Belfast City Airport challenge to proceed with judicial review in June

1.4.2011 (Guardian)
 

belfast city airport
The decision to lift the cap on passenger numbers at the airport is being challenged

A legal challenge to the lifting of a cap on passenger numbers at Belfast City
Airport is to proceed to a full hearing, a High Court judge has ruled.

[Rival airport] Belfast International Airport was granted leave to seek a judicial review of the decision to remove the annual
seats for sale restrictions.

A residents’ group, Belfast City Airport Watch Ltd, has issued similar proceedings.

The decision on passenger numbers was announced by Edwin Poots in December.

The environment minister said he had decided to lift the limit of 2m seats a
year “after careful consideration”.

However, lawyers for the international airport claim the minister’s decision
was unlawful and failed to take into consideration environmental information.

A further ground of challenge centred on claims that the seats restriction was
removed without checking whether there was an effective noise control system and
an improved noise management system in place at Belfast City.

David McMillen, for the department of environment, insisted, however, that the
minister did consider the environmental impact.

He added that a statutory process involving consultation was carried out.

“But in fact the minister went further than that – he consulted with the other
interested parties,” Mr McMillen said.

A full hearing of the challenges brought by Belfast International and Belfast
City Airport Watch Ltd has been scheduled for three days in June.
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-12927270
 
 
 
 
see also
 
31.3.2011 (UTV)
 

Judicial review over air passenger cap


Full hearing over City Airport passenger cap
A legal challenge to the lifting of a cap on passenger numbers at George Best
Belfast City Airport is to proceed to a full hearing, a High Court judge has ruled.

 

The rival Belfast International Airport was granted leave to seek a judicial
review of the decision to remove the annual seats for sale restrictions.

A residents’ group, Belfast City Airport Watch Ltd, has also issued similar proceedings
against the move announced by Environment Minister Edwin Poots last December.

 

 

Both opponents want an order quashing the decision which lifts the limit of two
millions seats a year.

The cap on 48,000 annual flights at Belfast City is to remain in place.

Lawyers for BIA claim the Minister’s decision is unlawful and point out that
it has to abide by its own planning restrictions.

They also contend that he failed to take into consideration environmental information.

A further ground of challenge centred on claims that the seats restriction was
removed without checking whether there was an effective noise control system and
an improved noise management system in place at Belfast City.

Michael Humphries QC, for BIA, argued that a strong correlation exists between
the size of aircraft and noise emitted.

He claimed that bigger jet planes could replace some of the turboprop aircraft
that use Belfast City.

Mr Humphries, instructed by Carson McDowell Solicitors, told the court: “The
simple point is the removal of the seats for sale restriction gives an unrestricted
opportunity for slots occupied by very small aircraft to be used by very large
aircraft.”

David McMillen, for the Department, insisted however that the minister did consider
the environmental impact.

He added that a statutory process involving consultation was carried out.

“But in fact the minister went further than that – he consulted with the other
interested parties,” Mr McMillen said.

“He has gone way over and above what the statute requires.”

Mr Justice Treacy heard the application after another judge agreed to stand aside
to remove any concerns about apparent bias because of his involvement in related
proceedings before being appointed to the judiciary.

He granted leave to seek a judicial review on all points on the basis that any
arguable case had been advanced.

A full hearing of the challenges brought by BIA and Belfast City Airport Watch
Ltd has been pencilled in for three days in June.
 
http://www.u.tv/News/Judicial-review-over-City-Airport-passenger-cap/9f346a70-8a42-465f-80be-5df9b52dc412
Belfast City Airport Watch says it’s pleased that it’s been granted leave in
the High Court to legally challenge the Environment Minister’s decision to remove
the airport’s seats for sale limit.
http://www.belfastcityairportwatch.co.uk/category/latest-news/