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Old 30th Mar 2018, 18:32   #1 (permalink)
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What if Filton was Bristol's airport

I was just thinking the other day what if Filton Airfield had become Bristol's main airport, runway length is near perfect, it close proximity to the M5, and 3 train stations (Bristol Parkway, Filton Abbey Wood & Patchway). It is also close to Cribbs Causeway and has large hangars(something Bristol International Airport is limited by) Overall I feel Filton would have been the perfect site for an airport, where as the one Bristol had got is in the middle of nowhere, a fair drive from the M5.
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Old 30th Mar 2018, 19:25   #2 (permalink)
 
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I often thought it was a real missed opportunity for the region, with its close proximity to the M5, Bristol Parkway station and, dare I say, South Wales, this could have become a major airport for the region with a runway comfortably long enough for Long Haul.

Last edited by Doors to Automatic; 1st Apr 2018 at 17:08.
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Old 30th Mar 2018, 20:24   #3 (permalink)
 
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Funny that this should come up. Yesterday I heard that my son has just had an offer accepted on a house in Bristol. For me personally, at the price he has agreed and for what he is getting for that, it only makes sense to me if it is a good investment. For this to happen Bristol will have to be considered an even more attractive city than it is. For that, I said, they should make Filton the main airport for Bristol and more pilots could enjoy coping with the huge hump in the runway.
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Old 30th Mar 2018, 20:40   #4 (permalink)
 
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Bristol is max 15-20 minutes off the M5 if you jump off at Gordano and cut over the top.

Unfortunately the value of the land at Filton would be too valuable and I’m sure there would’ve been nimby’s complaining about the noise.....
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 18:09   #5 (permalink)
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Bristol is max 15-20 minutes off the M5 if you jump off at Gordano and cut over the top.

Unfortunately the value of the land at Filton would be too valuable and I’m sure there would’ve been nimby’s complaining about the noise.....
Nobody complained about the noise when Corcorde or the A380 took off. The site is close to 3 train stations, the biggest being Bristol Parkway, with trains every 30 mins to South Wales, Every 10 minutes into Bristol, and hourly to Devon, half hourly to Cheltenham. It could have made Bristol a serious competitor to that of Heathrow or Gatwick. As other have said it is a massive loss. As well as that as I mention previously, it has 3 excellent large hangars (something Bristol Airport is limited with). Bristol Airports runway is also very short for larger aircraft to take off from where as Filton is about 8,000 ft long and wider than most normal runways.


Compare that with the current airport which is a 20 - 25 minute drive away, on some horrible slow roads, well out of Bristol with the only way to get there being by bus, taxi or car. Although there is plans for a railway line out there(complete waste of money really) . Filton site is 10 mins from the M5, 6 mins drive to Bristol Parkway, which could be even less if the terminal was positioned in the correct place.
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 18:10   #6 (permalink)
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Funny that this should come up. Yesterday I heard that my son has just had an offer accepted on a house in Bristol. For me personally, at the price he has agreed and for what he is getting for that, it only makes sense to me if it is a good investment. For this to happen Bristol will have to be considered an even more attractive city than it is. For that, I said, they should make Filton the main airport for Bristol and more pilots could enjoy coping with the huge hump in the runway.
I agree, I fail to see the attraction of Bristol when places such as Bath or Westbury are much nicer.
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Old 1st Apr 2018, 16:28   #7 (permalink)
 
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Would they reinstate the level crossing, twixt runway and hangers?
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Old 1st Apr 2018, 17:58   #8 (permalink)
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Would they reinstate the level crossing, twixt runway and hangers?
Unlikely to now, My point was what if Bristol had decided to use Filton as its main airport way back before Bristol Airport became a public airfield.
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Old 1st Apr 2018, 18:37   #9 (permalink)
 
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I remember landing there for maintenance and having to wait for a coal train to pass before being towed across the level crossing.
The railway was there first so had priority.
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 06:49   #10 (permalink)
 
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I’m sure there would’ve been nimby’s complaining about the noise.....
Well the Bristol 188 stainless steel research aircraft must have been pretty noisy; it was supposedly M=2 capable although I don't think it ever got there, and later on the F111s which went in for maintenance were hardly the quietest aircraft.
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 18:56   #11 (permalink)
 
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As mentioned earlier a missed opportunity. I seem to remember that the residents of Sadly Broke were very vociferous in opposition.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 09:07   #12 (permalink)
 
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In the period while Bristol (Lulsgate) was growing mightily after Les Wilson took over the management, he admitted to me on many occasions that his nightmare was Filton's owners waking up to the fact that if it was properly developed and marketed it could take 90% of Lulsgate's traffic in 2 years, and then develop into one of Britain's most important airports, serving the Midlands and Wales as a Heathrow substitute, and the whole South-West region.

It would have made total economic sense to buy up all the affected housing, offering inflated prices, and/or build alternative social housing.

The primary asset that Filton had was its location by the M4/M5 junction. Lulsgate's A38 location was and remains dire.

It had none of the weather problems of Lulsgate, and its runway did not go over the top of a hill.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 14:41   #13 (permalink)
 
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My memory may not be what it was! But I have a recollection that when British Aerospace looked at developing Filton there was a problem with the Brabazon hangar infringing the runway airspace requirement.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 21:16   #14 (permalink)
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The primary asset that Filton had was its location by the M4/M5 junction. Lulsgate's A38 location was and remains dire.
From what i've heard they are now trying to get a railway line out to the airport, yet Filton has 3 railway stations in close proximity, it just seems mad.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 21:17   #15 (permalink)
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My memory may not be what it was! But I have a recollection that when British Aerospace looked at developing Filton there was a problem with the Brabazon hangar infringing the runway airspace requirement.
Is the Brabazon hangar still there now? I'd imagine its been demolished.
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 13:35   #16 (permalink)
 
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To airsouthwest: for someone apparently so interested in Filton as an airport and what it's due to become instead, it might be useful to occasionally visit the website of what was once the Bristol Evening Post, just to keep up with developments. *

For instance, you ask about the 'Brabazon Hangar' ... the Aircraft Assembly Hall (AAH), as it was actually called, is one continuous span building, divisible into three by partitions if required. At present, part of it is being used by Arnold Laver Limited as a timber warehouse, but it's being considered as one of two options for a Bristol Arena by the Bristol City & County Council. The development of a small town on the actual airfield (referred to by some locals as 'Filton Keynes') is within the area of South Gloucestershire Council, whereas the AAH is 'over the border' in Bristol.

The railway line referred to in previous posts forms the boundary between the two council territories. There was once a railway station on this line, adjacent to the airfield, used for many years by thousands of workers at the Bristol Aeroplane Company and its successors, called North Filton Platform. It could be reactivated to provide an extra transport link for the new 'town' development and the proposed Arena ... and, of course, would have been another reason why Filton might well have been a much better site for Bristol Airport than Lulsgate Bottom, back in the day.

* I tried to post a link for you, but I don't have sufficient posts for this to be 'allowed' ... you can search for it as 'Bristol Post'.

SN
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