Planning Portal

Belfast City Airport Inquiry

Published on Tue, 25 Oct 2005
The next stage in the review of the Belfast City Airport Planning Agreement has been announced.
The Department of the Environment (DOE) decision follows a public consultation exercise to consider the way forward. Representations came from all key interested parties including Belfast City and Belfast International Airports, airline operators, residents groups and the general public.
Environment Minister Jeff Rooker said: "In line with both the previous Public Inquiry and the recent recommendation of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, my officials believe that passenger numbers are not an appropriate measure to control the operation of Belfast City Airport. However, I consider that the best way forward on this important issue is to hold an independent inquiry so that interested parties have the opportunity to express the full range of views." An independent chairperson is to be appointed to hear representations from all interested parties and to report to the Department.
Following consideration of the report, the Minister will decide the appropriate way forward as necessary in consultation with the Regional Development Minister, who has particular responsibilities for noise management issues in Northern Ireland airports.

Notes to Editors

  1. The current Planning Agreement with Belfast City Airport (BCA) was made 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 scheduled flights in any 12-month period.

    Operating hours:
    Permitted hours: 6:30a.m. - 9:30 p.m. local time
    Prohibited hours: 9:30 p.m. - 6:30 a.m. local time
    Extended hours 9:30 p.m. - 11:59 p.m. local time

    Note: Extended hours are only to be used in exceptional circumstances for delayed aircraft. However, no restriction shall reply 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
  2. The consultation exercise was announced by the previous Minister, Angela Smith, on 19 November 2004, and closed on 14 January 2005 and around 100 representations were received.
  3. All relevant material and background information is posted on this website.
  4. Jeff Rooker decided that the best way to progress the review was by way of an EIP to allow public consideration of the relevant issues.
  5. The Chairman (and panel) will be asked to examine the issues with a view to recommending a way forward.
  6. Further news media information contact DOE Press office tel 028 9054 0003.
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