The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, visited Bristol Airport on Friday to officially open a £24 million terminal extension.
On his first official visit to the Airport, the Transport Secretary unveiled a plaque in the state-of-the-art security screening area at the heart of the new development.
The 9,000 square metre extension also includes bigger baggage reclaim, customs, and meet and greet areas, and forms part of development plans which will enable 10 million passengers a year to use the Airport – the largest in the South West of the UK, and England’s third busiest outside London.
Grayling, said: “Our regional airports are vital engines for growth, supporting local economies, creating jobs and boosting tourism opportunities. The significant investment that Bristol Airport is making will secure the future of this important transport link for the South West and make a real difference to the growing number of passengers who travel through it each day.”
Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Airport, said: “Since 2010 we have invested more than £150 million in the Airport’s infrastructure in order to make Bristol Airport the number one choice for travel to and from South West England and South Wales. This new extension transforms the departure experience for passengers, and the ‘sense of place’ we are instilling throughout the terminal aims to create a similarly positive impression for inbound visitors.
“I was delighted to have the opportunity to show the Transport Secretary how we in the South West are playing our part in demonstrating that the UK is open for business, and discussing areas where Government can make a difference, such as overseas tourism marketing and surface transport links.”
Completion of the terminal extension will enable the immigration hall to be enlarged by spring of next year, with plans in place for a £2.3 million upgrade including the installation of up to 10 of the latest ePassport gates. A further £20 million is being invested across the Airport’s car parks and a 201 room Hampton-by-Hilton hotel will open in February 2017.
The route network available from Bristol Airport is also growing, with direct flights to 116 destinations and frequent daily services to major hubs including Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin and Frankfurt. From May 2017, Thomson Airways will operate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Florida and Mexico, highlighting the scope for more direct long-haul destinations in future.