How to Object to Bristol Airport Expansion

Do you want to write a knock-out objection to Bristol Airport expansion but aren’t sure what to say? Then read on, as we have assembled here some of the most impactful arguments against Bristol Airport’s plans.

Below you will find 7 key arguments that you can use in your objection. Of course, there are many, many more and you should bring your own experience and voice to your objection. But if you want to make sure your objection packs a punch, then please feel free to use any or all of the below.

Anyone can make an objection! You don’t need any credentials or fancy words. Just a conviction that airport expansion in a climate emergency is plane wrong!

Remember, the deadline for objections is February 22nd.

You can have your say by emailing your objection to

leanne.palmer@planninginspectorate.gov.uk

quoting case number 3259234


  1. BAL’s plan is not consistent with the policy context relating to the Climate Emergency. 

BAL argues that reducing carbon emissions has no policy basis. 

On the contrary, reducing carbon emissions is given policy basis in the following:

Graphic from the Sunday Times (7th Feb) shows Bristol is just one of over 20 regional airports that are seeking expansion of flights of some sort. 2050 figure for Bristol Airport is nearer 20 million passengers per annum – this is the long term plan for the airport.

  1. Expansion of Bristol Airport would lead to increased carbon emissions (and other greenhouse gas emissions). 

The Airport, in its plan for carbon neutrality, does not account for the emissions from planes arriving at and departing from the airport. These comprise 93% of the airport’s total emissions, equivalent to 939,000 tonnes CO2e per year. 

To claim, as BAL do, that they subscribe to the CORSIA carbon reduction scheme, is no defence. For instance, the scheme is not legally binding on airports. 

For more info on the failings of the CORSIA scheme, see this article: https://www.dw.com/en/corsia-climate-flying-emissions-offsets/a-56309438


  1. BAL claims that by diverting passengers from airports further afield (such as London airports) it will thereby save on carbon emissions by reducing motor vehicle journeys and average journey length. 

The CO2e emissions saved by creating shorter journeys to the airport is estimated by Bristol Airport as 157,000 tonnes per year. 

Firstly, it is not clear how BAL arrives at this figure, and it would be interesting to know whether they have assumed single person or multiple passenger journeys. 

Secondly, the extra 23,600 flights that will depart from the airport, however, will alone increase CO2e emissions by nearly 1,000,000 tonnes per year. Add to this the fact that the majority of flights from BAL head east into mainland Europe – and hence fly over London – and we see that any supposed benefit of pulling passengers away from driving to London airports will be undone by flying those passengers back over London eventually anyway. 


  1. BAL pays no attention to the wider airport development agenda in the UK. 

In its 6th Carbon Budget report, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) recommends that “there should be no net expansion of UK airport capacity” (see CCC Report page 29). BAL’s plans to expand to 12 mppa must therefore be seen in the context of the 20 other UK airport expansion plans underway today e.g. Leeds Bradford, Heathrow (third runway), Gatwick, and Luton. 

The current plan as submitted does not do this and is not in line with CCC recommendations.


  1. The proposed extension to the Silver Zone car park constitutes inappropriate development in the Green Belt. 

North Somerset Council prohibits development on the Green Belt except in exceptional circumstances (see core strategy (n-somerset.gov.uk)). 

BAL has not argued clearly how expanding the car park (and thus the airport’s greatest source of revenue) constitutes an “exceptional circumstance”. 


  1. The proposed public transport provisions are inadequate and the increase in car journeys to and from the airport will cause increased congestion in the area. 

BAL is the largest airport in the UK with no rail link. The majority of BAL’s operational profits derive from parking charges, hence they have no incentive to prioritize public transport and passenger arrivals thereby. 


  1. The wider impacts on nearby residents of noise, air pollution, and night flights. 

North Somerset Core Strategy 2017 (core strategy (n-somerset.gov.uk) CS3, CS23 and CS27 all provide reasons to refuse airport expansion on the grounds of the risk of increased pollution. 

BAL argues that “Emissions from aircraft at Bristol Airport are highly localised and barely encroach the boundary of the airport”. Whilst this may be supported by existing evidence, new methodologies (such as that used in this recent study) may bring new evidence to light. Given that air pollution is already a cause of death for 300 people per annum in Bristol, it would be irresponsible to pursue expansion without fully exploring the impact of increased air travel on air quality for the region. 

The proposed lifting of seasonal restrictions on night flights would place an unacceptable burden on nearby residents who already suffer due to the noise of night flights during summer months.


Don’t forget to leave a comment with your own arguments against airport expansion for others to read.

Let’s Say No To Airport Expansion together!

2 thoughts on “How to Object to Bristol Airport Expansion

  1. I didn’t really think about this until lock down happened. I no longer get woken every morning at 6.30 by an airplane, which became me alarm clock. The stars are brighter when I look out at night. Things have changed. It’s time to reset the clock and rethink plans. Does this really need to happen. ?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I object to Bristol airport expansion because any increase in volume will increase carbon emissions which in view of the climate emergency is short sighted lunacy.
    North Somerset Council have written a Climate Emergency Strategy and the effects of an airport expansion goes against everything written in the policy. Living locally we see the damage caused by air and car pollution from the airport and this is wholly inappropriate for an area of outstanding beauty. The financial gain for a Canadian pension fund should not be at the expense of our precious natural world. Our children and future generations will see the end of the world as we know it if we continue to promote this unnecessary growth. In view of our understanding of the impact any airport expansion has it is irresponsible and unethical for the vote made last year to be overruled. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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