George Best Belfast City Airport plan gets cautious welcome from residents’ group

George Best Belfast City Airport
George Best Belfast City Airport
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A residents’ group has raised concern that a noise plan for George Best Belfast City Airport does not take new guidance from the World Health Organisation on board.

A decision taken in 2017, following a public inquiry into the issue two years previously, was enacted on Wednesday by the Department for Infrastructure to lift the restriction on the number of departure seats sold by the airport.

The Modified Planning Agreement also included new noise control measures with a departure noise limit on all flights and levies payable to the Community Fund if exceeded.

Commenting on the agreement Belfast City Airport Watch said: “We would like to extend a cautious welcome for the new modified Planning Agreement.

“On a first reading, the document would appear to meet key recommendations made by the Planning Appeals Commission at the conclusion of the public inquiry on this matter.

“However, the new agreement contains considerable technical detail and we want to study this in more detail before giving a more considered response.

“Moreover, since the commission published its report, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued new guidance on aviation noise and we’d already urged the Department for Infrastructure to take that WHO guidance on board in this new agreement.

“The department doesn’t appear to have done that and we’ll certainly continue pressing the department to implement the WHO guidance which was drawn up on the basis of an extensive body of evidence.”