Belfast International Airport says it will place the removal of Air Passenger Duty (APD) and the need to invest in approach roads to the expanding airport at the heart of its Submission to the Draft Programme for Government (PfG).
Responding to the publication of the of the draft document, the airport welcomed the ‘new way of doing Government’ and hoped it would lead to positive benefits for local airports and Northern Ireland tourism.
Belfast International Airport Managing Director, Graham Keddie, said: “We’re told this Programme for Government is going to be different from what went before.
“I sincerely hope that that will be the case. There are big wins for the local administration and one that stands out is investment in our roads infrastructure.
“Belfast International Airport will cater for over five million passengers this year and next year will be even busier. That means increased traffic on roads that are out-dated and not fit for purpose.
“We need to see investment in a dual carriageway from the M2 along the A57, involving a by-pass at Templepatrick, and upgrading of the busy A26 from the Moira Roundabout.
“I would like to see this challenged addressed. Investment in infrastructure pays handsome dividends, as we can see from the road modernisation programme in the Republic of Ireland. The question is why the devolved administration at Stormont is taking so long to recognise this fact.
“We would also like to see movement on APD on short-haul flights. This lazy tax is anti-passenger, anti-airports, anti-competition and the sooner it’s devolved and then done away with, the better.
“The PfG gives us the chance to be far-sighted and courageous. My appeal to our politicians is to grasp the challenge and produce results that benefit the entire economy and region.”