Bristol Airport - General Thread


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TheLocalYokel

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Something I didn't mention in my previous posting,was that when I driving home from work the other afternoon,I tuned into Radio Bristol to listen to the news bulletin and heard the tail end of a statement from a spokesman for s.b.a.e. The gist of the bit I heard was that they were asking for the airport not to appeal as this would take advantage of the councils dire financial predicament following the corona virus outbreak.What struck me that their spokesperson,a professor(didnt catch his name) was almost pleading for the airport to do the right thing,and not appeal.Wanting to hear the statement in full I tried to find the piece on one of the podcast/catchup platforms but couldn't find it.So I went on to the s.b.a.e website but found that the statement had been withdrawn and a new update would be released later on that day.Although the new update does mention the financial pressure on North Somerset council if the airport appeals,the bulk of the new update is full of the usual bombastic jargon.Words and sentances like, 'dystopian vision' ,'greedy cuckoo squating in the North Somerset nest'.'weaponised the right to appeal','ruthless self-interest'. I take it that there must of been some dissent in the ranks when the original update was released,probably to defeatist.The new update is much more on form.If the update had included the sentence,The airport management will kidnap your children and sell them into slavery for profit,I swear I wouldn't have blinked.
Probably someone called Emma Crewe from SBAE. In my post #1,405 above I posted a link (repeated below) to a Bristol Live (Bristol Post) report. This was no doubt based on SBAE's press release and contained some of the comments you mention.

SBAE have been reading too much Aldous Huxley. In a sad sort of way it's quite amusing to believe that there are people who think that an airport appeal is tantamount to creating some sort of Orwellian 1984 world where everyone is watched and controlled. As the word dystopia is generally accepted in the context of an imagined future world perhaps it's appropriate that an organisation such as SBAE should use it. They certainly use their imagination to the full in many of their objection comments about airport expansion.

 

Seasider

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I find it difficult to believe, if true, that an anti BRS expansion supporter is asking the airport not to appeal because of the financial situation of the local authority. What happened to all the reasons they put forward in the first place?
I think they are desperate because they believe that the expansion, will be approved on appeal.
 

superking

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I live in the North somerset area and i have not shouted as i think a lot of the things the council do or not do is down to them. Every time that happens i think here we go again costing thousands of pounds of money which they have not got,so some where some thing misses out bacause of things they doing they dont know enough about it.They like a load of sheep follow one another
 

kraktoa

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If the gov plans to make over 50s stay at home due to Covid19 became a reality it would mark the end of winter flights from Bristol as the over 50scare the main demographic for these flights.
 

TheLocalYokel

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If the gov plans to make over 50s stay at home due to Covid19 became a reality it would mark the end of winter flights from Bristol as the over 50scare the main demographic for these flights.
If that were to happen for any length of time I think that winter holidays would be well down on the list of the country's woes. The Sunday Times says that the PM was involved in 'war games' during the week with all sorts of possible scenarios explored including giving 50-70 year olds personalised risk ratings, and 'locking up' (shielding in popular parlance) all those over 70. Quite how personalised assessments would work administratively I don't know.

The government calls the report 'speculative' and says there are no plans for nationwide restrictions, although almost certainly it arranged for a 'leak' to the Sunday Times in order to gauge reaction.

Russia is confident that it has a vaccine and says it plans for a mass vaccination of its population beginning in October. Inevitably there is much scepticism about the claim in other parts of the world.

In terms of flights and passengers BRS is again punching above its weight at the moment but even it would have its viability limits if the pandemic went on and on. If that were to happen it seems difficult not to think that some airports - and more airlines- would go to the wall. Some people argue that fewer airports would not be a bad thing (unless you happen to work at one or your job relies on airport business) because they say that the UK has too many airports for such a small island. That argument would be stronger if alternative methods of public transport, notably rail, were more widely available and more efficient and thus more effective.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Bristol Airport is conducting a survey into customers' views on taking a COVID-19 test as an alternative to 14 days' quarantine:

I'm not sure that such a system would achieve much. If passengers still had to self-isolate for up to eight days then wait another 36 hours for the result of their COVID-19 test they would in effect be gaining just four and a half days of non-quarantine time. The survey presents a number of questions including people's reaction to the cost of the test with £50 and £50-£75 the two suggested bands.

Please give us your views on a COVID-19 test as an alternative to the current 14 days quarantine for those travelling from countries without an "international travel corridor".

Passengers would need to self-isolate at home for a period of 5 to 8 days, then take a test at home or a nearby testing centre. Results would be available in 24-36 hours. If the test result is negative customers would be released from self-isolation and would not have to undertake self-isolation for the full 14 days.

