BELFAST CITY AIRPORT

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After last weeks upbeat announcement that the cap on passenger numbers was to be removed, it seems that the optimism was perhaps premature according to this press release www.nics.gov.uk/press/env/051025c-env.htm Yet another enquiry which will only serve to delay the inevitable again - what more evidence can possibly be needed? Does anyone feel that there are perhaps more sinister forces at work here? - after all, it is public knowledge that BFS mounted a legal challenge to prevent removal of the cap at BHD. Anyone like to discuss?
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Profile picture for user andrewm

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From what the Press have said and what ive heard from horses mouths, this is because the residents are opposed to more "Airbus flights". Strange everyone loves bmi and the route they offer but hates the type! I hope its brought up that if they approve the runway extension the Airbus A321s will now be able to use FLEX and hence be quieter on take off!!! Ill be going for sure! Ill be on the For side too :D Must makesure Reg and Peter miss these meetings....
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I read this as saying the government have pretty much decided the cap will be lifted, but as they have previously said, they need to consult to decide what the best way forward is to meet local concerns with regards to other issues, notably noise.
Profile picture for user Dee747

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[/START RANT] Inevitable really that an inquiry will be held - that's life these days for anything affecting the public at large. Personally I believe it is only in the Province's interest to raise the cap and allow BHD to grow in line with increased travel expectations. No one would foresee the use of larger aircraft than at present (A320 family or B737 family) due to the physical proportions of the airfield, ergo any growth in numbers must result in an increase in flights. Locals have a right to express their opinions on that. In the past these kinds of issues have been hijacked by local public representatives who have used the opportunities to pour vitriol on the use of the airport and how it is bad for east Belfast. Yet these are the same people who probably use the airport when travelling to London, and who welcome the employment it brings. At the end of the day the only sensible outcome should be a reassessment of the cap so that it more accurately reflects the public's desire to use the airport, without producing an unnecessary burden on those locally affected. Stricter use of arrivals and departures over the Lough, together with a review of how the current SIDs and STARs are used, along with more noise monitors in the area, and fines for those breaking the noise limitations, might be the way to resolve this one. No matter what the outcome it will never please everyone, but keeping the mouthpieces out of the equation might just leave those really involved an opportunity for some sensible local accommodation. :mad: [END RANT]

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[/START RANT] Inevitable really that an inquiry will be held - that's life these days for anything affecting the public at large. Personally I believe it is only in the Province's interest to raise the cap and allow BHD to grow in line with increased travel expectations. No one would foresee the use of larger aircraft than at present (A320 family or B737 family) due to the physical proportions of the airfield, ergo any growth in numbers must result in an increase in flights. Locals have a right to express their opinions on that. In the past these kinds of issues have been hijacked by local public representatives who have used the opportunities to pour vitriol on the use of the airport and how it is bad for east Belfast. Yet these are the same people who probably use the airport when travelling to London, and who welcome the employment it brings. At the end of the day the only sensible outcome should be a reassessment of the cap so that it more accurately reflects the public's desire to use the airport, without producing an unnecessary burden on those locally affected. Stricter use of arrivals and departures over the Lough, together with a review of how the current SIDs and STARs are used, along with more noise monitors in the area, and fines for those breaking the noise limitations, might be the way to resolve this one. No matter what the outcome it will never please everyone, but keeping the mouthpieces out of the equation might just leave those really involved an opportunity for some sensible local accommodation. :mad: [END RANT]
Took the type out of my fingers :D I was going to write that - more or less - if I could of been bothered Wozza
Profile picture for user Mark L

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Agreed with you there Dee747, unfortunatley its the same with every airport in the world I can think of. You mention the "current SIDs and STARs", there actually arent any as far as I'm aware. It might be something that needs to be looked at implementing to ensure that the noise abatement is adhered to a little better.

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But wouldn't applying a standard arrival and departure route just multiply the annoyance to certain people, with variation more people will be affected by less, but then again is that better, Now look what you've gone and done, i'm confused :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: (Joking, it's easily done :D )
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Took the type out of my fingers :D I was going to write that - more or less - if I could of been bothered Wozza
Ooh look, there goes the flying pig....

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Ooh look, there goes the flying pig....
Hey! :mad: I was In a round about way in a simpler, shorter version with out the technical stuffa @ the bottom
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EGAA and EGAC have no offical publishers SIDs and STARs. EGAC has noise abatement for some departure and arrival routes (i.e. the ones over Castle Espie). MYT have a selection fo SIDs on their MCDUs (MontyP can confirm more) including the standard LISBO Departure. Is EGAA has SIDs offically LISBO would be the main one.

