Environmental management is a key focus for George Best Belfast City Airport (GBBCA)

Energy Consumption and Climate Change

GBBCA recognises the contribution that aviation can make to climate change and takes its responsibility for reducing its carbon footprint seriously. Carbon emissions typically result from aircraft movements in the air and on the ground; the operation of ground support vehicles; and energy use in airport buildings.

Our Energy and Carbon Policy

GBBCA seeks to minimise its carbon footprint and operating costs through the efficient use of energy. Furthermore, GBBCA seeks to influence all business partners operating on-site to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption.


• Renewable energy: GBBCA obtains 100% of its electricity from renewable sources.

Installation of Energy Saving Devices: we have made significant investments to install energy saving devices in the terminal such as low energy lighting and motion sensors in the terminal lighting as well as a Building Energy Management System to control and monitor the heating and cooling of the terminal building.  

LED Lighting: In 2014, we commenced the roll out of LED lighting in ground floor areas of the terminal and in 2018 upgraded our car parks and external lighting to LEDs.

• Energy Awareness: there is an ongoing energy awareness campaign for airport staff which involves the display of ‘switch it off’ posters and stickers and internal energy saving communications.

Water Consumption

GBBCA endeavours to minimise water consumption to reduce our environmental impact.


Water Minimisation: GBBCA has invested in water saving devices such as flow reduction kits and sensors in taps in public and staff restrooms.

• Metering and monitoring: we have invested in a metering and monitoring system which enables us to monitor the water consumption patterns of the main water users across the site and to identify leaks or inefficiencies.

Surface Water Quality

It is our policy to monitor water quality (surface run-off) and to work closely with employees, business partners and contractors to prevent water pollution and to have procedures in place for remedial action.

As GBBCA is engaged in activities such as aircraft de-icing and fire training which could potentially impact on water quality, the Airport holds discharge consents in respect of water discharged from the Airport to surface water and sewers. The surface water discharge points are monitored as part of a rigorous programme and monitoring reports are held for inspection by the regulatory authority.


Waste is produced from airport, administrative and retail operations.  Licensed waste carriers remove waste from the site in accordance with the most recent waste legislation.

Our Waste Policy

GBBCA endeavours to minimise waste to landfill through the encouragement of cost effective recycling and recharging landfill waste management costs to business partners, where applicable, to encourage greater recycling.


• Recycling facilities have been introduced for passengers, business partners and staff to recycle a range of waste materials onsite including paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, glass and food.

• We record and monitor waste management data to assess progress with our recycling scheme. In addition, we organise regular meetings with our business partners to promote the cost benefits of recycling and to give feedback on progress.

• We have focused our efforts in recent years on saving paper through, among other things, shifting many of our document control systems from paper to electronic format, moving towards paperless meetings, and the preparation of a paper saving guide for our employees.

                           Waste & Recycling

Air Quality

Local air quality may be affected by a number of aspects of the Airport’s operations including passenger and staff journeys to and from the Airport, the operation of ground support vehicles and equipment, and aircraft taxiing and holding on the apron.

Our Air Quality Policy

GBBCA will periodically monitor air quality, as required, and adopt appropriate strategies to ensure that local air quality standards and objectives are achieved.


• Fixed Electrical Ground Power: to minimise air quality pollution, GBBCA has Fixed Electrical Ground Power (FEGP) on all aircraft stands in front of the terminal.  FEGP reduces the need to use diesel powered mobile ground power units (GPUs) and the aircraft's auxiliary power units (APUs), both of which contribute to local air quality emissions.

• Electric vehicles: there are several electrically powered vehicles in the ground support fleet which help to reduce the Airport's impact on local air quality.


Our Transport Policy

It is our policy to provide a realistic choice of transport for all visitors and staff, within the framework of the Regional and Belfast Metropolitan Transport Plans. GBBCA is conscious that there are environmental consequences from those travelling to and from the Airport and we liaise with Translink and others to encourage the use of more sustainable transport modes.


With the growth of the Airport, the number of visitors and staff accessing the Airport has also grown. In response to this growth, GBBCA has developed a number of strategies to manage the surface access to the Airport:

• GBBCA has worked closely with Translink to encourage and support the development of a direct bus service between the Airport and Belfast city centre. This service currently operates up to every 30 minutes (at peak times). GBBCA also facilitates the operation of a direct bus service to Derry/Londonderry (The Airporter)

• GBBCA operates an on-demand courtesy bus service to/from the nearest rail station at Sydenham.

• Bicycle racks available in the short stay car park

As a 'strategic gateway' to the province, GBBCA has been closely involved in the development of the Belfast Metropolitan Transport Plan. Included within this plan are outline strategies to further encourage the use of public transport by those accessing Belfast along the North Down/A2 corridor. GBBCA welcomes these proposals and is ready to engage with Translink and others to pursue these opportunities. GBBCA will continue to work closely with government to increase the use of public transport.