At present all those arriving from countries without an "international travel corridor" need to self-isolate for 14 days. However, if the test is positive, passengers need to self-isolate for another 10 days, in line with current government guidelines.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Recovering from the pandemic effects - some facts and possible lessons from the major recession of the 'noughties'.

I've had a look at the previous major intrusion into the aviation industry, first in the way it affected BRS. That event, although rightly thought to be extremely serious at the time, had much less direct impact on the industry than the current pandemic.

Airport recovery from the recession was not evenly spread and, even now, some airports have still not returned to pre-recession passenger numbers.

BRS was affected to a lesser degree than many airports and it began its recovery earlier than most. A majority of airports saw annual passenger numbers decline over several years at a far greater percentage rate than BRS. BRS experienced just one year when passenger numbers fell which was in 2009. Nevertheless, despite continous annual passenger growth from 2010 onwards it took BRS six years to regain its pre-recession passenger numbers: 6.333 million in 2014. It then grew quickly to nearly 9 million by 2019.

Summary of Bristol figures:

Highest annual passenger throughput pre-recession: 6.229 million in 2008.

Lowest annual passenger throughput following the recession: 5.615 million in 2009 - a drop of nearly 10% from high to low.

Annual passenger numbers in 2019: 8.960 million which is an increase of just under 44% on its best pre-recession figure.

At the time of the recession BRS’s peer airports were Liverpool, Newcastle and East Midlands which together with BRS were handling 5mppa-6 mppa. None of the other three airports has managed a return to pre-recession passenger levels.

Liverpool

Highest annual passenger throughput pre-recession: 5.468 million in 2007.

Lowest annual passenger throughput following the recession: 3.984 million in 2014 - a drop of around 27 % from high to low.

Annual passenger numbers in 2019: 5.044 million which is just over 92% of its best pre-recession figure.

Newcastle

Highest annual passenger throughput pre-recession: 5.651 million million in 2008.

Lowest annual passenger throughput following the the recession: 4.336 million in 2011 - a drop of around 23% from high to low.

Annual passenger numbers in 2019: 5.199 million which is around 92% of its best pre-recession figure.

East Midlands

Highest annual passenger throughput pre-recession: 5.616 million in 2008.

Lowest annual passenger throughput following the recession: 4.068 million in 2012 - a drop of around 27.5% from high to low.

Annual passenger numbers in 2019: 4.674 million which is around 83% of its best pre-recession figure. EMA has a very strong cargo network of course.

Turning to the nearest airports to BRS:

Cardiff

Highest annual passenger throughput pre-recession: 2.093 million in 2007.

Lowest annual passenger throughput following the recession: 1.013 million in 2012 - a drop of over 51% from high to low.

Annual passenger numbers in 2019: 1.655 million which is around 79% of its best pre-recession figure.

Exeter

Highest annual passenger throughput pre-recession: 1.012 million in 2008.

Lowest annual passenger throughput following the recession: 0.695 million in 2012 - a drop of around 31% from high to low.

Annual passenger numbers in 2019: 1.022 million which is almost the same as its best pre-recession figure.

Finally I've looked at the top seven UK airports by passenger volume to determine their 2019 passenger numbers compared with the their best pre-recession year. The figures are impressive when compared with most of the airports highlighted above. Only BRS at 44% stands comparison. Apart from EXT which is flat, the others are still in negative territory.

Heathrow up 19.5%
Gatwick up 32.5%
Manchester up 34%
Stansted up 19%
Luton up 79%
Edinburgh up 63%
Birmingham up 32%

The overall picture is therefore mixed but the basic point that comes through is that the busiest airports did much better in recovering from the recession and going forward than the smaller ones. Of couse that might not necessarily be the case when airports finally begin their recovery from the pandemic effects. However, the lesson from the recession of the 'noughties' appears to be that recovery will not be quick and it will be uneven across airports.

All figures are courtesy of the CAA and are based on terminal passenger numbers.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Our son and his wife have had several leisure trips cancelled this year, with the short-haul ones all from BRS (they did manage to get in three at the beginning of the year before the virus struck - two from BRS to Vienna and Basel). They are due to go to Krakow for a few days on Thursday and have just booked a TUI inclusive tour holiday to Dalaman leaving towards the end of this month. Obviously they are keeping their fingers crossed that these trips actually go ahead.

On Tuesday last our daughter-in-law's daughter, partner and young son flew to Gibraltar from BRS for a short break. As far as I know everything went smoothly. I shall be interested to learn how our son and daughter-in-law rate their experiences on the Krakow and Dalaman trips.
 

TheLocalYokel

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BRS press release.


