Proposed caps on Belfast City Airport’s passenger numbers were discussed on Tuesday at Stormont.
As the airport seeks to extend its northeast runway, the Environment Committee will hear from airport officials and residents’ groups on the issue. Each year, the airport cannot sell more than two millions seats under current regulations.
In June, the environment minister announced a review of the effect on the local community of removing the passenger number limitations. After a delay to the public inquiry for the proposed scheme in August, talks will resume.
The airport has proposed an extension of its northeast runway of 590m, while it will retract 120m at the southwest end.
The airport wants to extend the north east end of the runway by 590m while retracting 120m from the south west. The airport said that the move will create 100 jobs and garner an additional £120m in tourism revenue.
However, residents that oppose the move said that it could lead to more noise pollution from the airport. So far, the local authority has received 1,486 objection letters and petitions with nearly 500 signatures.
Chair for Belfast City Airport Watch Steering Group, Dr Liz Fawcett said that the group commends the airport for opening up dialogue with local residents, but said that the group still maintains that the extension will not improve quality of life for residents already suffering from aircraft noise. She added that Environment Minister Edwin Poots was responsible for tackling such issues and called on him to say no to expansion proposals.