Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Belfast City Airport
Belfast City Airport (IATA Airport Code: BHD) is an airport in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The airport is a single runway operation, situated only 2 miles from the city centre. It shares the site with the Short Brothers/Bombardier aircraft manufacturing facility. It began commercial operations in 1983.
The airport handled 1.2 million passengers in 2003, 3.5% more than the previous year. A subsequent program of building and refurbishment has further increased its passenger and plane capacities. Passenger numbers in 2004 were over 2 million.
In May 2003 Spanish company Ferrovial acquired 100% of Belfast City Airport from Bombardier for £35 million and it will continue to be run by them until 2114. Ferrovial is one of Europe's leading construction groups and a growing airport management group. It also manages 13 airports: Sydney in Australia, 2 in the United Kingdom, including Bristol Airport, 9 in Mexico and one in Chile.
Because the airport is adjacent to residential areas the question of noise pollution is a major one and a source of continual public debate. The Airport has had to develop a noise management strategy due to a Planning Agreement, under which the airport operates, and Operational Noise Abatement Procedures. The airport has recently applied for a relaxation of the 1997 planning agreement, which may have already been implemented, as the 2004 passenger numbers would indicate that the airport is significantly stretching its existing planning agreement. The number of residential areas of Belfast affected by large low flying aircraft has increased substantially, particularly with the introduction of larger aircraft, previously based at Belfast International Airport. Restrictions applied to the airport include: flights have to operate between 6:30 am and 9:30pm, but extensions may be granted to operate delayed flights up to Midnight; there can only be 45,000 commercial aircraft movements in the year; airlines can offer no more than 1.5 million seats for sale on flights from the airport and the majority of flights must operate over Belfast Lough (generally 50-60% in practice).
Airlines and Destinations
The following scheduled airlines use Belfast City Airport (at January 2005):
- Aer Arann to Cork
- British Airways Citiexpress to Manchester
- BMI British Midland to London (Heathrow)
- EuroManx to Isle of Man
- Flybe to Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, London Gatwick, Newcastle, Norwich and Southampton
- Flykeen Airways to Blackpool and Isle of Man
In 2002 BMI moved their operations and services from Belfast International to Belfast City Airport. In March 2003 they officially opened new dedicated business lounges upgraded at a cost of £1.5m. This included an air-bridge for boarding BMI aircraft. In April 2003 Air Wales started a service to Cardiff. In May 2003 Jetmagic had a service to Cork, Aer Arann a service to Dublin and Flykeen started services to the Isle of Man and Blackpool. Aer Arann started their service to Cork on 1 March 2004. Flykeen's direct Blackpool service started on 1 May 2004. It was was only scheduled for the summer months but proved so successful that it was extended into the winter schedule. Jetmagic has since ceased operations.
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