Belfast Telegraph

Probe call as not so good vibrations rumble on

by Natalie Irvine

Vibrations are the cause of house damage in the flight path area of east Belfast, and not low flying aircraft, management at George Best Belfast City airport have said.

Former Lord Mayor of Belfast UUP Councillor Jim Rodgers, along with fellow Councillor Ian Adamson, met with airport chiefs this week to discuss claims that tiles were being dislodged from residents’ homes.

“The city airport has contacted other airports to see if this problem is affecting them and it does seem to be that high levels of vibration are the cause of damage,” he said. “However, there is absolutely no evidence that aircraft are flying too low.

“Management at the airport have confirmed that they are assessing the situation but there is no timescale on this.”

He also said that the airport had received only one other complaint in the past 30 years similar to recent events — and that was 10 years ago.

Meanwhile, another frustrated east Belfast resident has contacted the Community Telegraph to tell us of damage to her property as a result, she alleges, of low flying aircraft heading to Belfast City Airport.

On Thursday, June 11, sometime between 10.30am and 11am, Donna Wilson of Harkness Parade, heard an aircraft flying over, but this time followed by another loud noise.

When she went to investigate she saw her window shutter had crashed to the floor.

“The plane must have been flying really low. It took the shutter clean off its hinges,” she said.

“One flew over our house at 10.30pm the other night when we were told they stop flying at 9.30pm. The airport says one thing but does another.”

The Green Party and Alliance have now called for an independent inquiry into health and safety matters relating to the airport, particularly in light of an alleged injury to one resident.

Green Party MLA Brian Wilson asked: “Can the airport tell us what were the findings following investigations into the previous two incidents. It’s time for the Civil Aviation Authority to investigate these claims.”

Alliance MP Naomi Long said she did not “believe an enquiry carried out by City Airport would be sufficiently independent”.

“We need to identify the precise cause of this damage in order that further incidents can be prevented. I hope that the Civil Aviation Authority will engage fully to ensure answers are provided.”

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