Blind Fly System For North's City Airport

Just days after George Best Belfast City Airport had been experiencing problems due to low cloud - with most flights not operating on Tuesday morning - or having to be either diverted or delayed, a 'blind flying' system is being investigated.

City Airport executives have revealed plans to install a £500,000 electronic guiding system to help planes land during such poor visibility.

Just after more than a dozen flight cancellations hit around 12,000 passengers' plans due to the low-lying cloud, it emerged that the runways still don't have an Instrument Landing System (ILS) as is the case in larger facilities, such as Belfast International Airport.

This is designed to allow planes to land during bad weather as otherwise, pilots use visual flight rules when flying in and out of the airport.

It is understood it will cost more than half a million pounds to install an ILS at George Best Belfast City Airport.

A spokesman from the airport told the Belfast Telegraph there were plans to install the guiding system on the runway and that it would cost "in excess of half a million pounds".

The news also comes just days after allegations that low-flying aircraft had again damaged local homes near the runway.

A flight into Belfast City Airport damaged a roof, Dr Liz Fawcett, Chair of the Airport Watch Steering Group claimed on Wednesday.

"It appears that we now have a further incident in which a low-flying aircraft was responsible for dislodging roof tiles in east Belfast, and that, on this occasion, a man was unfortunately injured.

"This is the second such incident in this area within the past few days, and the third within the past nine months," she said, calling on the Environment Minister, Edwin Poots, to insist – with immediate effect - that the airport does not allow aircraft to fly so low over houses in this area and to bring in the Civil Aviation Authority to carry out a thorough review of safety.

See: City Airport Problems

See: Slates Tumble As Plane Lands


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