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Bristol International Airport

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The passenger terminal at Bristol International Airport.
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The passenger terminal at Bristol International Airport.

Bristol International Airport (IATA airport code: BRS) is the main commercial airport serving the city of Bristol and the surrounding area in England, UK.

History

In 1927 a group of local businessmen raised 6,000 through public subscription to inaugurate a flying club at Filton Aerodrome. By 1929 the club had become a success and it was decided that a farm located in Whitchurch near Bristol would be developed into an airport. In 1930, HRH Prince George opened Bristol Airport — becoming the third such airport in Britain. Over the next few years, passenger numbers grew from 935 in 1930 to over 4,000 in 1939. During WWII, Bristol Airport was the only civil airport still in operation in the UK, meaning all flights usually bound for London were terminated in Bristol.

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Bristol.airport.tower.arp.jpg
Bristol International control tower.

In 1955 a new airport was built at Lulsgate Bottom Airfield — an RAF base. The new airport was called Bristol Lulsgate Airport. The new airport was opened in 1957 by the Duchess of Kent. In its first year 33,000 people used the airport. In 1963 the runway was lengthened and in 1965 extensions were made to the terminal — all due to rapid expansion. In 1968 a new 5,000 square foot (460 m²) building was constructed — again as the airport expanded. In 1974 the airline "Court Line" collapsed, causing a fall in passenger numbers.

By 1980 17 charter airlines were operating from the airport. In 1984 major changes were made, with the addition of an international departure lounge, duty free shops, a 24-hour airside bar, an arrivals concourse, a short-term car park and more. On the 1 April 1987 all employees were transferred from Bristol City Council to Bristol Airport plc. The operation and net assets of Bristol Airport were transferred from the City of Bristol and the company commenced trading. Over the next few years business boomed with over 100,000 passengers each month in the summer of 1988.

In 1996 Bristol Airport was put up for sale by Bristol City Council. In March 1997 the name was changed from Bristol Airport to Bristol International. In December 1997 51% of the airport was sold to FirstGroup, while the remaining 49% stayed with Bristol City Council. A new terminal building was built in April 1999 and opened in March 2000. In 2000, passenger numbers exceeded two million for the first time.

The airport was bought out by Macquarie Bank and Cintra in January 2001 for 198m. Passenger numbers broke the three million mark in 2002, largely due to the arrival of the low-cost carrier Go Fly. Continued expansion by Easyjet and Ryanair lead to another increase in passengers — to 3.8 million. In May 2005, Continental Airlines introduced direct flights from Bristol to New York.

See also

External link


Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

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