Bristol Airport expansion: Latest legal challenge defeated


The expansion of Bristol Airport will go ahead after bosses defeated another legal challenge. 

Aeroplane ascending.

The Court of Appeal has determined to uphold planning permission, refusing a challenge by the Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN).  

Bristol Airport is seeking to increase passenger capacity from 10 million to 12 million a year.     

Plans include major investment in the airport’s terminal building, its parking facilities, and public transport links.   

It is understood the scheme could mean up to 5,000 regional jobs and £430 million for the South West economy.    

Legal history 

North Somerset Council rejected the scheme in 2020 on environmental grounds.   

That decision was later overruled when the Planning Inspectorate decided in February 2022 to allow Bristol Airport to proceed, prompting a legal challenge that was resolved by the High Court this year. 

BAAN then appealed against that decision, but were “refused on all grounds”. A spokesperson said they were “angry and disappointed” by the Court of Appeal decision.  

Wider expansion   

In April, Bristol Airport also announced its intentions to create two new passenger lounges. 

The Escape Lounge and 1903 Lounge will be operated by CAVU, an airport solutions provider founded by MAG (Manchester Airports Group).  

Both lounges will be installed on the mezzanine floor of the departure terminal and should be available for prebooking by summer.   

The launch of both lounges will be followed by a period of refurbishment in winter. 

Speaking about the Court of Appeal decision, an airport spokesperson said: “We will now take forward our multi-million-pound plans for net zero operations by 2030 and look forward to working with stakeholders and the community to deliver responsible growth.” 

Enjoyed this? Try United Living expansion under US private equity firm

Get industry news in 5 minutes!

A daily email that makes industry news enjoyable. It’s completely free.