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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

The real fight starts now!

The fight against Bristol Airport's major expansion plans is far from over and today we are launching a new fundraising campaign.

Please help us to pay legal costs so we can continue to challenge the flawed decision to allow the airport to expand.

North Somerset Council's approval of Bristol Airport's planning application in May has now been referred to the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, because some of the development is on green belt land, and because of its climate change impacts.

If the Secretary of State doesn't grant a public enquiry, we plan to mount a legal challenge on the basis that there is no current policy to support the decision to approve the plans.

SBAE has been advised that the Bristol airport application is open to legal challenge because it is based on the 2003 Government aviation policy recently ruled by a high court judge as out of date because it is not compatible with the 2008 Climate Change Act. This could be the first test case for the new coalition Government's policy on regional airport expansion.

SBAE spokesperson Hilary Burn said:

We have everything left to fight for according to our legal adviser, who is one of the best campaigning lawyers in the country. It's crucial that we maintain this legal support, which is why we are asking for more financial support from local residents.

“'The alternative doesn't bear thinking about. The recent 'no-fly' time due to the Icelandic ash cloud has demonstrated very clearly just how huge the noise and traffic impacts caused by the Bristol airports flights are. If this development is allowed to go ahead we are facing an airport the size of Luton on our doorstep.

“Despite our having submitted really strong evidence, North Somerset councillors chose to ignore over 5,000 individual objections plus objections from Bristol City and B&NES councils, local health authorities and many other significant organisations. We believe their decision is flawed: they have given the green light for car parks in the green belt yet at the same time are fighting to protect green belt land from housing developments.

Make a donation

To make a donation to the Stop Bristol Airport Expansion campaign, please use the Paypal donation link (left) or send a cheque made out to 'SBAE' to

LC Fund
PO Box 3039

Write to your MP, MEP, shadow MP, District Councillor and Chief Executive of your District Council, even if you live in B&NES or Bristol

Writing to you MP is never wasted even if you know your MP is onside, as MPs tend to gauge the level of concern by the amount of letters they receive.

You can write to your MP at:

The House of Commons,
London SW1A 0AA.

You might even want to go to your MP's surgery to talk about aircraft noise. If you ring the House of Commons (0207 219 3000) and ask for your MP's office, they will be able to tell you the times and places of the surgeries.

Lords can be contacted at:

House of Lords,
London SW1A 0PW.

Find your MP

If you are not sure who your MP is or don’t know their email call the House of Commons (0207 219 3000). The BBC website is extremely useful for locating contact information about MPs.

Dr Liam Fox Constituency for Woodspring
John Penrose Constituency for Weston super Mare
Dan Norris Constituency for Wansdyke
Don Foster Constituency for Bath
Dawn Primarlo Constituency for Bristol South

Ben Bradshaw is the Minister responsible for the South West .

When you write, include any or all of the 10 shocking facts »

Find your district councillor and chief executive

Bath and North East Somerset District Council website »
Bristol City Council website »
North Somerset District Council »

North Somerset Council is the local authority in charge of the planning application which will be submitted from Bristol International Airport.

North Somerset Council,
Somerset House,
Oxford Street,
BS23 1TG

When you write, include any or all of the 10 shocking facts »

Mr Graham Turner

Chief Executive.

Responsible for North Somerset Council and its Officers. Mr. Turner is a key figure in giving direction to North Somerset Council.

Cllr Nigel Aston

Leader of Council

Cllr David Shopland

Chair of Council

Elfan Ap Rees

Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Strategic Planning, Highways and Economic Development.

Cllr Carl Francis-Pester

Executive Member for Environment

Cllr Felicity Baker

Executive Member for Special Projects

Find your MEP

Europe is becoming increasingly significant in the battle against aircraft noise and pollution.

A list of MEPs is available from:

2 Queen Anne's Gate,
London SW1H 9AA.,
Tel: 0207 227 4300;

MEPs are also listed on

When you write, include any or all of the 10 shocking facts »

Find your local councillors

If you don't know who your ward councillors are, ring your Town Hall. They should be able to tell you who your councillor is and give you their emails.

When you write, include any or all of the 10 shocking facts »

Attend meetings

North Somerset Council planning meetings

These take place at Weston-super-Mare Town Hall. These are really important to demonstrate the strength of local opposition. We will email you to tell you when they are.

Bristol International Airport Consultative Committee Meetings

These are open to the public. District Councillors and Parish Councillors from surrounding Parishes sit on this committee. Come and support them, parking is free in the staff car park.

Meetings are held at 2.30 pm in the Bristol Room at the Media Centre (old terminal building), Bristol International Airport on the following dates:

Wednesday 21 October 2009

We will let you know dates of meeting here and send out an email at the right time when the planning application has been submitted and is being discussed.

Write or email letters to the local press

Keep your letter fairly short. Letters are most likely to be published if they are in response to something in the paper. So keep your eyes peeled for noise and aircraft stories, and respond quickly. Don't be discouraged if your letter is not published: it is not a wasted effort since editors, like MPs, use the number of letters they receive to assess what the levels of concern are.

