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About us

Stop Bristol Airport Expansion! (SBAE) is an alliance comprised of the following groups:

cpreBristol Friends of the Earth

Read more about the SBAE alliance

All content © Stop Bristol Airport Expansion, 2009.


100 months

no bristol airport expansion

We'll keep fighting

October 26 , 2011

High Court Judge Mr Justice Collins today turned down SBAE's application for a judicial review into the May 2010 decision by North Somerset Council to allow the airport to add an extra four million to its passenger numbers.

We are disappointed and surprised by the judge's decision to refuse a judicial review but we will continue to scrutinise the airport's plans to ensure that the 70 conditions attached to the planning permission are fully met.

Read our press release »

Bill Bryson presents anti-airport expansion campaigners with award

July 14 , 2011

Bill Bryson presents award

Stop Bristol Airport Expansion has received national recognition for its work opposing the proposed plans to increase airport traffic at Bristol International Airport from six million passengers to ten million passengers by 2019.

Read our press release »

Fight against airport’s expansion far from over

April 26, 2011

Stop Bristol Airport Expansion (SBAE) is submitting a request for a Judicial Review to take our case to the high courts. Our lawyers are confident there is a strong case against the airport’s plans, which would see it nearly double in size with serious impacts for local communities and the environment.  

Read our press release »

Government agrees we were right on climate change

April 1, 2011

Transport Secretary Phil Hammond has condemned Labour’s 2003 Aviation White Paper, on which Bristol Airport’s planning permission was based, as "fundamentally out-of-date". Speaking as he launched the Government’s Scoping Document, which marks the start of the process for drawing up a new aviation policy,1 he said the previous government had "got the balance wrong" because it failed to give enough weight to climate change and the local environmental impacts of aviation. 

Read our press release »

Airport boss's tax complaints insult working families

March 8, 2011

Bristol Airport Chief Robert Sinclairʼs complaints about a passenger ʻstealthʼ tax are nonsensical and insulting: the aviation industry does not pay any duty or VAT on aircraft fuel yet hard working families face rising motor fuel taxation on essential journeys.

Read our press release »

The real fight starts now!

June 14, 2010

Please help us build a fighting fund to pay legal costs to continue challenging the flawed decision to allow the airport to expand.

Read more »

Read our press release »

Airport expansion now depends on the Secretary of State

May 24, 2010

Stop Bristol Airport Expansion today said it would be urging the Secretary of State to hold a public inquiry into the expansion of Bristol Airport, following referral by North Somerset Council.

Councillors on the Planning and Regulation Committee voted to approve the expansion plans, subject to conditions, including referral to the Secretary of State.

North Somerset is asking the Government to consider the impact of the expansion on climate change – and to rule on airport’s plans to build a car park on the green belt.

Read more »

Read our press release »

BIA's planning application

What BIA is planning »
Planes and climate change »
Night flights »
Read the PCAA's response PCAA response to expansion plans (1.6 Mb)
Read our summary of the faults in the economics report »
Airport job claims are overstated press release pdf document (184 Kb)
Read our response to BIA's climate claims »

Read the BIA expansion plans in full »

Relevance of Heathrow ruling to BIA expansion

April 12, 2010

The recent judicial review of the Government's plans to expand Heathrow criticised the validity of the economic case used in the Air Transport White Paper due to changes that have happened since, and in particular to changes in Government policy on climate change. It also criticised the incorrect costing of the surface access improvements needed. Both of these areas are relevant to the BIA application, and further invalidate the economic arguments for expansion.

Read more »

Heathrow Ruling Throws Bristol Airport Expansion into Doubt

March 26, 2010

A High Court Judge has ruled that because the Government’s 2003 aviation policy did not fully take into account the effects of climate change, it is not compatible with the Climate Change Act 2008 – effectively making the 2003 policy obsolete. The government’s 2003 policy has been used by North Somerset Council to set its own planning policies regarding the airport.

