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Campaigners demand Government halt Bristol Airport expansion

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Campaigners fighting the expansion of Bristol Airport have written to the Secretary of State demanding the plan is halted immediately.

Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN), the Parish Councils Airport Association and Stop Bristol Airport Expansion have all signed the letter being sent to the Secretary of State who will be making the decision on Bristol Airport.

The three groups are among 16 groups involved in fighting expansion at airports across the UK.

The letter asks for a halt to all the plans at airports across the UK – ahead of a public inquiry into Bristol’s expansion plans taking place this summer.

Campaigners say that the Climate and Ecological Emergency mean that the expansion plans cannot go ahead.

The airport appealed against a decision by North Somerset Council last year to reject its expansion plans which would see passenger numbers grow from 10 million to 12 million a year.

Bristol City Council has also opposed the expansion with North Somerset Council saying it will ‘robustly defend’ the appeal.

Campaigners say any expansion of the airport would lead to congested roads, increased noise and more pollution from the proposed growth in flights.

They also raised concerns on the impact on the environment, climate change and the loss of green belt land for additional parking.

The inquiry to decide on the expansion plans is to open on July 20 and is scheduled to sit for 16 days.

Many other UK airports also have plans to expand despite COVID having decimated the demand for flights and the extra nine million tonnes of carbon that could be emitted in the high atmosphere if the various schemes go ahead.

Stephen Clarke of BAAN, speaking for the regional campaign groups, said: There should be an immediate halt to Bristol Airport’s plans – and indeed all airport expansion in the UK – until the Government have decided on a realistic pathway for aviation in their plans to reach their climate target of net-zero carbon.

“The currently planned expansion by the owners of Bristol Airport (Ontario Teachers Pension Plan) ignores the massive local rejection of the plans, is not needed and is recklessly ignoring climate change.

“Bristol Airport is big enough.”

Bosses at the airport say the expansion plans will offer passengers more routes and flights from the south west directly, create jobs, facilitate inward investment and inbound tourism, and support greener and more sustainable, regional economic growth.

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