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Misplaced 'environmental stand’ against Bristol Airport expansion

Premium Analysis

The COP-26 climate conference will be held shortly. Pigs will fly and Hell freeze over before anyone stands up at that event and makes a case for sustainable expansion of airports, which is what all responsible airport managers aspire to.

Meanwhile, local politicians – such as the new breed of city-region mayor in the UK, flushed and heady with hitherto unavailable powers – are bending over backwards to prevent even moderate levels of airport expansion designed merely to keep pace with the level of growth which preceded the coronavirus pandemic, and which hopefully will soon return.

The most recent example is at Bristol Airport in the UK, a mid-ranking airport that supports an economically and culturally successful city-region.

In this instance the mayor has insisted, incredibly, that the expansion of a small terminal building, a new car park and a few ancillaries is tantamount to being “bad for our planet”.

If it weren’t so serious it would be risible. But it is not only Bristol Airport that stands to suffer. In the wake of the COP-26 just about any airport, struggling to recover from the pandemic, will be at risk from politicians who have lost touch with, or choose to ignore, the simple reality that the air transport business is the most successful on earth at limiting its carbon footprint.

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