Bristol International Airport
UK’s fifth largest regional airport
UK’s fifth largest regional airport
Established on its current site in 1957, Bristol International Airport is the UK’s fifth largest regional airport with an annual throughput of six million passengers. The government’s most recent review of future air travel in the UK estimates a doubling of this number by 2030. The airport serves a catchment area covering 10 counties in the West of England and South Wales with over seven million people living within a two hour drive time. Seventeen airlines and 56 tour operators operate from Bristol International with flights direct to 120 destinations in 29 countries and an additional 450 destinations served via international connections.
Massive growth in air travel and competition
The massive growth in air travel, both for business and leisure, has seen passenger numbers at Bristol International more than quadruple in a decade. This growth, along with increasing competition in the air travel industry both between airlines and between airports, is putting pressure on all aspects of cost. Airlines demand fast turnround times for their aircraft and passengers expect high quality services, such as an efficient parking system. This puts pressure on Bristol airport to make the most effective use of the coaches that move passengers to and from aircraft and the buses that link car parks with the terminal building. The airport also has a strategic aim to significantly reduce the ‘carbon footprint’ resulting from its activities. Eliminating unnecessary idle running of these vehicles – and of its fire tenders – was also seen as making a valuable contribution to reducing harmful emission levels.
21 vehicles transmit a range of information
The simple but highly effective solution provided by Webfleet Solutions involves the use of a LINK 300 fleet management device fitted into each vehicle. This interacts with TomTom WEBFLEET, a web-based software providing real-time monitoring of airport vehicle movements. Other vehicle information can be gathered and recorded by the web-based system from which valuable reports can be generated, enabling better control and management of vehicle utilisation.
A LINK 300 unit was fitted into each of 21 vehicles from which it transmits a range of information. This enables the airport to track the location and route taken by coaches carrying passengers to and from aircraft parked remotely from the terminal, of car park shuttle buses, and of its fire tenders. It also identifies periods of excessive idling of the engines of these vehicles allowing the driver to be informed and the engine cut.
The result is that the airport is able to refine the routes taken by the airside buses and reduce overall mileage. Eliminating unnecessary engine idling is leading to less fuel consumption – and therefore a lower fuel bill – as well as making a valuable contribution to a cleaner environment by cutting emission levels.
Significant cost savings and environmental benefits
Steve Webb, Motor Transport Manager at Bristol International Airport, said:
A major area of energy consumption is the diesel used by our vehicles on the ground. As well as the environmental benefits of reducing the amount of fuel we use, there are also significant cost savings – especially important in these days of high fuel costs!
Leaving the engine of a vehicle the size of an airport fire tender on idle for one hour each day – which can happen when, for example, a tender is on standby during a routine aircraft refueling – can cost up to £3,000 over the course of a year.
The airport has also been able to use the system to build a case for investment in a walkway to directly connect aircraft to the terminal building. Through TomTom WEBFLEET it has been able to capture and record valuable data on the number of vehicle movements and the time taken to load/unload an aircraft.