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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 May 2005, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Airport billed for climate change
Bristol Airport
Passenger numbers are set to rocket at the airport
An environmental group is presenting Bristol Airport with a "bill" for climate change as the airport prepares for its inaugural New York flights.

Friends of the Earth say flights from the city are producing 580,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

It adds that 344 square miles of trees need to be planted to compensate for these emissions.

In a statement, the airport said it takes into account environmental issues in its growth plans.

Extra demands

On Thursday, the first flight from Bristol to New York will take off at 1110 BST.

Alan Davies, head of planning and development at the airport, added: "We are working on our masterplan in response to the government's White Paper on the Future of Aviation, and we are very serious about our environmental commitments.

"As part of our ongoing public consultation we are seeking comments on how the airport will grow in a sustainable manner, to meet the demands of the region.

"We welcome comments from all groups with an interest in the airport."

The airport is currently engaged in consultation over an expansion plan to cope with increased demand.

It plans to spend 50m on expanding facilities and new services over the next five years.

In February, it was estimated that passenger numbers at the airport would rise from five million to around nine million in the next decade.

The number of flights was also estimated to increase, to an average of six every hour.

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