15/09/2009

City Airport Flies Into Turbulence

Despite claims to the contrary, officials at Belfast's urban airport are denying that passing aircraft were responsible for damaging a local resident's roof.

George Best Belfast City Airport has released a statement that said their radars show four aircrafts had landed between 1pm and 1.30pm on Sunday, when the roof was damaged.

Airport Operations Manager, Mark Beattie said they show that all four planes were flying in accordance with strict aviation regulations.

"We have the ability to uniquely identify aircraft and record their flight paths, their altitudes, air speeds and so on.

"Our conclusion on this basis in respect of the aircraft arriving at the airfield and approaching over the city was that they were all routinely approaching with no issues."

However, the airport spokesman has admitted that it cannot rule out the possibility that turbulence from a passing plane might have caused the tiles to dislodge.

"I think it’s a possibility that aircraft can create turbulence within the air," he said, but noting that "at this stage we could be conclusive".
News Image
SDLP South Belfast MP Dr Alasdair McDonnell has said that the incident reinforces the need for a public inquiry to be carried out into the expansion of the runway at the airport.

Echoing the concern of many east Belfast residents, Mr McDonnell said: "The damage caused by this low-flying plane could have had potentially fatal consequences, particularly on a sunny Sunday afternoon as many residents, including young children, were outside enjoying the good weather.

"Aviation traffic has caused serious disruption for people living in South and East Belfast for some time and this incident further emphasises the need for a public enquiry to be carried out into the expansion of the runway at Belfast City Airport."

Yesterday, local MLA and Ulster Unionist party Leader Sir Reg Empey also challenged the wisdom of expansion at the busy east Belfast facility after around 30 roof tiles were dislodged from the home of Katrin Irvine at Parkgate Crescent.

See: City Airport Rattles Tiles

(BMcC/KMcA)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 April 2011
City Airport's Holiday Routes Opposed
Seven new routes to holiday destinations in continental Europe are to operate from George Best Belfast City Airport - thanks to boosted aircraft engines. Bmibaby will run services to Malaga, Alicante, Palma, Faro, Ibiza, Amsterdam and Geneva.
19 October 2010
Residents To 'Shoot Down' Airport Seat Sale
MLAs were today being told of east Belfast residents' worries over developments at Belfast's second airport. The Stormont Assembly's Environment Committee heard their concerns about the NI Environment Minister's proposal to remove the passenger limit at George Best Belfast City Airport.
02 April 2008
Ferrovial In Discussions To Sell Best Airport
Ferrovial is in talks with JP Morgan Asset Management to sell George Best Belfast City Airport. The negotiations are part of the Spanish group's efforts to reduce its debt load of over €30 billion.
10 June 2010
Blind Fly System Planned For City
Just days after George Best Belfast City Airport had been experiencing problems due to low cloud - with most flights not operating on Tuesday morning - or having to be either diverted or delayed, a 'blind flying' system is being investigated.
06 February 2003
bmi to concentrate services at Belfast City
bmi has announced that it is to discontinue its Heathrow service from Belfast International Airport (BIA) and concentrate resources in Belfast City Airport. However, bmi will maintain a presence at BAI as bmibaby will be including Belfast International as a destination to be served from a new UK base to be announced shortly.