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      Sunday 29 Nov 2009

      Phase 1 of a £6 million terminal enhancement at George Best Belfast City Airport has been completed ahead of schedule with today’s opening of a new departure lounge which will create 20 new jobs.
      From today those using the airport will depart from a new lounge on the first floor capable of handling 12,000 passengers per day, with new shops and restaurants opening as the retail space increases by 60%.

      Security search facilities will also be increased to significantly reduce queuing at peak times with works due for completion before Christmas. The BMI and flybe lounges have also been re-located and refurbished.

      Since June, the building contractor McLaughlin & Harvey has employed more than 60 tradesmen working 24 hours a day to ensure the project is complete by March 2010.

      Brian Ambrose Chief Executive of George Best Belfast City Airport said:

      “From today passengers will see a remarkable difference when departing the airport. This significant private investment will enhance the customer experience as we aim to stay ahead of the curve in accommodating increasing passenger numbers.

      “When the works are completed in March 2010, Belfast will have an airport the city can be proud of and the envy of many other cities.”

      Such is the scale of the internal works McLaughlin & Harvey has utilised the skills of a wide range of tradesmen including electricians, plumbers, joiners, engineers, steel erectors, concrete contractors, ceiling, kitchen and floor installers not to mention dozens of labours and demolition experts.

      Philip Cheevers, Managing Director of McLaughlin & Harvey said:

      “This is the first project undertaken by McLaughlin & Harvey for Belfast City Airport. A collaborative working relationship has been established with the airport management team and we look forward to continued success together on future projects.”

      “The airport enhancement project is the latest in a series of private and public sector projects we have been involved with and which has included supermarkets, schools, hospitals and ferry terminals.”

      “Projects such as Belfast City Airport have provided employment to the construction sector which is most welcome in the current economic climate.”

      Doug Pilkington, Project Director of BDP’s design team, commented:

      “As BDP’s fourth design commission for Belfast City Airport since the new terminal building in 2001, we are proud to be instrumental in the development of such a successful and popular airport.

      “In light of continuing heightened security, the pattern of use of airports has changed significantly, and as a consequence, passengers’ use of retail and catering facilities only begins properly on ‘airside’, after they pass through security. BDP’s reorganised terminal design acknowledges and addresses this change in trend, and will become an exemplar for domestic and business airports into the future.”