A Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) report recommends tough noise controls at the aptly named George Best Belfast City Airport as a condition as a contra for the removal of a 'seat sale capacity planning restriction' first set in 2004. A 2015 public inquiry into the airport's attempt to remove a cap on the number of seats (currently set at two million seats) it can sell each year on departing flights.
The Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) report has no objections, but suggests a beefed up noise control regime
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan wants views on the move by March, before making a decision.
Residents' groups in the surrounding areas have been opposing the idea, arguing it will mean many more flights and possibly bigger new generation aircraft.
The George Best Belfast City Airport said in a statement: "We welcome the recommendation by the Planning Appeals Commission to remove the seats for sale limit, which has been a long standing barrier to our business. We'll consider in greater ,the findings of the report and will submit our views to the department." Ironic really as Mr Best was quite a noisemaker in his own way, and one of our greatest footballers...
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