McGimpsey welcomes Environment Committee decision on airport noise

South Belfast MLA Michael McGimpsey today welcomed a decision by the Environment Committee to tackle Environment Minister, Edwin Poots, on the issue of noise from George Best Belfast City Airport.

Minister Poots has been considering removing a clause in the Planning Agreement with the DOE which limits the amount of passengers on outgoing flights. Local residents have raised concerns that this will dramatically increase the amount of airplane engine noise being omitted from the airport due to an increasing number of flights.

Michael McGimpsey said;

“I very much welcome the decision by the Environment Committee and commend the work of residents groups who lobbied the Committee to challenge the Minister. Whilst I support and recognise the financial contribution George Best Belfast City Airport brings to Belfast and the surrounding area, the quality of life for local residents must be a key consideration to Mr. Poots.”

“I am concerned that if the restrictions on the number of outbound seats to leave the airport were increased then airlines could increase the size of aircraft that leave the airport.”

“It has also been brought to my attention that the airport has already broken the limit on the amount of seats sold for airlines to fly from Belfast City Airport. In addition the Airport has broken the restrictions on late night flights.”

“I would call upon the Minister of the Environment to review the current restrictions. It is not acceptable that residents should unduly suffer with constant and regular noise pollution from flights.”

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