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Bristol Airport Operations Management Essay

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Updated: May 21st, 2020


Bristol airport is one of the best performing airports in the United Kingdom. The airport carries out various operations. Such operations include air transport, noise monitoring, traffic, and public transport, utilities, and energy management, employee relations, community relations, and waste management. Bristol airport carries out tight scheduled operations management for various aircraft and turboprops. For example, various jets like Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Airbus A321, BAe 144-200, Boeing 757-200, and Fokker 70 operate on this airport. Turboprops such as BAe Jetstream 31 and Saab 2000 also operate in Bristol Airport. The airport also handles various types of passengers. This paper discusses the operations processes at the airport in an effort to evaluate the appropriateness in terms of their contributions to productivity, quality, and overall effectiveness.

Transport Control Operations

According to Bel and Fageda (2010, p. 143), the management officers in charge of public transport supervise chartered flights, transit passengers, and passengers on ordinary frights. Terminal passengers include international and domestic passengers. According to Robinson (2012, p. 155), public transport operations management involves itself in passenger screening and planning for both local and international flights. Passenger screening involves the use of sophisticated video surveillance equipments to ensure that the airplanes and the airport are secure. Employees in charge of security checks are also well trained on surveillance and passenger screening.

Transport operations management also ensures that airplanes are safe for pilots and the flight crew. The department has therefore strengthened cockpit doors in all aircraft that operate through this airport. Strengthening of the cockpit doors ensures that no unauthorized persons interfere with the co-pilot or the pilot when the airplane is airborne. The transport operations management has also made it impossible for forceful entry into the cockpit through recommendations that cockpit doors be made bulletproof. The transport operations department also uses air-marshals to ensure the security of airplanes and passengers when the plane is airborne.

Bel and Fageda (2010, p. 142) assert that the management also ensures that there is a thorough personal identity screening for all passengers right from their time of entry into the airport. For example, the transport officers ensure that the names on passengers’ tickets correspond with those on their identity cards. Passengers who do not carry original identification documents are subjected to more screening. According to Bel and Fageda (2010, p. 142), the operations department serves customers to various destinations. For instance, in 2011, Bristol Airport served 321,361 passengers to Dublin, 76,766 to Alicante, 287,327 to Amsterdam, 220,843 to Glasgow, 21,010 to Faro, and 284,780 to Edinburgh amongst others (Bristol Airport 2013). The department has been very successful in its management.

Noise Monitoring Operations Management

The other major operation in Bristol Airport is noise monitoring. The noise-monitoring department continually checks on the aircraft noise on both ends of the runway. Noise management is done near Felton, Winford, and at Congresbury. Bristol Airport has two runways: the 09 runway and the 27 runway. The management ensures that noise monitoring equipments are installed in strict adherence to ICAO noise monitoring standards. The noise monitoring management placed the Congresbury noise monitor at 6,500m from where the airplanes begin to roll. On the other side, the Felton noise monitor is positioned at 289m from where airplanes tough down. At the Littleton Hill, another noise monitor records the amount of noise coming out of the airplanes that depart through runway 09. For example, in 2011, the Congresbury noise monitor recorded 105.1 dB (A) (Bristol Airport 2013). The Littleton Hill monitor indicated that Ryanair Airline Boeing 737-800 recorded the highest noise on departure at 82.9 dB in 2011.

Noise monitoring operations have also put in place noise contours. Budd, Bell, and Adam (2011, p. 268) argue that it is a requirement of planning conditions 30 and 31 that noise contours that are more than 92 days spanning from mid-June and mid-September should be reported on 31st July every year to the Local Planning Authority. The operations monitor 57dB (A) of between (0700 to 2300) contour, and for condition 31, which refers to 63dB (A) of between (0700-2300) (Bristol Airport 2013). The aircraft noise-monitoring department also checks on noise complaints. Bristol Airport uses this department to track noise complaints. The officers in charge have even put in place a website, telephone numbers, and a postal address for people to use in launching complaints. For example, in 2011, about 203 noise complaints came to the Airport through various channels.

