Airbus A380 pays final visit to Filton Airfield

Final landing of an Airbus A380 at Filton Airfield.

The Airbus A380, the world’s largest commercial aircraft, visited Filton Airfield for the last time today (Tuesday 18th December).

Operations at the airfield are due to cease on Friday, after its owners BAE Systems said it was no longer economically viable.

South Gloucestershire Council has outlined a strategic plan to build 2,500 homes on the site of the airfield along with 55ha reserved for employment uses. The new neighbourhood has been provisionally dubbed ‘New Charlton‘, a name that commemorates the village of Charlton that was demolished to make way for an extension of the runway in the late 1940s.

Closure of the airfield has been opposed by the Save Filton Airfield campaign group, which says it could put engineering and manufacturing jobs at risk. A protest march held in February attracted around 200 people.

Airbus, which employs over 4,00 people at Filton, has said its activities will not be affected by  the closure. Wings for the Airbus A400M that are manufacured in Filton have until now been transported to an assembly plant in Spain by Beluga aircraft but they will now be taken by road to Avonmouth and onward from there by ship.

The A380 made two landings at Filton today. After its first arrival at around 10am, it picked up around 40 passengers, who were then taken on a flight to Exeter and back. The aircraft finally departed for Toulouse at around 2pm.

More photos on PicasaWeb (The Journal)

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  1. Filton and Bristol as a whole will learn to regret this decision. I don’t expect BAE to care about it – they’re a US company these days who want to divest themselves of their UK assets and concentrate on defence contracts.
    I do, however, expect local politicians to think *very* carefully about allowing monumental changes to the economy like this, and not to agree with things because they’ve been told to. I found out yesterday that despite the large support for the “redevelopment” of the airfield in the council chamber, a recent planning meeting concerning the plans being put together attracted just two councillors from the entire council. So, they’re not interested in the development at all – they’re not geared up to ensuring it provides the best facilities for the local community and pushing back on the commercial wants of the developers. They were told by their parties (well, two of them) to wave the whole thing through and now they’ll sit back and let the the most mundane, congested development sail through planning.
    Shame on councillors on SGC (many of whom started by offering support for the airfield then followed the whip).

  2. This Airport if permanently shut will be a negative for the city as a whole both for the commercial and leisure industry alike it has good transport links and boasts the second longest runway in the country if it is really to be torn up and made into houses Bristol will lose a major asset . Bristol will never be able to replace either on cost or more importantly on available land at that point in time .
    so please reconsider the closure its still not too late to reverse the decision for the best of our great city .
    remember when its “gone it’s gone” a loss to us all never to be replaced !! .

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