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Northern Ireland airport used for American military aircraft landing site - Pentagon to consider what information to release

Published 07/10/2016

One of the planes over the airport. Pic BBC Stephen Nolan
One of the planes over the airport. Pic BBC Stephen Nolan
One of the planes at the airport. Pic BBC Stephen Nolan

Belfast International Airport is being used as a landing site for American military aircraft.

The Aldergrove airport confirmed that it was being used to the BBC Stephen Nolan show, but would not disclose the nature of the flights.

However, when the US military was asked what was going on, it said the Pentagon - the headquarters of the US Department of Defense - would have to consider what information was released.

 

One man who photographed the planes said the flights were almost a daily occurrence.

Sinn Fein has raised concerns over the operations.

MLA for South Antrim, Declan Kearney said: "A number of local people living in the vicinity of the Airport have raised concerns with my office regarding the the on-going US military flights entering at and leaving Belfast International Airport.

“Questions must be answered by Belfast International Airport as to the purpose of these now regular flights.

“Given the on-going humanitarian crises in Syria and through out the Middle East and the role of the US Airforce as a protagonist in these conflicts, it is essential that local airspace is not being misused to facilitate and exacerbate these terrible events.

“In recent years another Irish airport at Shannon has been used for illegal rendition flights from the Middle East to Guantanamo Bay.

“It is imperative that local airspace and the International Airport itself are not now used for similar reasons. I will be contacting airport management to seek answers.

“Sinn Fein will oppose all attempts to use the north, or anywhere else on this island as a stepping stone for the furtherance of conflict and war.”

The airport confirmed to the BBC that military flights were landing but due to "security considerations" it was unable to give any further information.

And when The Stephen Nolan show contacted the US military in regard to what was happening they were told the Pentagon would consider the request.

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