When you write, include any or all of the 10 shocking facts »

Local papers

Bath Chronicle
Tel: 01225 322322

Bristol Evening Post
Tel: 0117 934 3000

Chew Valley Gazette
Tel: 01275 332266

Clevedon Mercury
Tel: 01275 335142

Venue Magazine
Tel: 0117 9428491

Western Daily Press
Tel: 0117 934 3000

Weston Mercury
Tel: 01934 422500

Press stories

The local press is always interested in human interest stories. If you feel you have a particular story to tell about how the airport’s expansion is impacting on your quality of life and you feel you might be able to go public with it in the local press, please email Susan Pearson at:

We can discuss your ideas with you and stress that anything you tell us will remain completely confidential until you tell us otherwise. We can offer you support and advice about how to talk to the press.

Complain about noise »


There are many petitions on aviation issues; SBAE update this section on a regular basis and will keep you informed of the latest petition. Please sign up for this one and pass it on to friends and neighbours.

10 shocking facts about Bristol International Airport’s proposed expansion plans

  1. Escalating growth in passenger numbers.
    Bristol International Airport is expanding at such a rate that it will very soon grow beyond the 8 million passengers per annum recommended in the 2003 Government White Paper on aviation, ‘The Future of Air Transport’. BIA’s Master Plan, published November 2006 (Table 5, page 31), forecasts that there will be a grand total of 8.076 million passengers per annum (mpa) by 2015, the figure reflected in the 2003 White Paper. BIA will reach its 2010 Master Plan forecast of 6.695 mpa by 2008 as new Ryanair routes, commencing in November 2007, generating approximately one million more passengers a year. The current throughput of the airport is 5.8 -.5.9 mpa.
  2. Huge noise pollution.
    There will be a flight movement on average every 3.5 minutes, 16 hours a day, an increase from 8 to 17 an hour. Even though there is a night noise quota restrictions it will still be possible for the airport to double night movements.
  3. More traffic on our roads.
    Although BIA says it will try to increase public transport usage to 15% this means that 85% of all journeys will still be by car or taxi (which travel one way empty). This will lead to more rat runs, gridlock in our villages, an increase in noise from cars, increased congestion, increasde pollution from car exhausts and an increase in carbon emissions. There will be no rail link.
  4. More light pollution.
    Light pollution will increase despite the airport’s assurances that they will environmentally friendly lighting. The airport will be visible from the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and from the North Somerset rhymes. This will impact on wildlife especially the Greater Horseshoe bat which is protected..
  5. The cost to the planet Despite myths propagated by the airline industry, aviation already accounts for 13% of the UK’s contribution to climate change.
    To make matters worse; aviation is the UK's fastest-growing source of greenhouse-gas emissions. We could close every factory, lock away every car and turn off every light in the country, but it won't halt global warming if we carry on taking planes as often as we do! The UK’s top climatologists predict that aviation’s emissions alone are predicted to exceed the government’s target for the country’s entire output of greenhouse gases in 2050 by around 134%. (Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research). The Governmen’ts current target for reducing carbon dioxide emissions is 60% by 2050, even though current predictions show this will have to increase to 90% in the future.

    BIA suggests that its contribution to climate change is a little amount under 1% in the South West but it misses the point as it is actually growing its emissions in a time when everyone body else is being encouraged to reduced their carbon footprint.

    Fuel efficiency savings of the new generation of planes, much trumpeted by the aviation industry, will fall way below the levels needed to counteract the damage caused by the predicted increase in flights.
  6. Building on Green Belt land.
    Bristol Airport plans to build on protected Green Belt land, which will change the character and the landscape of the area from one that is predominately rural to one that will become more urban. Car parking will be in green fields to the south side.
  7. Only 20% of BIA’s passengers are business travellers.
    The justification touted for Bristol Airport’s growth is that it is “good for the economy” and will increase business opportunities in the South West. However, only 20% of its passengers are from the business sector, while 80% passengers are taking leisure flights.

    In fact, the aviation industry is only the 26th biggest industry in Britain. It's half the size of the computer industry, and just a tenth the size of banking and finance. In the South West it is counted as a small/medium size business.
  8. Cheap flights creat a tourist deficit In the UK.
    Aviation's contribution to the economy has been massively overstated. Nationally, it actually creates a tourist deficit (more people spending money abroad than visitors flying in to spend here) of £17 billion per year, and is growing in line with the increase in cheap flights, especially from regional airports. For every passenger who flies in to Bristol airport 6 fly passengers fly out.
  9. Bristol Airport’s rate of growth is not sustainable.
    BIA’s growth rate since 2000 has been 13 -15% per annum, over double the national growth rate for airport’s, which is 5%. The sustainable rate of growth in line with fuel efficiencies and technological improvements is recognised as 2% by the Environmental Select Committee of the House of Commons.

    The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has also recognised that there is no substitute for kerosene (aviation fuel) and significant technological improvements, which will in any case not take place for decades, are going to be outstripped by demand. The British government admits that "there is no viable alternative currently visible to kerosene as an aviation fuel." (The Guardian, 28/02/06)
  10. The planning system is designed to favour development
    Bristol Airport is owned by an Australian company, Macquarie, which contributes only £.to North Somerset District Council in business rates. Despite this, nationally, the planning system has an inbuilt predominance in favour of development. The planning system will allow us 21 days for us to to respond once the Bristol Airport has submitted its planning application.

    Bristol Airport has been preparing their detailed Environmental Impact Assessment and other reports for over a year.

If you would like to contact us please email