Committee take further evidence on air strategy for Northern Ireland

03 May 2012

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee will hold the second evidence session of its inquiry into an air transport strategy for Northern Ireland on Wednesday 16 May

House of Commons, Committee Room 5, Palace of Wesminster



  • Nigel Smyth, Director, CBI Northern Ireland
  • Matt Sheldon, Senior Policy Advisor, Infrastructure, CBI Northern Ireland


  • Luke Pollard, Head of Public Affairs, ABTA
  • Doreen McKenzie, Proprietor, Knock Travel (ABTA member)

The Committee is inquiring into:

  • the implications of current air links for Northern Ireland, specifically the  economy;
  • regional and international connectivity;
  • the  lack of public transport links to, and between, Belfast International, Belfast City and City of Derry airports;
  • the implications for Northern Ireland of the Civil Aviation Bill; 
  • the implications of the proposed takeover of BMI by IAG; and
    tax policy.

Information released by the NI Chamber of Commerce and BAA on 14 February 2012 stated that:

  • One in ten jobs in Northern Ireland depend on foreign investment, and half of those companies can only reach their home market through a hub airport;
  • Aviation supports £1bn of exports from Northern Ireland;
    Foreign tourists spend £195m a year in Northern Ireland and account for 360,000 visits – 150,000 of whom arrive by air; and
  • Northern Ireland benefits directly from having a global hub in Britain, with Heathrow directly supporting 1,000 tourism jobs and 900 airport jobs in Northern Ireland.

Image: iStockphoto

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