Noise operation monitors also check the night noise quota usage. According to Robinson (2012, p. 155), the management of the department checks the operations that take place at Bristol Airport during the period stretching from 23.00 to 07.00. Management ensures that very noisy aircraft are not scheduled to land or take off during the ‘noise quota’ period. The administration also ensures that the quota count classification for night noise is implemented. Tilley (2010, p. 6) affirms that the department also plans and executes programs for late or early departures. Specialists in noise management are employed in this department to check efficiency and effectiveness.

Traffic Control and Public Transport

Various operations at Bristol Airport are aimed at controlling traffic and public transport. The traffic department has put in place traffic counting devices. This department was installed at the entry of the main airport to record movement of people and vehicles to and from the airport. For example, the traffic monitors from the traffic operations department indicate that the airport experiences the greatest traffic in September. The North Somerset Council is the management arm of transport operations in Bristol airport. Traffic monitors are at the peak of their duties during the morning hours at 5.00 hrs, as the employees come in and at 10.00 hrs when they get out. Traffic operations also increase during the month of September.

The traffic operations department also controls public transport. It controls the Bristol Flyer Airport Express, which is the main public transport in Bristol. The airport public transport service comprises A1 and A2 bus service. The service delivers passengers to and from the airport. In 2011, the Bristol Flyer Airport Express transported 626,340 passengers. The buses include National Express 404 and 406 coaches. The first bus service was by Somerset 121 and Avon. The airport employees pay very fair charges for transport around the airport. In fact, the buses made 96,500 journeys carrying employees in 2011.

Air Quality Control Operations

There is a need to control air pollution in the airports. Budd, Bell, and Adam (2011, 268) affirm that air quality control department in Bristol Airport regulates the amount of Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air. The air quality operations control involves the use of diffusion tubes such as Perspex tubes with metal gauzes that are encrusted in reactive agents. When exposed, the diffusion tubes indicate the amount of nitrogen dioxide in the area to which it has been exposed. The department does nitrogen monitoring after every two weeks. According to Shiel (2009, p. 6), in the past ten years, air quality in and around the airport has been in line with the Air Quality Strategy. In fact, nitrogen dioxide levels in the airport have been below levels in most parts of England.

Employee Relations Operations

The Bristol Airport is a major employer in the Northern Somerset of the United Kingdom. Operations in this department include employee recruitment, induction, training, appraisal, and motivation. The department carries out regular survey researches on employment situations. In 2011, there were 2,206 fulltime and 715 part time employees in the airport. The employees’ operations department monitors employees in various segments of the airport. According to Booth (2010, p. 56), it monitors employees in charge of general aviation, airfield services, terminal building concessionaires, handling agents, airliners, onward travel, terminal services, and airport operations and administration. The department also carries out communications to the employees. It ensures that workers are well informed about the undertakings of the airport and their welfare. According to Gray (2010, p. 52), the management ensures that quality employees are hired, trained, and motivated for better service delivery. It is out of such close employee empowerment that Bristol Airport has emerged one of the top airports in the United Kingdom.

Evaluation of the appropriateness of the operation processes in Bristol Airport

The operation of air transport in Bristol Airport has greatly contributed to its productivity. There has been an increase in the quality of air transport over the years. Chesnut (2013, p. 56) affirms that reinforcement of airport security in Bristol Airport has led to increased number of flights and hence the increased returns for the airport. The operations have guaranteed passengers their security. Therefore, passengers have developed more trust on the airport. Booth (2010, p. 56) affirms that the effort by air transport management has also instilled confidence on the pilots and other persons who work in the aeroplanes. Pilots and the crew are assured that no one can break into the cockpit to hijack their aircraft when it is airborne since the doors are well fitted and are bulletproof to prevent forceful entry. Out of these security improvements, many pilots have applied for jobs in the airport. Security screenings in air transport are therefore appropriate.

The operation is also effective since there has been an increase in returns. It is out of the effectiveness of these operations that the number of flights increased in 2011 from 5,747,604 in 2010 to 5,780,746 in 2011. According to Gray (2010, p. 52), passengers in both chartered flights and ordinary flights gained more confidence in the airport. The number of domestic passengers using this airport also increased from 1,079,148 in 2010 to 1,082,170 in 2011. It implies that even the domestic market for the airport also increased. The quality of service in Bristol Airport has also improved. With the increased number of aircrafts landing and taking off at Bristol Airport, the quality of service to the passengers has gone up. Passengers can therefore fly in aircrafts of their choice. Proper passenger screening and surveillance have also improved on quality of services in that passengers can board and travel in any aircraft at Bristol Airport.