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Nice to see the subject evoking so many constructive even impassioned (Dee747) responses. Keep 'em coming, people!!
Profile picture for user Dee747

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Once again in this forum the minutiae gets confused with the intention. While accepting that they relate to specific procedures, my mention of SIDs and STARs was not meant to provoke a side discussion on which airlines/airports specifically had them. Rather it was to imply IN GENERAL that at present most flights into/out of BHD are over Belfast Lough, i.e. 22 in/04 out. My intention was to stir debate on whether tighter controls over those arrivals and departures, whereby fines would be imposed if they were NOT used more often, would help placate the objectors. I also hoped discussion would be started on whether the arrival/departure procedures at the moment could be enhanced in line with an increased cap, with greater emphasis being placed on departure plans more closely based on the particular aircraft's ability to use it's performance characteristics to reduce environmental impact (mostly noise). In other words - is there room for improvement over what we've got in place at present?

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Dee747, you are obviously well informed on the subject of BHD - however, as my initial post suggested, there is little doubt that there are other forces at work here. In fact, it is apparent that the delay is more down to political manoeuvering than environmental concerns. An acquaintance who is closely connected to the decision makers has told me that extreme pressure is being brought to bear by certain politicians acting in "the best interests" of a certain competitor - apparently, this entity is becoming frantic in its' efforts to maintain its' monopolistic postion in the NI market and will leave no stone unturned to suppress any further growth at BHD. One can only hope that the "enquiry" process is not dragged out unnecessarily simply to enable politicians to score brownie points.
Profile picture for user Dee747

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One can only hope that the "enquiry" process is not dragged out unnecessarily simply to enable politicians to score brownie points.
Agreed. The role of any public inquiry is to hear evidence from all interested parties, consider the facts, and make a best judgement for the benefit of the PUBLIC. In this case the public fall into two categories, both of whom have to be satisfied to a certain extent - the travelling public and the locals living in the periphery of the airport. (I used to be one of the latter for many years, and my parents still are). The travelling public have, by and large, a choice of where they choose to fly from. For non-charter traffic they can have the option of the LOCOs at BFS and the regional services around the UK and Ireland offered by BHD (where flybe deem themselves to by a LOCO, though in my mind the jury's still out on that one). Choice will be made by several clearly defined factors - namely destination, availability of service, cost, not forgetting the ones the airline and airport operators can do little about - personal preference and convenience. Living in Donaghadee, I prefer to travel from BHD where possible. There's no point in me driving past the front of the airport in order to go another 20 miles up to BFS if I don't have to. By the same score someone living in Ballymena won't want to come down to east Belfast when BFS is much closer for them. That being the case those trying to muscle in and prevent either of us from implementing our preferred choice should be resisted at every opportunity. While I could say I'd love to see the likes of Easyjet flying from BHD because it would suit me, what impact would that have on our friend in Ballymena? Northern Ireland NEEDS both airports, and if they both have the opportunity under the Govt's 2002 "Future Devlopment of Air Transport in the UK" to organically grow, then we should encourage that for the good of us all in the wee six counties. Don't forget - planes don't just leave your local airport, they bring passengers in too, and they could be the ones about to spend lots of money as tourists or mega-million pound industry investors. Let's make them all welcome at facilities which make us proud of our aviation heritage and our ability to look progressively forward.
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Don't forget - planes don't just leave your local airport, they bring passengers in too, and they could be the ones about to spend lots of money as tourists or mega-million pound industry investors. Let's make them all welcome at facilities which make us proud of our aviation heritage and our ability to look progressively forward..
Agreed as it was quoted in March when opposition to the Airport was relit for the media to report (the crash in playing fields sparked this), that Belfast City Airport is the biggest single employer within that area of East Belfast. You also emphasised that it would be the relevent public who the meeting is aimed at. I fit in both your classifications as i like up the Parkway from EGAC and there is a large element of noise pollution, which could be easily avoided by extending the runway. People in East Belfast have long been under the illusion (enforced by Politians Scare Mongering) that increasing any aspect of the airport will cause greater problems. At no time has anyone who knows about Aviation told them of bonuses to THEIR health (noise pollution etc) that could be gotten through expansion of the runway. I will definetly be going to the meetings as a member of the public and also in relation to something else but both of the reasons for my precence will have the same stance - expansion is good. Will be interesting to see where the place for the meeting is picked as if it is within East Belfast there will be a mass of people, and typical of Northern Ireland, it will become too heated and get no where. Hold it at the Airport (in Conferance Facilities) and people will claim that makes the proceedings bias. I think one of the central belfast hotels will be the best locations (Europa, Hilton etc) as this will mean only the people dedicated to the cause from the residents side (i.e. no hecklers hopefully) and the EGAC representatives. For the purpose of this "East Belfast" includes Holywood.

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For those that are interested, dates have been announced for the Examination in Public - the downloads particularly the letters from concerned parties are worth a read if only for amusement value! www.bcaagreementeippanel.com Worth noting that the final report to the DOE will not be until mid August - by the time they deliberate in their usual fashion, it will be well into 2007 before a decision is forthcoming - one can only imagine the frustation being felt at BHD management!