During recent months, I have been travelling regularly to Belfast for personal reasons. I usually fly from Gatwick to Belfast International, due to its proximity.
The airport that awaits me when I land in Belfast is nothing short of a disgrace. Although parts of it have been spruced up, the overall look of the airport is ancient.
With several exceptions, the services provided to customers are poor (unless you enjoy playing one-armed bandit gaming machines).
What a visitor to Ulster must think is beyond me. The exterior of the terminal (sic) building is just as bad - grey, depressing, unloved.
The owners no doubt make a tidy return for the least commitment. Transport to and from the airport is dismal - a pony and trap might be quicker.
This building summarises much of what holds Ulster back - an acceptance of the lowest common denominator. A belief that, if something works, it is okay. There is no desire to seek the best, to desire something better than average, to aspire to something better.
Northern Ireland provides a perfect laboratory for people to make a difference, to lead and set examples for others to aspire to.
They could start with this airport.