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Airport Curfews

We have frequently written about the curfew which is intended to govern the operations of Belfast City Airport.

We have been asked often what exactly a curfew is, have any other airports got them and who monitors their effectiveness. They are simply regulations governing flights which take place during the nighttime hours. They are limits or bans on takeoffs or landings which are set, affecting late night or early morning hours.

Curfewswere originally quite rare but have become increasingly common as increasing urbanisation brings more and more residents closer to airport flight paths.

Breaches of the curfew are met with a variety of sanctions, ranging from the draconian to the laughable. Monitoring of any breach is often shared between the airport authority and the local authority.

In the case of Belfast City, the monitoring is carried out by the airport itself. The sanctions, fines, are imposed by the airport also and the monies raised are distributed amongst local groups.

It is worth noting that residential housing around Belfast City Airport was there before the airfield became a commercial airport.

It is blindingly obvious that it would be much better if the monitoring and application of sanctions were imposed by an independent body. It would be fairer and give confidence to residents who are affected by the the operations of the airport.


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