Ulster Unionist Peer Lord Empey has today introduced a Bill in the House of Lords which would ensure that Her Majesty’s Government would have the power to ensure adequate access to the national hub of London Heathrow from regional airports in the interests of national air infrastructure.
Lord Empey said:
"For several years now I have been actively working in conjunction with my Party colleague Jim Nicholson MEP to ensure that Northern Ireland is not cut off from the national hub airport at Heathrow.
“The aviation business is a very volatile one and I want to put in place a long-term guarantee that there will be access for flights from Belfast to London Heathrow, given its importance to our future economic well-being.
“Having been successful in the ballot for Private Members Bills, I have therefore tabled one today which would amend the Airports Act 1986 and which would enable the Secretary of State to direct airport operators in the interests of national air infrastructure. One of the key matters to be taken into account would be ‘the need to ensure adequate services between hub and regional airports.’
“This is an extremely important issue for Northern Ireland plc and I look forward to the Second Reading which is due to be held towards the end of June.”