82.1% of people in Northern Ireland who expressed an opinion in a recent poll by Lucid Talk believe that George Best Belfast City Airport’s seats for sale restriction should be removed. The restriction at the airport, which is the subject of a Public Inquiry next year, limits the number of seats the airport can sell to two million each year – a limit that dates back to a time the airport was housed in a PortaKabin.
Surprisingly the poll also indicated a high percentage of those were NOT aware of the stringent restrictions under which the airport operates (all survey figures below relate to those that expressed an opinion in the poll):
- Strict operating hours between 06.30 and 21.30 (71.2% were NOT aware of this)
- Flights capped at 48,000 per year (86.1% were NOT aware of this)
- Belfast City Airport is the only airport in the world with a seats for sale restriction (96.7% were NOT aware of this)
Katy Best, Commercial and Marketing Director, said: “We are seeking the removal of the seats for sale restriction but not looking to change our operating hours or the number of flights we handle each year. No bigger or louder aircraft will use the airport should the restriction be removed.
“As an island we rely on air travel and we are delighted that so many members of the public realise the importance of the removal of this restriction to our business.
“The airport plays an important role in the economic fabric of Northern Ireland and the continual investment in our facilities by our shareholder ensures we are a jewel in the crown of Belfast.
“George Best Belfast City Airport is one of the most restricted airports in Europe and is the only airport in the world that operates with a restriction on the seats for sale. Removal of this restriction would directly and indirectly impact on economic growth to the region, which cannot be overlooked, especially in today’s economic climate.
“We work hard to balance the growth of our business with the need to protect the quality of life for our local community and the environment. We have undertaken a series of measures to protect the local population from noise, with no heavy aircraft using the airport and strict operating hours with no late night flights.
“We have an excellent relationship with the local community and through our Community Fund and various outreach programmes we will continue to support and welcome their views on our operations.”