Airports open way for global trade
Katy Best, commercial and marketing director at George Best Belfast City Airport
Air access plays a crucial role in trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the world. North America is only a matter of hours away with a daily service to New York from Belfast.
However, it's the frequency of flights to and from London, but particularly Heathrow, that Northern Ireland really excels.
With 10 return flights daily to London Heathrow, from Belfast City, the world really is on our doorstep.
Serving over 190 destinations in 90 countries, companies wishing to have a presence in Northern Ireland are suddenly presented with access and opportunities via the Heathrow hub.
The plethora of global brands that have situated offices here is testament to this.
This international connectivity will continue to be crucial for the region's continued future growth.
John Doran, managing director of Belfast International Airport
Over the past few days, Belfast International has accommodated most of the world leaders attending the G8 in Fermanagh.
The G8 is the single most important event in the 50 years the International Airport has been in operation.
Just as the G8 is an opportunity to show the world what Northern Ireland has to offer, so too is it an occasion to promote the airport and its many strengths.
We are unique in the island of Ireland because of our cross-runways and we also have the space and the capability to accommodate some of the largest and most modern aircraft in the world.
This clearly demonstrates the importance of international connectivity and the role we perform in the wider economy. Without Belfast International Airport, access to the wider world would be a lot more difficult for people, and the region would be a lot less attractive for inward investors.