Belfast City Airport Watch have voiced our concern at the news that Aer Lingus is to operate two international routes at the airport.
The airline has announced that, as part of its move from Belfast International to the City Airport, it will operate daily flights to Malaga and Faro from the end of March 2013.
We fear that the international flights will create a significant increase in the levels of aircraft noise they have to endure.
We briefly experienced the severe noise levels associated with a large number of international flights when bmibaby was operating out of the City Airport earlier this summer. Now the nightmare of international flights is returning.
The fact is that the further planes go, the more fuel they need, making them heavier and noiser as a result.
We are also concerned that Aer Lingus may well announce further international routes in due course.
It’s totally inappropriate for an airport in a built-up urban area to be permitted to operate international flights, when there’s a perfectly adequate international airport within easy driving distance of the whole of the greater Belfast and north Down area.
It can’t be argued that flights to ‘sunshine’ destinations such as these are going to have any significant benefit for local tourism – they simply suck tourism revenue out of our economy by encouraging local people to holiday abroad.