometimes slip your mind.

The long stay car park on the north side can be a nightmare to find space in peak summer. I've driven around for several minutes in the past looking for a space. I don't know whether the MSCP is helping - from what you say it seems not. The extended Silver Zone car park on the south side entails a bus ride and someone parking your car for you. I'm not keen on that.

Looking at the departures for last Saturday you probably arrived at a moderately busy time - there were 20 departures scheduled in the two-hour period from 1210. Not as many as the morning rush which is usually the main cause of complaints when there over 30 departures in the two hours from 0600.

I would never say that passing through BRS is a pleasurable experience but in my view there aren't many airports that I know that are.
 

Marko1

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The process of trying to find a parking space would add stress to any journey so that now I always use the silver zone which I accept you have to leave your keys with all the potential risks etc but I have never had any problems with. As for security Bristol is no worse than much busier airports I have travelled through and as LY has mentioned no announcements are made but the gate is always allocated with plenty of time. Given that the main operators assign a seat there is no need for the made dash as we used to see including once witnessing a fight on the apron at Rome Ciampino !!
 

TheLocalYokel

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The process of trying to find a parking space would add stress to any journey so that now I always use the silver zone which I accept you have to leave your keys with all the potential risks etc but I have never had any problems with. As for security Bristol is no worse than much busier airports I have travelled through and as LY has mentioned no announcements are made but the gate is always allocated with plenty of time. Given that the main operators assign a seat there is no need for the made dash as we used to see including once witnessing a fight on the apron at Rome Ciampino !!
In the early days of the UK loc-cos they hadn't caught on to the extra ways of making money such as selling allocated seating, and no-one checked in on-line then either. I remember using Go at BRS a few times which I always thought was a decent experience - what they'd be like now though had they remained in existence I don't know; probably like the others with all the add-ons.

There was a system of priority boarding with Go (and I think with easyJet in their early days at BRS after they had bought Go) but it was democratic. The earlier you checked in the lower was the boarding number you were given. When the flight was called the first, say, 30 (it might have been a bit more or a bit less - I can't remember now) who had checked in with boarding numbers 1-30 were called first, then the next 30 and so on. Mind you, there could still be a race to the aircraft steps with some people even in the first group anxious to secure their favourite seat.

Had Go remained separate from easyJet I wonder if the latter would have come to BRS and, if they had not, whether Go would have grown to easyJet proportions at the airport.

I always thought that Barbara Cassani was a huge loss to the aviation industry although I believe that after she left Go she was involved with the London Olympics in 2012.
 

mathers_wales_uk

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Prior to leaving two years ago at Cardiff almost every airline would demand a boarding announcement at the gate.

Even if for some reason EasyJet no longer wants these announcements then the system is there to use as when required.

As we were using gate 14 which is the most furthest gate I believe toilets are some walk away too.

I do understand the reaso they may call a flight down to the gate while the aircraft is on approach and that is to try and get everybody through prior to the cabin release so to make up time.

When the aircraft is on Stand and you know there is going to be a further delay because of an inbound medical assistance
Required for a passenger. In my personal and professional opinion the passengers should be kept informed who are trapped at the gate.
 

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BRS press release today:

https://www.bristolairport.co.uk/about-us/news-and-media/news-and-media-centre/2018/8/bristol-airport-backs-great-west-way

Bristol Airport backs Great West Way®
Created: 29th Aug 2018

Bristol Airport has become the official airline sponsor for the Great West Way – a major new touring route being developed between London and Bristol.

Thanks to £1.4 million of funding secured from the UK Government’s Discover England Fund, including 40% match funding from Ambassadors, the Great West Way is now becoming a reality. This new touring route, the first of its kind in England, joins-up many of England’s most iconic attractions, including Bath, Stonehenge, Windsor and the Cotswolds, encouraging visitors to venture off the beaten track and explore more of the region by road or by rail, by boat, by cycle or on foot.

The Great West Way offers curious travellers the chance to explore further, delve deeper and uncover the essence of England combining extraordinary heritage with everyday English life.

Already generating strong interest from businesses along the route and the international travel trade, Bristol Airport will be part of the team that launches the Great West Way project at the world’s biggest travel show, World Travel Market on 5 November.

Bristol Airport has been involved since the early days of the project as part of the Great West Way Steering Group and has now been named as Official Airport Ambassador.

