George Best Belfast City Airport in Northern Ireland has announced a £15m (US$21m) infrastructure investment that includes major upgrades to its departure lounge, central security area and hold baggage screening facilities.
The retail space in the departure lounge will be increased by 30%, with an expanded offering from World Duty Free and WH Smith. Food and beverage facilities will also be expanded by 25%, with a broader offering from restaurateur HMS Host, which operates existing facilities including the Bushmills Bar. Additionally, customer seating will be more than doubled, as will airside customer restroom facilities. The work is scheduled for completion by October 2018.
Brian Ambrose, chief executive of Belfast City Airport, said, “In keeping with our overall mission of delivering an airport experience that exceeds our customers’ expectations, Belfast City Airport is fully committed to continually improving the overall journey for our passengers. The £15m (US$21m) investment in our infrastructure is another major reinforcement of our commitment.
“The upgrading of our departure lounge and retail offering will provide greater choice and significantly enhance the experience for our core business and leisure passen gers as they travel through the airport. The strategic designs help future-proof the airport and we look forward to continuing what has been a successful period across many areas of our business.”
Councilor Sonia Copeland, Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast City Council, said, “Through regional growth strategies, such as the Belfast Agenda and the Local Development Plan, Belfast City Council remains focused on creating an ambitious and dynamic city for the 21st century that all our citizens can be proud of.
“Belfast City Airport is one of a range of stakeholders who have a key role to play in the ongoing growth of the city, and we warmly welcome the investment. We look forward to the works progressing and the enhanced experience that passengers will be able to enjoy.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said, “This investment is excellent news for Belfast and for tourism to Northern Ireland. As an island, direct, convenient and competitive air access is critical to delivering growth in inbound tourism and any improvement in the experience of our overseas visitors, including traveling through our airports, is very much welcomed.
“Tourism Ireland is committed to working with all of our airports and airline partners to maximize opportunities for new and existing flights, helping to deliver further growth in overseas visitor numbers.”