Campaign group’s stern warning to owners of Bristol airport
A new campaign urging owners of Bristol Airport to abandon expansion plans has been launched. The Bristol Airport is Big Enough (BABE) campaign announces the start of a new collaborative campaign where activists join forces with those of other communities around the world suffering from the impact of airports owned by the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and of Teachers of Ontario (Teachers).
The plan is for affected communities to band together and demand that the OTPP, which owns the Bristol travel hub, withdraw its plans to expand airports around the world. The move comes after Bristol Airport was given the green light to increase capacity from 10 to 12 million passengers a year on appeal.
North Somerset Council refused the expansion in 2020 following 8,900 objections from the public, citing the impact on the climate, greenbelt and residents’ health and pressure on local infrastructure. The expansion was also opposed by Bristol City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council and the West of England Combined Authority.
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The airport appealed, an investigation was carried out last year and a decision was announced in February. A BABE spokesperson said: ‘We unite in demanding that the OTPP direct its airports to withdraw all expansion plans. We have no intention of relaxing our resistance.
The group also wrote a letter to OTPP CEO Jo Taylor outlining the “global implications” of its expansion plans.
It also warns that the plans are not ‘climate compatible’ and pose health risks to local communities and that further airport expansion was a ‘risky’ addition to the pension fund’s investment portfolio . In the open letter, he said: “Thousands of people have opposed the expansion of Bristol Airport, along with the local council and many public bodies.
“The situation is similar for communities around London City, Copenhagen, Birmingham and Brussels. Our opposition is fully supported by health statistics which increasingly highlight the adverse health consequences of noise and air pollution.
“As local communities at these airports, we already face higher health risks than most. We do not want to further exacerbate our exposure to this pollution.