Bristol Airport Business Development Director Nigel Scott said:

“The Great West Way will bring even more overseas tourists to the South West and we want Bristol Airport to be a preferred point of entry. By providing a friendly welcome and fast and efficient service we can create positive first impressions for visitors en route to explore the region’s attractions.”

Great West Way Director David Andrews said:

“We are delighted to have Bristol Airport sign-up as our first title sponsor, joining the 100 tourism businesses & destinations and 18 Official Tour Operators who have already joined the Great West Way Ambassador Network since April. I can’t think of a better airport for visitors of the Great West Way to begin their journey.”
 

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A press relase published today by BRS.

https://www.bristolairport.co.uk/about-us/news-and-media/news-and-media-centre/2018/9/record-month-at-bristol-airport

I've put it in the General thread because although it focuses initially on August's passenger numbers it really goes beyond that. At the end of this post, I've also added a link to a Bristol Post report based on this press release which also includes the views of local senior politicians on the airport's expansion.


Record month at Bristol Airport

Created: 11th Sep 2018

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


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.

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

“Despite the hot weather and England’s run to the World Cup semi-final, thousands of families from the South West have headed off on holiday from Bristol Airport this summer. We have also welcomed many arriving passengers from across the world, contributing to the thriving visitor economy in Bristol, Bath and beyond.

“By working with airlines to extend the range of routes and frequencies, and through continued investment in our facilities, we want to make flying from Bristol even better for passengers in future.

Serving more than eight million passengers a year, Bristol is the ninth busiest airport in the UK. Direct flights operate to 126 destinations in 34 countries.

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.

*Due to differences in the way some flights are recorded, Bristol Airport figures may contain small variances when compared to those reported by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/business/bristol-airport-proposes-huge-increase-1991562

In this linked press report it is said that Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and Metro Mayor Tim Bowles (Labour and Conservative respectively) have both pledged their support for the airport's expansion.

This is in stark contrast to the Bristol City Council of eight years ago who formally objected to the airport's then expansion submissions, and to the previous city mayor who, before he became mayor, was against the airport being expanded which stance he only modified to muted, and probably reluctant, support when he became mayor.

The press report also contains a comment to the effect that there will be a city council vote today on a 50% increase in the number of flights from Bristol Airport. The city council doesn't own the airport and it's not in the council's area so any vote can only be a notional factor.

Although North Somerset Council, in whose area the airport sits, opted out of joining the West of England combined authority I would be amazed if they did not look favourably on further expansion and a raising of the annual passenger limit - currently 10 mppa.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Approx 5% increase next August will take it over a million.
On the airport's figures. Everyone else seems to work on CAA stats which are likely to come in for August somewhere around 965,000. So on CAA terms the percentage rise for next August to reach the CAA million would need to be about 3.7%.
 

TheLocalYokel

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BRS Ownership

I'm still unclear as to the ownership of the airport.

Last October OTPP reported that they had agreed to sell 30% of their stake to two Australian funds.

https://www.otpp.com/news/article/-/article/780836

Yet the airport website still shows OTPP as the owner.

https://www.bristolairport.co.uk/about-us/who-we-are/bristol-airport-ownership

With the Australian partners OTPP would still be the majority shareholder but in the past the airport website has always shown all the shareholders, even including the one per cent that Sydney Airport once owned.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Increasingly I wonder whether the airport's stated policy of relying on existing customer airlines for most of its growth is short-sighted.

Already easyJet handles over half the annual passenger number at BRS. If anything was to happen to any of the five main airline customers (easyJet, Ryanair, TUI, Thomas Cook and KLM) the airport would have a problem. Thomas Cook issued a profit warning today and in the recent past there have been reports that it is seeking investment and even that another airline or airline group might be interested in it (I think Jet2 is the latest proposed suitor in the minds of some aviation followers).

Not only that, but the more easyJet realises that BRS relies on them disproportionately doesn't that stregthen the airline's bargaining position and weaken the airport's?

Has anyone any thoughts on this?
 

Jerry

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Easyjet are so strong at Bristol i don't see what the airport could do? Yes they may be able to attract Jet2 but i don't see Jet2 being as strong as Easyjet there even in the long term.
Easyjet are an airline that is constantly growing so i think that any deal would have to continue the growth and over the long term i think Easyjet will continue to grow Bristol whether through seats offered or by more based units.
As for Thomas Cook only time will tell what will happen to them.
 

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