Bristol’s Amazing Journey

Few established airports have capitalised on the boom in air travel as well as Bristol - throughput exceeded 7.5m passengers last year, almost 5½ times what it was 20 years ago. Andy Martin headed to the southwest of England to find out why the business has grown so much, and to talk to CEO Robert Sinclair.

Holidaymakers board a Thomson Airways Boeing 757 from one of the twostorey walkways that connect the terminal to the gates. (Bristol Airport)

Bristol has been served by aviation since before World War One. Filton Aerodrome opened in 1910 and was home to the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company, while airline services started from Whitchurch Airport in 1930. In 1940 a military relief landing ground was established on a hill near Lulsgate Bottom, 8 miles (13km) south of the city, and after World War Two the Bristol Gliding Club moved in. Encroaching housing development made Whitchurch unsuitable for the expansion necessary to accommodate large airliners, so in June 1955 the airfield at Lulsgate was sold to Bristol Corporation for £55,000.

Want to read more?

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero or Key Publishing subscription.

Existing subscriber? Sign in now

No subscription?

Pick one of our introductory offers