Page last updated at 13:21 GMT, Saturday, 20 December 2008

Protest at runway extension plan

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Campaigners stage a protest at Belfast City Airport over fears a runway extension would mean an increase in plane noise.

Campaigners opposed to a runway extension at George Best Belfast City Airport have held a protest at the airport.

The airport has applied to extend the runway, but residents' groups fear this would lead to larger planes and an increase in noise.

If planning permission is granted, the runway would be extended by 590 metres in the direction of Belfast Lough.

The protest did not cause any disruption to passengers.

George Best Belfast City Airport's chief executive Brian Ambrose said: "Once again, I would reiterate that the extension will enable the same aircraft to fly further and offer greater efficiencies for inbound aircraft."

The extension is being sought to allow planes to take off with greater amounts of fuel onboard, he said.

"The growth of aviation and continued development at the airport under our new owners will continue to be transparent and handled in a manner sensitive to our location and environment," added Mr Ambrose.

Belfast City Airport Watch (BCAW) has described the proposed extension as an "irreversible nightmare" for east and south Belfast.

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