Planning Portal

George Best Belfast City Airport Planning Agreement

Published on Tue, 12 Dec 2006
George Best City Airport Planning Agreement
The next stage in the review of the George Best Belfast City Airport (GBBCA) Planning Agreement has been announced today following publication of the Panel report.
The publication of the Panel report follows an extensive public consultation exercise to consider the way forward including an Examination in Public (EiP) which was held in June 2006. Representations were received from all key interested parties including Belfast City and Belfast International Airports, local councils, airline operators, residents groups and the general public.
Environment Minister, David Cairns, said: "My officials have carefully considered the independent panel report following the EiP and believe that it forms a sound basis for the next stage of the review, which will be to enter into discussions with George Best Belfast City Airport with a view to reaching agreement on a revised Planning Agreement."
Officials will be meeting shortly with representatives from the Airport and other key interested parties, including local councils, probably early in the New Year, to consider the various recommendations from the panel and to put in place a revised planning Agreement between the Department and the Airport. The GBBCA Forum group, which comprises all key interested parties, will be kept advised of progress.

Notes to Editors

The current Planning Agreement with George Best Belfast City Airport (GBBCA) was agreed on 22 January 1997 and covers the following key issues:


Operators using the airport are not permitted to offer for sale more than 1.5 million seats on schedule flights in any 12-month period.
Operating hours:
Permitted hours: 6.30am-9.30pm. local time
Prohibited hours: 9.30pm-6.30am local time
Extended hours: 9.30pm-11:59pm local time.
Note: Extended hours are only to be used in exceptional circumstances for delayed aircraft. However, no restriction shall apply to diverted aircraft at any time.
Air Transport Movements (ATMS):
No more than 45,000 ATMs in any 12-month period.


Monitor noise using indicative noise contours agreed computer models.


To maintain a bias in favour of approaches and climb-outs over Belfast Lough.
The consultation exercise was announced by the then Minister, Angela Smith, on 19 November 2004, and closed on 14 January 2005 when around 100 representations were received.
The then Minister, Jeff Rooker, decided in October 2005 that the best way to progress the review was by way of an EiP to allow public consideration of the relevant issues.
The EiP was held during June 2006.
The Chairman (and panel) were asked to examine the issues with a view to recommending a way forward.
The Panel reported to the Department on 31 August 2006.
All relevant material and background information is posted on this website.
Further news media information contact DOE Press Office tel 028 9054 0003.
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