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Belfast International Airport celebrates 50th anniversary with launch of new exhibition

Published: 28 October 2013

Belfast International Airport today, (Monday 28th October 2013), unveiled a special 50th anniversary exhibition in the landside departures area. The fascinating collection of photographs and airport memorabilia charts the history of the airport through the last 50 years.

The exhibition follows the international airport’s journey from its humble beginnings in October 1963, when it was simply known as Aldergrove and was opened by HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, to its position as Northern Ireland’s main airport connecting over 4million leisure and business passengers in the region to the world each year. 

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy joined airport management to celebrate the achievements of the airport. Special guests included Billy McAvoy from Templepatrick who originally worked at Nutts Corner Airport from 1956 and transitioned to the newly built Aldergrove in 1963.

Danny Kennedy said, ““I’m delighted to be here to help celebrate Belfast International Airport’s 50th birthday. The impressive photographic exhibition records some of the key moments in the first 50 years of its life, and shows just how important a role it plays in the economic life of Northern Ireland. The anniversary is an important milestone and I know there are exciting plans afoot to further develop under the new owners, Houston-based ADC & HAS Airports Worldwide. I want to wish the airport every good fortune and look forward to assisting it as it goes about building a more extensive route network, increasing passenger choice and attracting new carriers to the region”.

John Doran, Belfast International Airport managing director, said: “Belfast International Airport has a long and fascinating history and we are proud to celebrate our 50th anniversary with the launch of this special exhibition. I am delighted that, our passengers, staff and the local community will be able to view the exhibition as they travel through the airport.  The heritage of this airport, and the role it has played in the development of the region through the decades, is important and these exhibits provide an insight into how the aviation industry has progressed.”

He added: “Looking to the future, we have recently transitioned to new US owners; ADC & HAS Airports Worldwide and we look forward to working with them to continue to develop the airport for the benefit of the wider economy”

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