Letter to the Prime Minister from UK airports
Created: 11th Sep 2020

The Airport Owners Association (AOA) including Dave Lees, Chief Executive, Bristol Airport as a signatory, has issued a letter to the Prime Minister calling for urgent action.

Read letter

Dave Lees, Chief Executive , Bristol Airport said:

“Whilst we welcome the government’s recent decision on introducing the islands policy as a first initial step towards a fully regionalised quarantine policy based on assessed health risk factors and infection rates. It is hugely disappointing that government have not addressed the core issue of introducing a testing regime for arriving customers at airports. As an industry we need government to urgently accelerate a testing regime for arriving customers into the UK which would safeguard public health, help to reduce the quarantine period, remove uncertainty and allow businesses and passengers to make informed travel choices. This decision would form part of the solution to give customers confidence and one that is also scientifically sound to protect the health and safety of our customers and staff which is our number one priority, whilst protecting against further job losses in the industry which now seem inevitable under the current Government blanket quarantine scheme and the lack of support to aviation.

“Without action the Government is suffocating an already struggling aviation and airports sector and our great country will find itself in a weaker position than its European neighbours, with reduced International connectivity. This is surely a risk too great for our island nation which depends on connectivity to succeed in a fiercely competitive post Brexit world.





The Rt Hon. Boris Johnson MP Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister 10 Downing Street

London SW1A 2AA
Dear Prime Minister,

10th September 2020

Action needed to prevent catastrophic job losses

As you will be aware from previous letters, the UK’s airports have been effectively shutdown to commercial traffic since March. Despite the cautious lifting of lockdown during the summer months, passengers, and hence revenue, have not returned to any significant degree. This situation has been exacerbated and prolonged by the blunt policy instruments imposed on the sector by the Government. These tools include the blanket quarantine introduced in June, the poor execution of which has decimated consumer confidence in the industry’s critical summer period.
In our letter on the 5th September, we asked you to urgently make a decision on a testing regime for the aviation industry. The Transport Secretary assured the House of Commons on Monday that the Government was investigating the prospect, but it seems no action will be taken before the end of the month. The industry engaged with the Department for Transport throughout the summer on the possible configurations and practical steps to introducing testing in aviation. From our perspective, all that is required now is a Government decision, based on the evidence gathered, the options available, and Minister’s appetite for an approach which mitigates risk. Further delay causes further unnecessary damage to our beleaguered sector.

The AOA, our member airports and other organisations in the sector have repeatedly appealed to Government for sensible and reasonable financial support specific to the sector, in the wake of the worst crisis aviation has ever witnessed. We know Government is acting in the best interests of public health, but many of our proposed support measures have already been extended to sectors less impacted by the current crisis, including business rates relief for the retail sector.

We urge you and your colleagues to take action now. If catastrophic job losses across the UK are to be avoided when the Job Retention Scheme ends in six weeks, we will need assistance from Government. Many European nations - including in Germany, France and Norway - have stood behind their national industries and supported their airports and airlines, for example by underwriting airport losses for a period. We call on the UK Government to provide the same level of support to UK airports until it is possible to reopen the sector and allow the industry to generate its own revenue once more. For Global Britain to be realised, we need to ensure that we do not fall behind our trading competitors on the continent; a severely damaged, indebted and struggling airports sector is not the infrastructure foundation for a major trading power.

We hope you will recognise the urgency of this appeal and the dire situation facing our airports.

Yours sincerely,

Karen Dee Chief Executive
Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith Chair

Derek Provan, Chief Executive, AGS Airports
Graham Keddie, Chief Executive, Belfast International Airport
Nick Barton, Chief Executive, Birmingham Airport
Dave Lees, Chief Executive, Bristol Airport
Spencer Birns, Interim Chief Executive, Cardiff Airport
John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive, Heathrow Airport
John Irving, Chief Executive, Liverpool Airport
Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive, London City Airport
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive, London Gatwick Airport
Alberto Martin, Chief Executive, London Luton Airport
Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive, Manchester Airports Group (MAG)
Nick Jones, Chief Executive, Newcastle Airport
Andrew Bell, Chief Executive, Regional & City Airports
CC: Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer
CC: Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport
 

superking

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A very good letter sent to the prime minister and it wonders if things will alter or sort things out. My feeling is things will stay as they are and see how things pan out. My feeling is they will see how things go and by the time things are changed may be too late for a lot of airports and employment.
 

TheLocalYokel

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A very good letter sent to the prime minister and it wonders if things will alter or sort things out. My feeling is things will stay as they are and see how things pan out. My feeling is they will see how things go and by the time things are changed may be too late for a lot of airports and employment.
You might well be right. I wouldn't bet against it.
 
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