The judge, who was ruling on the Heathrow expansion, also said the impact of increased emissions from airport expansion was also likely to significantly affect the economic case.

Read our press release »

Decision still in the balance

Mar 4. 2010

NSC have done the responsible thing in referring the BIA’s planning application to a more senior planning committee as district councillors made it very clear that the application still has many serious unresolved issues.

Read our press release »

Airport decision should be postponed

Mar 1, 2010

NSC’s South Area Meeting cannot make a decision at this point because new recommendations from North Somerset Council on night flights will introduce changes to the night noise quota system without any consultation with the public. These changes also go against widely documented promises from BIA not to change the basis of the night noise quota system.

Furthermore, the Biodiversity Action Plan and the Carbon Management plan have not been made available in time for the
public to view and comment, and the staff travel plan for all employees on BIA’s site is still incomplete.

Read our press release »

Campaigners ask Government to step in on airport decision

Jan 27, 2010

SBAE has asked the Government of the South West (GOSW) to step in and refer the decision on the airport’s plans to the Secretary of State. We have decided to request a ‘call-in’, which would result in a direct decision from Government, or a public inquiry, because the ramifications of the decision, such as the impact of increased traffic, noise and carbon emissions, stretch beyond North Somerset Council’s area of control.

Read our press release press release pdf document (176 Kb)

Government report slams brakes on Bristol airport plans

Dec 8, 2009

The Government's Committee on Climate Change has published a new report on aviation advising that in order to meet UK carbon targets we must limit expansion, cut flights, raise ticket prices, and boost rail and video-conferencing

Read the report by the CCC »

Read our press release press release pdf document (168 Kb)

Would expanding BIA impact air passenger "leakage"?

Nov 30, 2009

"Leakage" is the term used to describe how air passengers who could use BIA but for various reasons use Heathrow or other South East airports. Our analysis shows that using leakage as an excuse for local expansion, especially on environmental grounds, is flawed and irresponsible.

Read our report "How would expanding BIA impact air passenger 'Leakage' from South West region to South East airports?"
south west tourism analysis pdf document
(564 Kb)

New report challenges tourism claims

Nov 18, 2009

A new analysis of tourism figures for the South West by SBAE's Jeremy Birch reveals "...there is strong evidence that previous expansion at BIA has meant lower domestic tourist income and has only partly compensated for this by bringing inbound tourists. Future expansion would continue this pattern, taking money away from the South West tourism, leisure and other sectors."

Read "Tourism in the South West, its impacts and the relevance of Bristol International Airport" south west tourism analysis pdf document (172 Kb)

Read our press release "Local tourism jobs lose out with airport growth" press release pdf document (176 Kb)

Councillors opposed to airport development on Green Belt

Oct 16, 2009

Councillors at last night's West Area committee meeting expressed strong opposition to any plans by Bristol Airport to extend its car parks onto Green Belt land as part of its proposed expansion.

They also called for improved infrastructure and new transport links to be in place before the airportʼs expansion goes ahead, echoing the grave concern of North and Central Area committees last week that the areaʼs already overloaded road system is completely inadequate to absorb the increase in traffic caused by expanding the airport.

Read our press release press release pdf document (172 Kb)

Regional development agency raises concerns over airport expansion

Oct 5 , 2009

The South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) has raised major concerns about the economic benefits weighed against the climate change implications of Bristol airport’s expansion plans, a “hugely significant” position statement

Read our press release »

Australian owners sell stake in BIA

Sept 16, 2009

The Australian investment firm Macquarie Airports (MAp) has sold its 35.5% share in Bristol International Airport, saying its investors interests were better served elsewhere .

Read the report by Reuters »

Read our press release »

BANES calls for airport expansion plans to be refused

Sept 10, 2009

Councillors from the Bath And North East Somerset council (BANES) voted in favour of a motion, proposed by 23-year-old councillor Nick Coombes, to inform North Somerset Council:

”That Bath and North East Somerset considers causes and effects of Climate Change should be a major consideration in a development of this nature and therefore recommends that the airport expansion application should be refused on these grounds.”

