Act now to have your say – Airport Noise ‘Action’ Plan

We urgently need your help. George Best Belfast City Airport is required by EU law to produce and regularly review a 5-year Noise Action Plan. But the airport’s latest document, George Best Belfast City Airport Draft Noise Action Plan 2019-2024,contains little in terms of meaningful new proposals.

The airport is currently carrying out a public consultation on this draft document. So please make your voice heard and use this opportunity to ask the airport to start taking some meaningful action on noise; for example, you could ask the airport to:

  1. Make sure late flights after 9.30pm genuinely happen only in really exceptional circumstances
  2. Carry out a trial of Precision Navigation (RNAV) technology which can help ensure that aircraft keep to routes which minimise the impact of noise on local residents (see below for more info)
  3. Schedule Sunday morning flights to start later (e.g. 8am) to give residents a weekly break from early morning aircraft noise
  4. Deploy a mobile noise monitor to carry out localised noise surveys in streets and neighbourhoods where residents have concerns

PLEASE ACT NOW: time is short as the consultation closes at 5pm this Friday, 26th October. Details of the consultation are here.

We suggest that you take these quick and easy steps:

  1. Have a look at the Draft Action Plan, particularly Table 14 (pp. 64 – 66) which outlines what the actions which the airport intends to take up to 2024
  2. Email the airport at with your consultation submission (which can be an email):

And when you make your consultation submission:

  1. State that you’re responding to the airport’s Draft Noise Action Plan
  2. Explain how airport noise affects you/your family, stating that you believe the Draft Noise Action Plan is inadequate and that the level of aircraft noise is unacceptable where you live (if you do)
  3. Ask the airport to include any steps you’d like the airport to take to reduce noise, such as the ones we suggest above
  4. Include your name and postal address
  5. Request an acknowledgement of your consultation submission.
  6. Use your email software to request an automatic read receipt as well if you can

Finally, if you don’t get a read receipt or acknowledgement, email the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to let them know:, as they’re ultimately responsible for ensuring the quality of the airport’s Noise Action Plan. (Their phone number is 028 90 569 541.)

If you ACT NOW, you’ll increase the pressure on the airport has to start trying to reduce aircraft noise. If our supporters don’t respond, it gives the airport an excuse to continue its ‘do minimum’ policy.

Many thanks for your help!


  1. Neil Lamont says:

    No jets before 7am, continually woken by the summer Faro flight leaving at 6.30 for 6 months if the year. No flights should be leaving or arriving after 10pm.

  2. LJ Atkins says:

    Until such time that aircraft technology improves sufficiently to imply very low levels of noise and toxic emissions, the operations at this airport should be scaled back or even closed, given its flightpaths are over densely populated parts of the city.
    Their planning permission specifies that they should maintain a bias of flights over the Belfast Lough, however they claim this is not possible because have to take off and land into the wind, which most of the time blows from west to east. In this case, they should be made to reduce the number of flights drastically, with no flights over the city before 8 am and after 6 pm.

  3. R. Stewart says:

    Not possible to take off or land depending on wind direction. It is possible. Just requires a wee bit more skill and more fuel. Its about cost.

    • James W. says:

      That’s what I’ve heard being said by others too. Also in the past I found most take offs were over the lough and landings over the city and now it’s the other way around. And the prevailing wind directions hasn’t changed much!

  4. James W. says:

    Let’s face it you’re never away from the noise of planes over Belfast nowadays. Since the aiport was sold by Bombardier in 2003 it has changed hands a number of times, each time for more money. As new investors try to drive a return on their investment, we see the number of flights being pushed up and larger jet planes allowed in, as the removal of the passenger cap last year shows. The Dept of the Environment & Dept of Health need to step in with serious regulations to reign in its development given its sensitive location.
    The fact that the International is really poor doesn’t help, although this will hopefully change as it’s just changed ownership. A train link to the International is also needed.

  5. Cathal says:

    Why are there flights coming in about 6.30 am and 1.00 am? Surely this is breaking guidelines and law.

    It is ridiculous, ban flights before 9.00 am and 10.00 pm I suggest.

  6. Sam Milne says:

    I invite, the ceo of George Best airport to visit me any early morning and late evening
    and hear for himself the noise and height that these aircraft taking off and landing
    over residental housing.

  7. Bob says:

    Wind direction and take off.

    Was there a formal stipulation written into the lifting of the flight cap regarding take off direction? It seems to me that the only valid noise reduction strategy is to launch over the lough. Anything else is merely meaningless ‘padding’ for the environmental strategy document. It is quite obvious that the majority of flights still take off over the city. Surely there must be legal grounds to challenge the airport regarding this issue. Belfast City Airport are very disingenuous on this matter.

  8. Gaye Smith says:

    Have just sat at home directly below flight path and counted five late flights tonight..wonder what the exceptional circumstances are!!.having just seen email from Sam Milne wanting to invite me ambrose to hear the noise for him selve.., wldnt bother if I was you… I had the same idea while back now and ask the then minister mr poots to my home, he duly arrived and what do you know… not one plane in the sky all day.., made to look like a fool or what.

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