Naomi Long MP said: “I am very pleased at the Committee’s call to defer removing the cap on passenger numbers at the airport and their recommendation that it should be considered in conjunction with or after the runway extension.
“People have genuine concerns about noise levels and more passengers could mean more flights and noise which, combined with the runway extension, would represent an major change in the airport’s operation.
“I believe that the potential removal of the cap should be considered as part of or after the public inquiry on the runway extension proposal so that this issue can be examined in a comprehensive and strategic way.
“However, that public inquiry needs to proceed to conclusion in a timely way. I wrote to the Environment Minister express my concerns at the ongoing delay in relation to the public inquiry on the proposed runway extension, as I believe that the uncertainty is bad for both the airport and residents in the area. I have just received a letter from the Minister, assuring me that his officials will make every effort to progress this, which is welcome news.”