The Belfast City Airport has changed names many times, but it has remained in place for many years in different forms as a corporate field, a military field and finally as a commercial venture. Today it is officially known as the George Best Belfast City Airport. In 2006, it was re-named in memory of George Best, the late Manchester United footballer. The airport abbreviations are BHD or EGAC. The airport is adjacent to the Port of Belfast, and the shipyards loom large as the airport’s unlikely backdrop. The facility is located in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK. The airport serves from 2.2 million to 2.7 million passengers a year, according to the UK Civil Aviation Authority.
George Best Belfast City Airport
Airport Terminals & Parking
The airport needs only one commercial terminal. Before security, there is an area for ticketing and baggage handling. This area also includes a store, a coffee shop, an ATM machine, an Internet access zone, and a Bureau de Change. After security, there is a large departure lounge, several airline specific lounges, a bookstore, several eateries, and another Internet access zone. The kid’s play area is a favorite place for parents to relax while children work off some energy. Gate A is located by the airline lounges. Gates B and C are located together across the terminal from Gate A.
The airport has short term parking for drop offs and shorter trips. Long term parking is located on premises, but it may require a longer walk. The Fast Track and Executive parking must be booked in advance. These two areas provide the closest parking. In the arrival area, there is a car park kiosk where visitors can pay for their parking space. It is possible for drivers to pick up or drop off without parking, but the pause must be brief.
Belfast City Airport Stats
The airport must abide by noise abatement regulations, due to its proximity to residential neighborhoods. It cannot run flights 24 hours a day, and the number of flights are limited. Four airlines serve the airport, but only one has more than five regular destinations. The principle use of the airport is either domestic travel or seasonal vacation travel. About 1.1 million people utilize BHD to get to London every year. Other favorite short haul destinations are in Scotland, England or the smaller islands. There are few non-British destinations.
The Short Brothers/Bombardier Corporation and their aircraft manufacturing plant have shared the airport grounds for some 75 years. Other airport uses include flying instruction for jet pilots. The original airport was called Sydenham Airport, and it was actually founded by the Short Brothers Company in 1937. It was the main civilian airport before World War II. The Sydenham airfield was renamed HMS Gadwall and used by the Royal Navy. The field did not return to civilian use until the 1970s, when the Short Brothers/Bombardier Corporation once again took over its administration. Requests from the public were met with the addition of civilian flights at the airport in 1983. At that time, it was renamed Belfast Harbour Airport. In 2003 and again in 2008, the airport was sold to different private owners. Despite its growth, Belfast City Airport continues to be known for its scheduled routes within the United Kingdom.