Filton airfield to close in 2012

In reaction to today’s announcement by BAE Systems of the closure of Filton airfield, Jack Lopresti MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke said:

“I am disappointed about today’s news; I live within sight of the runway, and the closure effectively means the end to over 100 years of Filton’s use as an aerodrome, a huge part of our aviation history. We must of course respect and honour the past but always keep looking to the future, which Filton has always done and thrived.”

“Clearly the priority is to make sure that the airfield’s closure does not have an adverse affect on the local economy and the South West’s standing as the home to the British Aviation Industry.”

“I have been in contact with several local specialist technology firms and suppliers and have asked them to keep me informed of how the closure is likely to affect them. I have, however, received assurances from both Airbus UK and BAE systems that once the airfield closes at the end of 2012 they will have in place a range of effective mitigation measures that will allow the excellent work at the Filton site to continue without any major disruption. I am also glad that BAE will be working with their 19 employees affected by the closure to explore potential employment opportunities.”

“Whilst today’s news will sadden many residents we should also be encouraged by the good news the Filton site has had over the last few weeks and months; the Government’s A400M order, Airbus’s new £70 million design and research centre at Pegasus House and the news this week that EADS had won a £1 million injection that will fuel jobs growth in our local economy.”

Statement from South Gloucestershire Council

Amanda Deeks, Chief Executive of South Gloucestershire Council, said:

“BAE Systems’ announcement of the intention to close the airfield (in December 2012) will come as a surprise to many residents, because of its historical association with Filton.”

“What is of paramount importance to us, and the surrounding communities, is that the area’s renowned high-quality engineering and aerospace companies are secured for the future.”

“Airbus has expressed its firm commitment to its site at Filton, and this has been most recently demonstrated by the decision to build a multi-million pound business park there.”

“We will begin detailed discussions with BAE Systems with regard to the future of the airfield site.”

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  1. Wait until you see just how much land is going to be sold off and what they plan on building there.

    A total kick in the proverbials for all the Airbus staff, last year there was huge publicity about how proud the company was of 100 years of aviation and then now this. Just shows how proud they really were.

    Oh and the staff weren’t even officially told about the closure today, having to rely on local media instead. And they wonder why Airbus score so badly in the Gallup survey done annually on employees. My friend there says morale has never been so low.

  2. Not sure it has much to do with Airbus. BAE systems own the land with Airbus just tenants. Airbus don’t really use the airfield anymore either, with most of its produce (much of it actually manafactured by GKN) being shipped by road to North Wales.

  3. Well well well!!! Why am I not surprised that this was going to happen??? Another nail in the coffin for Filton Airfield/Aircraft Industry. After much publicity last year celerating 100 years. A total and utter shame. And my thoughts on what will eventually happen to Concorde?? She will just be pushed into a corner and left to rust. Airbus should be totally ashamed. ‘The home of concorde’ What a sham!! And my thoughts on what the land will be used for?? let me guess?? ‘More housing!!.

  4. There is also the strategic issue of losing yet another airfield that may be vital, in the future, to British interests. Once they are gone it will be too expensive to build others. We are also losing Lyneham and I would have thought that Airbus without a runway next door would not be long for closure and transfer of services to France and Germany. Filton is a long runway and it is almost unique in that.

    We do not actually need more housing, the services, utilities and infrastructure are not in place to allow the growth in traffic and human requirements, water etc in this area. The A38 will just grind to a halt.

    I ask that the local MP strongly take this up with the government as a strategic issue.

  5. Seems to be a lot of Airbus bashing here. It’s BAE who are cashing in. Airbus don’t need an airstrip, they only make the wings in Bristol which aren’t much good without the rest of the aircraft, the police have already committed to moving their helicopter to Wiltshire so a few rich execs landing their small jets on such a massive airstrip doesn’t make sense.

    More housing is needed even though Filton might be a poor location but there’s no guarantee it’ll be housing on the site.

  6. Andy, they don’t just make wings at Filton, it’s also where airbus design and test the landing gear and fuel systems, and also design the wings. The A400M wings were also going to be flown from Filton to Spain.

    And don’t forget Airbus also charter BMI to fly employees to and from Filton to their base in Toulouse and in the future will now have to use Lulsgate.

    You let the cat out of the bag with regards to your knowledge when you say it’s only used by rich execs in their jets. Flying club? Rolls Royce? MoD? I could go on but it’s not worth it.