Belfast International Airport commences major infrastructure upgrades following planning approval obtained by Gravis

19 October 2023

Gravis are delighted to see works commence on Belfast International Airport’s £100 million phased investment to upgrade a number of key facilities. We assisted our client in achieving planning permission for this project in 2021, which will deliver significant benefits for the tourism sector in Northern Ireland.

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Belfast International is Northern Ireland's main airport and the second-largest gateway on the island of Ireland, welcoming around 6 million passengers every year.

One of the key aspects of the multi-faceted development is a new security building to sit alongside the current terminal building. The UK Department for Transport had previously mandated that all major airports in the UK should install screening technology in their security facilities to eliminate the need for travellers to carry smaller capacity liquids and remove them, alongside electronic devices, when having their luggage checked. This new equipment at Belfast International will provide security staff with clear, three-dimensional images of luggage items and enhance operational efficiency, improving airport users' experience significantly in this regard. These facilities are due to be operational by summer 2024.

The £100 million phased investment also includes the development of additional departure gates, passenger seating and new retail outlets, all to be completed by the end of the decade. The major refurbishment will also modernise the airport's facade.

All of this innovation will be powered largely by clean energy from a new 26MW solar farm on the airport site, which stands to offset 12,500 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

Despite the outbreak of Covid-19 during the preparation of the planning application for this development, Gravis ensured that statutory Pre-Application Community Consultation (PACC) was carried out to a high standard through remote and online engagement as well as displaying information within the airport itself, meaning that local people, key stakeholders and those using the airport could view the proposed plans and provide feedback.

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