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Damning airport report

George Best Belfast City Airport has been called on to withdraw its runway extension plans following a damning report by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The environmental statement supporting the application to extend the runway by one-third has been slammed by a CAA report as having “significant deficiencies”.

And now campaign group Belfast City Airport Watch (BCAW) has called for the plans to be withdrawn.

The noise report submitted to Planning Service by the CAA said the evidence in the environmental statement was incomplete and advised caution in relying on it.

The report further questioned how the airport had worked out how large an area surrounding the site is affected by high noise levels, and expressed concerns over the possibility the existing planning agreement might be breached.

Liz Fawcett, from BCAW — an umbrella of local residents’ groups — said the group opposed the runway proposal because it believed “an extended runway would enable planes to carry larger loads of passengers and fuel, leading to heavier aircraft and greater levels of noise”.

But a spokesperson for the airport stated this would not be the case.

“We have repeatedly stated a runway extension will not result in larger aircraft using the airport.

“The CAA report is one of many documents from a range of stakeholders that will be evaluated by Planning Service and the minister as part of due planning process.

“The airport is still awaiting a decision on its application to extend its runway which will benefit the local community and wider economy.

“We invite anyone with concerns to contact us directly,” said the spokesperson.

Belfast Telegraph