McCrea calls for government to protect future of Belfast International Airport
SOUTH Antrim MP William McCrea has called on the government to protect the future of Belfast International Airport.
Speaking in the House of Commons last week, Mr McCrea said it was important that the International Airport maintained its link with Heathrow.
Foreign Secretary William Hague who was standing in for the Prime Minister said both Belfast airports were important to the local economy.
“The Belfast International air link into Heathrow is an invaluable asset to the economy of Northern Ireland,” Mr McCrea said.
He added: “There are deep concerns, however, that this link is at risk, because the landing slots are allocated to carriers rather than to regional airports.
“Will the Government urgently publish an aviation strategy that ensures our international airport maintains its link with Heathrow?”
Mr Hague said: “The hon. Gentleman is quite right that the London to Belfast link is important to the economy. There are currently more than 18,000 flights a year between the two Belfast airports and the five main London airports.”
Meanwhile, South Antrim MLA Trevor Clarke has welcomed the news that Easyjet is to add extra flights to a number of its routes from Belfast International Airport from October of this year.
Mr Clarke has already stated his disappointment that Aer Lingus are rumoured to be moving all their flights to Belfast City Airport.
“I am very happy that Easyjet are committed to increasing the volume of flights from the International Airport,” Mr Clarke said.
He added: “Recent events such as the Aer Lingus move away from the International, and statements released suggesting there should be one airport facility for Belfast, possibly not at the current International site, have been unnecessary and unhelpful.
“The International Airport clearly has the facilities and infrastructure to deal with more air traffic and more routes, along with its advantages of being centrally located for the whole Province and no issues with disruption to residents and their property.
“Easjet’s decision to increase flights on several routes only goes to prove that the International Airport has the capacity to deal with more air traffic and demonstrates that it is the facility most capable of doing so in Northern Ireland.
“I am aware that extra flights will be added to the Edinburgh, Manchester, Gatwick, Southend, Stansted and Louton routes, to come into effect on October 28.
“This will be advantageous to business travellers, of which there are many in South Antrim, but it will also benefit economic growth within the constituency which is very welcome in the current climate.”
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Weather for Antrim
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 8 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North west