Read our press release »

Flying more is not an option Government advisers warn

Sept 9, 2009

A letter to the Government from Adair Turner, chair of
the government’s Committee on Climate Change
makes it clear that Aviation CO2 emissions should be capped.

Read the letter »

Read our press release »

Bristol City Council objects to airport expansion plans

Aug 24, 2009

Bristol City Council has lodged a formal objection to plans to expand Bristol International Airport, because of concerns over night noise, traffic pollution and climate change

Read BCC's objection letter to NSC »

Read our press release about BCC's objection »

Bristol airport planes off track

Aug 6, 2009

This dramatic image shows just how many flights from BIA are spreading out from standard flight paths.

The image is a map of the Bristol, Bath and Chew Valley area on which flights departing from BIA are shown alongside the standard paths for BIA during one week from 28 May 2009 (overlapping the school half-term holidays)]. While some variations are allowed to the regular flight paths, this data illustrates just how wide an area flights from BIA have covered. It is likely that planes travelling wide of their regular flight paths will become much more frequent if the airport is allowed to expand.

View the flight paths »

Read our press release »

Who's picking up the tab?

Aug 4, 2009

Bristol Airport expansion: bad for noise

July 4, 2009

Public health doctors argue the case against expanding Bristol's Airport

May 28, 2009

Read the article in the Bristol Evening Post online »

Airport has lost all justification for increasing carbon emissions

April 7, 2009

Bristol airport will no longer be able to rely on the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to compensate for the huge increases in carbon emissions from its planned increase in flights because the aviation industry itself has pulled its backing from the scheme, say campaigners.

Read our press release »

Strong welcome for Bristol council's message on airport: don't increase carbon emissions

Mar 30, 2009

The motion, passed unanimously by Bristol City Council last night, stated:

" line with the City Council's commitment to the Nottingham Declaration, which requires 60% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, and also taking into account of the greater target of 80% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions introduced by the Climate Change Act 2008, this council believes that BIA should focus on becoming economically and environmentally sustainable without further increasing emissions and other external impacts."

Read our press release »

Why Airport Expansion is Bad for the Economy

Mar 23, 2009

Read our press release »
Download our presentation on the airport's plans »

Airport expansion will destroy jobs in South West, new study reveals

Mar 11, 2009

Published today by the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF), the study by economist Brendon Sewill of the employment provided by airports and airlines shows that more jobs will be lost in the region as an increased number of British people make more use of cheap flights to spend their money abroad.

Read our press release »
Read the report in full press release pdf document (420 Kb)

"Flying: the facts" by the Government backed Energy Saving Trust

Feb 12, 2009 »

Read more news stories »

Recent Press releases

Request for judicial review refused
October 26, 2011press release pdf document

Bill Bryson presents anti-airport expansion campaigners with award
July 14, 2011press release pdf document

Fight against airport’s expansion far from over
April 26, 2011press release pdf document

Government agrees we were right on climate change
April 1, 2011press release pdf document

Airport boss's tax complaints insult working families
March 8, 2011press release pdf document

The real fight starts now
June 14, 2010 press release pdf document

Airport expansion now depends on the Secretary of State
May 24, 2010 press release pdf document

SBAE urges councillors to reject airport expansion plans
May 24, 2010 press release pdf document


Read more press releases »


Read or download Jeremy Birch's presentation from the "No Flightpath Over Bath" meeting on May 18th 2006 »

Read or download Jeremy Birch's presentation from the "More Flights, More Floods" meeting in Bristol on July 16th »

Read or download Ian Ross's presentation from the "More Flights, More Floods" meeting in Bristol on July 16th »

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Photos courtesy of Richard Bullen

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