John Doran, Managing Director of Belfast International Airport, says he is delighted that the airport played a major role in the G8 Summit. All eight of the G8 leaders flew into the airport, as well as leaders from Mexico, Senegal, Ethiopia, Liberia and Libya. UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also flew in alongside the Head of the World Bank, the President of the African Union and the IMF Chief Christine Lagarde – the first time the facility has accommodated so many of the world’s most powerful figures.
Their aircraft were parked throughout the complex for the duration of the Fermanagh Summit. In excess of 50 support aircraft and several dozen helicopters have used the facility in the past few days alongside the normal 120 daily departures and arrivals and in excess of 20,000 passengers each day with minimal disruption.
The last to leave was the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, on Wednesday morning in the largest aircraft to be used by the visiting national delegations, a B747-400.
John Doran said staff made the historic event an outstanding success for the facility, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. “The meticulous planning – the co-ordination of arrivals, security considerations, parking and departure – was mammoth. Months of work went into this unprecedented event, and it is with a lot of pride that I say that I am delighted with the outcome.
“There is no better way to celebrate our 50th birthday. We have handled headline visits in the past, but none came close to this one for complexity and international media interest.
“Now, G8 leaders – Presidents, Prime Ministers and a Chancellor – know what we are capable of doing and the quality of the facilities we have at the International. My hope is that they now spread the word about our airport, and encourage airlines, tourists and potential inward investors to look afresh at Northern Ireland, and our world-class proven ability to deliver.”