Belfast City Airport passenger limit reinstated

Having launched a consultation on the 2 million passenger seats per 12 month restriction on Belfast City Airport in June last year, the then Northern Ireland Environment Minister, the DUP’s Edwin Poots, announced in December 2010

Environment Minister Edwin Poots today announced his decision to remove the seats for sale restriction at George Best Belfast City Airport (GBBCA).

Mr Poots explained: “Having given the matter careful consideration and taken into account the issues raised in response to the consultation, I have decided to remove the restriction.”

Today the BBC report that Belfast High Court has ordered that decision to be quashed.

High Court orders confirming the outcome were made after the department conceded both cases ahead of a scheduled full hearing.

The rival Belfast International Airport (BIA) brought judicial review proceedings against removing the controversial restriction.

It was claimed that the decision announced last December by the then minister was unlawful and failed to take into consideration environmental implications.

A further challenge centred on claims that the seats restriction was lifted without checking whether there was an effective noise control system and an improved noise management system in place at the City Airport.

A residents’ group, Belfast City Airport Watch Ltd, also issued similar proceedings against the department.

And in the meantime the current NI Environment Minister, the SDLP’s Alex Attwood, has “initiated a public process to modify the existing Planning Agreement between the Department and George Best Belfast City Airport.”