1 Starting over
Bristol Airport is set to restart on June 16th. However, it can’t go back to ‘business as usual’ in the aftermath of the Covid crisis: climate change poses a global threat from which there will be no recovery. Industry sectors driving the consumption of fossil fuels in the pursuit of profit can no longer be given free rein to dice with the health of humanity and the natural environment. Air travel also drains the regional and UK economy . North Somerset has shown courageous leadership in opposing Airport expansion, supported by local MPs , and is developing a clear vision for a sustainable future based on a Green transition:
Don Davies, Leader of North Somerset Council
‘The Airport currently handles just over 8 million passengers and can still expand to the 10 million passengers a year limit is already has, so more people will still be able to fly from there and the number of people work there should not be affected.
What the [Planning] Committee has considered is that the detrimental effect of the expansion of the Airport on this area and the wider impact on the environment outweighs the narrower benefits to Airport expansion.
I know some people will be upset by this decision and I am sure that we can reconsider it in future when the airline industry has decarbonised and the public transport links to the airport are far stronger.’ (Feb, 2020)
2 ‘Campaigns: Mapping the way for Bristol Airport’
The times they are a-changin’ as bold ideas and imaginative actions open the path towards a sustainable future in the region and the nation.
SBAEx continues its campaigns to minimise the harmful impact of Bristol Airport on local communities and the global environment. Each campaign is led by groups of individuals who unite around a particular issue.
Campaign 1: Ban All Night Flights
Bristol Airport has applied to the Department for Transport for ‘co-ordinated status’ which would permit up to 4,000 night flights, mostly across the summer months .
Night flying already causes significant harm to the health and well-being of local communities and this level of tourist traffic is intolerable. Many international Airports, including Heathrow, have banned night flights in response to campaign pressures. Enough is enough: join the campaign to ban all night flights.
Email email@example.com with ‘night flights’ in the subject line
Campaign 2: A Citizen’s Charter for Bristol Airport
The desire for change, driven by youthful energy and imagination, is pushing UK political parties towards the Green transition. A Citizen’s Charter  will provide a benchmark for Bristol Airport operations 2023-30 (the period of the new Local Plan) as a first step in the Green transition to a sustainable Airport operation.
The Charter will include commitments to:
– a return to levels of passenger traffic as they were around 2003 (4 million passengers with 75,000 aircraft movements);
– a freeze on passenger numbers at 4 million until there is a decarbonised aviation industry with near-silent and non-polluting aircraft;
– 80% public transport access by 2030;
– no night flights (22.00-06.30);
– no encroachment on Green Belt land;
– commercial parking to be phased out.
We welcome further suggestions and support in drafting and publicising this short Charter.
Enough is enough: join the campaign to establish a Citizen’s Charter for Bristol Airport.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘charter’ in the subject line
Campaign 3: Open the Windows on Permitted Development
Bristol Airport’s new head office (‘The Eyesore’) was built under permitted development granted by North Somerset planners then put on the rental market without ever being used .
Permitted development allows the Airport extensive freedom from planning regulations but evidence is emerging that the Airport’s build-and-rent deal is a clear abuse of this privileged concession. SBAEx queries have so far received evasive replies from planning officers and we will continue to seek until we receive a satisfactory explanation.
Permitted development agreements are still shrouded in secrecy. It’s possible that the Airport and North Somerset might strike some kind of a deal as a condition of the Airport not appealing the North Somerset planning decision to refuse expansion. SBAEx will campaign for complete transparency and public consultation on future agreements between the Airport and North Somerset planners through permitted development or other paths.
Enough is enough: join the campaign to open the books on permitted development for Bristol Airport.
Email email@example.com with ‘perm dev’ in the subject line.
3 Think global, act local
The SBAEx campaigns are a local response to the global climate emergency. They also oppose corporate greed where an international predators (such as the OTPP, the vast Canadian investment fund that owns Bristol Airport) presume they can trash local communities and the environment for maximum short-term gain.
We welcome new participants and supporters, including individuals and groups who wish to take part in SBAEx actions. For example:
– campaign through social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
– distribute posters and flyers in local communities;
– host meetings or events in villages and town communities in North Somerset to make sure people are aware of the consequences of Airport expansion;
– fundraise to help towards publicity, meetings and events, and towards the next stage of the legal battle;
– join our action groups to focus on particular campaign issues such as noise and night flights, and the OTPP.
– help with admin skills to co-ordinate the various SBAEx actions and activities in and beyond the region.
We are active on social media. SBAEx Facebook page and Twitter report and comment on Airport actions and community reactions. Please ‘follow’, ‘like’ and share widely. https://www.facebook.com/stopbristolairportexpansion/
Please get in touch if you have the time, skills and inclination to contribute in these areas or in other ways. Just an hour or two a week individually or in small groups can make all the difference. Please contact StopBAex@gmail.com.
Thank you for taking the time to read this update, and please circulate it to others who might share our concerns.
The SBAEx Advisory Group
The website carries regular updates, comment and information including:
– a guide to the impact of Airport expansion links for all (‘Why Oppose Airport Expansion’)
– ‘Fact Sheets’ with background information and evidence;
– ‘Updates’ section exploring current issues in detail;
– ‘Take Action’, including downloadable posters and flyers for local use.
Please visit the site, comment and share items of interest www.stopbristolairportexpansion.org
Notes and References
 ‘We can safely ignore the travel businesses warning the industry needs to reopen to save the economy. Whose economy are they talking about? Last year, British holidaymakers spent £62.3bn on overseas visits, while overseas residents spent just £28.4bn when they came here. The UK has one of the biggest travel balance of payments deficits in the world. Save the economy? Go on holiday to Skegness.’ The Guardian, 4 June 2020
Bristol Airport is 85% tourist traffic. For more on Airport claims to ‘benefit’ the economy see the report on Bristol Airport by the New Economics Foundation (commissioned by Campaign for the Protection of Rural England)
 Notably Dr Liam Fox in a letter to NSC opposing Airport expansion
 The deadline for public comment on the Airport’s application to the Department for Transport for ‘co-ordinated status’, which would allow unrestricted scheduling of night flights across the summer months, has been put back to 26 June. Click here for further information and for the SBAEx response
 Click here for further information on the Airport’s attempt to rent out this latest white elephant