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Tuesday, 21 December, 1999, 17:45 GMT
Airport to undergo 21m expansion

Airport in line for major expansion


Belfast City Airport is to undergo a 21m development to cater for an expected increase in passenger traffic.

The Canadian Bombardier Aerospace group which owns the airport, has received planning permission for the project, which is expected to create 200 construction jobs.

Work will start early in January and should be completed by the end of next year.

The development at the city's second airport includes a new two-storey terminal with 20 check-in desks, a new apron for 10 aircraft and additional car parking.

Improvement to services

The airport was owned by the Shorts Aircraft company which was then taken over by Bombardier.

Ken Brundle, general manager of Bombardier Aerospace in Northern Ireland said the refurbishment would "significantly improve services for air travellers".

He added that it would be "capable of catering for the gradual growth in air travel which we foresee over the next 10 years".

It is thought in the region of 1.3m passengers used Belfast City Airport during 1998/99.

The airport catered for 45% of scheduled air passengers between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain.

Airport director John Doran said the development would reduce the environmental impact the facility has on nearby residential areas and had been given broad support by them.

Substantial investment

Northern Ireland chairman of the Institute of Directors, Ann Shaw, said the province needed substantial infrastructure investment to encourage rapid growth in both business and tourism.

"The decision to re-develop Belfast City Airport is a welcome boost to that infrastructure programme," she said.

"Demand for air travel between Belfast and other UK regional airports is strong and the current political situation should maintain demand."

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See also:
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Aircraft company soars to record profits
17 Dec 99 |  Northern Ireland
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