Transport Secretary opens the first phase of Bristol Airport development

VolkerFitzpatrick's £5.4 million pound contract to extend the western apron at Bristol Airport, the first phase of the airport's improvement plans, was officially opened by the Secretary of State for Transport on Friday 22nd June.


The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP cut a ribbon to mark the completion of three new aircraft stands, the first of more than 30 separate projects which will enable growth over the next decade and ultimately enable Bristol Airport to handle 10 million passengers a year.

The project involved the demolition of an existing aircraft hangar to make way for the new aircraft stands. Here, VolkerFitzpatrick undertook large scale earthworks to provide suitable levels for the 15,231m2 concrete pavement extension and infill of 3,236m2 of Marshall Asphalt taxiway, which are created to the strength required for routine use by commercial jet aircraft. Each stand has a fixed electrical ground power source and strict rules-govern the use of aircraft auxiliary power units and mobile diesel units in order to reduce noise levels for local residents.

The new stands are key to increasing capacity for more aircraft to operate from Bristol, which is currently the fifth largest airport outside London. With a comprehensive planning approval for infrastructure required to handle predicted growth to 2020 and beyond, Bristol Airport is now well placed to meet future demand for air travel from the South West.

VolkerFitzpatrick also installed high mast flood lighting units, acoustic and high security fencing, fixed electrical ground power units and new drainage. Throughout the duration of the works any associated services that conflicted with the construction works were diverted and protected.

The existing hangar that was demolished was partially used as the airport snow base and so the construction of another snow base facility was included in the contract. The new facility has been created on the south side of the airport and involved the construction of a 1,428 square metre steel framed building, including all associated services and infrastructure.

Transport secretary, Justine Greening, said: "Regional airports such as Bristol have a vital role to play in the life and success of our country, providing the connections, jobs and infrastructure we need to drive economic growth. The work I have seen at Bristol will stand the airport in good stead to serve the needs of regional passengers and businesses for many years to come. I welcome the investment that has gone into these improvements and look forward to seeing Bristol play a full part in the future of UK aviation."

Robert Sinclair, chief executive officer at Bristol Airport, said: "This is the start of an exciting journey for Bristol Airport, and I am delighted that the Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, will be joining us to mark the occasion. The Government recognises the value of regional airports, and I am sure the Secretary of State will enjoy seeing first-hand how Bristol Airport can contribute to a sustainable future for UK aviation."

David Harrison, VolkerFitzpatrick project manager, said: "We are pleased to hand over the first phase of Bristol Airport's improvement plans for the future and are proud to have played a key part in the airports growth, building on our already positive long term relationship. We hope that these new facilities play a pivotal role in providing benefits to the region for many years to come."