Neighbours are outraged by word that a cap on passenger numbers at the airport may be dropped.

Airport news for Travel,Belfast on 07/06/2010.

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Local residents living close to George Best City Airport are outraged by reports that the government may consider dropping an annual limit on the number of passengers allowed through the airport. They voiced concerns about increased noise problems if the existing limit on passenger numbers is dropped. They were reacting after Environment Minister Edwin Poots said he will consider throwing out the current restriction that allows no more than two million passenger seats to be sold each year.

Following the government announcement, the Belfast City Watch (BCW), a group that represents many of the families living under the airport’s flightpath, warned such a move would have serious consequences for locals who already have to live with noise from existing flights. Though the existing limit of 48,000 flights per year will remain in place, locals are worried that removing the passenger limit could lead to increased use of larger, noisier aircraft.

Many local residents are already trying to oppose plans to lengthen the airport’s runway. They say the existing passenger limit means a combination of small and large aircraft fly in and out of the airport. They fear that removing the passenger limit would see some of those smaller planes replaced by planes carrying more passengers, and these larger craft would inevitably lead to higher noise levels.

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