Ulster Unionist Peer Lord Empey’s Bill to guarantee connectivity between Belfast and the national hub airport of Heathrow has passed its latest stages unopposed in the House of Lords this morning.
Lord Empey said:
“I very much welcome the fact that my Airports Amendment Bill passed its Committee and Report stages unopposed in the House of Lords this morning and now moves to Third Reading stage.
“The main purpose of my Bill is to provide the Government with the necessary powers to be able to intervene to protect regional access to the national hub airport of Heathrow and to prevent airlines seeking to transfer landing slots there to more profitable routes.
“My Bill would not just affect Northern Ireland’s vital link to Heathrow but would also protect other regional routes from Scotland and the north of England.
“There is of course plenty of connectivity between Northern Ireland and the London area but such is the importance of guaranteed access from Belfast to Heathrow, our main national hub airport, that I believe it needs to be enshrined in legislation.
“I am keen that we act now whilst we still have connectivity between Belfast and Heathrow rather than wait until something goes wrong. I am therefore pursuing this cause at both Westminster and in Brussels, given that European Regulations also have a major bearing on this important issue.”