Questions and Answers
Q) What are BAE's plans for
A) Only BAE can answer this, but it is known that they have
already engaged house-building companies to assess the site.
In addition, South Gloucestershire Council are considering
requests to change the local planning strategy to allow the
site to be used for housing. We believe that that
infrastructure in north Bristol is wholly inadequate to
support a further significant increase in population,
especially when considered in conjunction with other large
housing development schemes on the ring-road at Abbey Wood and
Q) BAE say the site is
commerically unviable. Surely that's reason enough to close
A) We do not accept that the airfield is commercially
unviable. There are many private airfields, large and small,
around the UK, which prove this is not true. There were many
businesses using the airfield - general aviation, flying
schools, livery companies, maintenance and decommisioning
companies, business jets, as well as the large aircraft
In fact, until recently, there were 25,000 aircraft movements
per year at Filton, generating significant revenue.
We believe that the only reason that BAE wish to close the
airfield is because they can bank more money for their
shareholders by selling the land, than they can by running it
as a long-term business, with all the companies that supports.
Q) Does closing the airfield
affect tenants such as Airbus and GKN?
A) Airbus have stated that they have put in place plans to
mitigate the effect on their operations. However, Airbus do
currently use the runway on a daily basis as a means to
transfer employees between Airbus sites across Europe. It is
not know how this will be addressed. In addition, closing the
runway severely restricts all contracts coming to Filton in
the future to producing only aircraft sections which can be
transported by road. BAE have closed other airfields in the
past, assuring stakeholders that the effect on aerospace
businesses will be minimal, only to see the same businesses
leave those sites. The loss of businesses like Airbus and GKN
in the future could be devastating for north Bristol.