Belfast Telegraph

Airport launches charm offensive

George Best Belfast City Airport is hosting a charm offensive to win over nearby residents.

Some members of the east Belfast community oppose efforts to expand the runway and have blamed low-flying planes for broken roof tiles and disrupted sleep.

Investigators recently said a plane was not responsible for damaging the roof of a neighbouring house.

The airport is hosting two community information days later this month.

A spokeswoman for the airport's community fund said: "So many people have already benefited from the community fund and it's important groups come to talk to us to find out what we can do for them. We also welcome those who want to talk about issues including the proposed runway, the environment or anything to do with our operations."

Since it was established last year the fund has helped local people, including children with autism at Helping Hands Community Group in Tullycarnet and young people with Down's Syndrome at Cregagh Diamontes Dance Group.

It has funded a pantomime trip for Adoption UK (NI), bought new tracksuits for Castlereagh Young Footballers and new equipment for disabled children to enjoy safe horse riding.

The fund also supports the airport's adopted primary schools, St Joseph's and Victoria Park, whose pupils have enjoyed working with Camerata Ireland and the writers of the George Best musical Dancing Shoes. Priory College's fundraising efforts for Haiti were supported earlier this year with a donation of £5,000.

A public inquiry into the proposed runway extension at George Best Belfast City Airport is to be delayed amid a dispute over a noise pollution report submitted by the airport.

The airport wants to extend the north-east end of the runway by 590 metres while retracting 120 metres from the south-west end. Some residents are opposed to the extension, fearing it will lead to bigger and noisier planes using the runway.

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