Belfast City Airport Watch have welcomed a decision by the Department of the Environment to refer controversial proposals for a new noise cap at George Best Belfast City Airport to a public inquiry.
The proposal, which was submitted by the airport earlier this year, would affect up to 46,000 people and would significantly raise permissible noise levels at 21 schools.
The schools are all identified by the airport in its submission as schools which would be affected if its proposal to increase the permitted noise thresholds went ahead. They include two top grammar schools, a private prep school, eleven primary schools, an infants’ school and four nursery schools.
The airport’s submission also states that as many as 46,000 people in east and south Belfast, and north Down, could be affected at a noise level well above that recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
We are delighted that these very alarming proposals are to be subjected to rigorous scrutiny through the public inquiry mechanism.
The airport is proposing a massive increase in permissible noise levels which would undoubtedly have a really negative impact on the education of thousands of children, and on the health and quality of life of tens of thousands of residents.
However, we’re also concerned that the current noise-related provisions in the airport’s Planning Agreement must be adhered to in the meantime.
We are well aware that the airport hopes to attract additional airlines which may well bring with them noisy international flights and that is a considerable worry for many residents.