Pestana (2009, p. 475) asserts that noise monitoring operations management has also been an appropriate venture. There has been a lot of noise pollution in the world today. Control of noise levels in the airport improves the quality of the environment. Passengers, employees, and the community around the airport can therefore enjoy a quiet and conducive environment in and around the airport. Implementation of various noise monitoring gadgets has effectively ensured reduced noise pollution. According to Osborne (2013, p. 40), the fact that the noise complaint lines received very many complains in 2011 is an indication of the effectiveness of the measures taken by the department to control noise levels. Effectiveness of the noise control and management is also indicated by the low levels of noise recorded in Bristol Airport as aircrafts leave.

The fact that the management has also been able to regulate night noise quota usage is an indication of the effectiveness of the operation based on its ability to adhere to regulations during winter and summer. According to Meiburg (2012, p. 35652), Bristol airport has adhered to these regulations thus earning 10% noise quota in several seasons. Out of the effectiveness of the program, the airport has not been penalised for not adhering to the guidelines of the regulating authorities. Noise pollution can lead to loss of hearing, and psychological stress. However, there has been a lot of complains from various quotas concerning noise pollution from Bristol airport.

Traffic and Public Transport Control Operations

Control of traffic into and out of the airport has been effective based on the regular flow of human traffic at 05.00 hrs as they get into the airport and at 22.00 hrs as they leave the airport. Pestana (2009, p. 480) affirms that various security gadgets placed at certain strategic points around the airport gate also ensure easy monitoring of traffic into and out of the airport. Use of bus service to transport staff around the airport has also been effective. Bus service offered by Bristol Flyer Airport Express has also been very effective. The quality of services offered by this bus service has also been high. Chesnut (2013, p. 56) affirms that the bus service had increased number of passengers to carry out of the airport. For example, 9.3% of the passengers coming to the airport in 2011 used the bus service, which was an increase from 8.6% in 2010. One can induce that efforts to improve on public transport and to monitor traffic effectiveness in and around the airport have been productive. There were increased journeys that the buses made in 2011 to 96,500. The buses service operations were effective in transporting employees to and from work.

Air Quality Control

The process of air quality control at Bristol Airport has also been effective. Nitrogen dioxide, which is a poisonous gas to both human beings and animals, is greatly regulated at the airport. According to Osborne (2013, p. 40), the airport has successively used passive diffusion tubes to control nitrogen dioxide release into the environment. Meiburg (2012, p. 35652) asserts that the use of small sized Perspex tubes ensures that gases are easily detected. Hence, proper filtration is done before its release to the environment. The effectiveness of the program is indicated by the low levels of the gas in comparison with the surrounding towns whose levels of Nitrogen dioxide concentration is very high. In fact, the quality of the operation is demonstrated by the achievement of Air Quality Strategy (AQS) threshold over the years (Meiburg 2012, p. 35652). However, the actual levels of nitrogen dioxide may not be accurately measured in the airport since the standards set by AQS are for residential areas.


In conclusion, Bristol Airport has various management operations. Some of those operations include air transport operations, noise management, air quality management, traffic and public transport operations, and employee relations. The operations have been effectively managed, with most of them being productive in quality. However, complains have been raised for some operations such as noise control.


There is a need to maintain the status quo in operations management at Bristol Airport. Gray (2009) asserts that the current trends in operations have seen increased quality and quantity of returns. There has been an increase in the number of flights and airlines operating through the airport. There have been better air quality, improved employee relations, and remarkable control of traffic and public transport within and outside the airport. However, there is the need to improve noise control operations around the airport. Tilley (2010, p. 6) affirms that there should be policies to regulate the kind of airplanes that fly through the airport. Airplanes should be fitted with powerful silencers. The airport should also be fitted with sound discharge gadgets to reduce sound impacts around the airport. Shiel (2009, p. 6) affirms that the airport authorities should discourage people from residing close to the runway. Compensation policies should be enacted for the victims of noise pollution because of the airport noise.


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