Muir welcomes financial package for local airports

Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Andrew Muir has welcomed the announcement of a £5.7 million support package for Northern Ireland’s airports as the Coronavirus crisis continues.

The MLA for North Down described it as an “an important intervention” to help local airports as the pandemic continues.

He said: “I welcome this important intervention to ensure local Airports get through the current crisis and that key air routes are retained, after previously lobbying Infrastructure, Finance and Economy Ministers to come together and deliver such a package in conjunction with Department for Transport in London.

“I know from engagement with Belfast City Airport and City of Derry Airport Management they have been keen for this package to arrive, but will soon need assistance alongside Belfast International Airport to get Northern Ireland reconnected to rest of the UK and beyond once lockdown restrictions can be safely relaxed.

“The next step must therefore be swift development of plans to regain air connectivity, with action on Air Passenger Duty for all domestic flights, plus public service obligation and route development funding where it is proving difficult to secure Airlines to reconnect NI to other Airports, especially those previously serviced by flybe.

“The sight of planes in the sky cannot forever be a rare novelty, our economy and people need a plan to get us reconnected.”