Belfast City Airport - History | About Us | Belfast City Airport

Understanding the history and background of an organisation is important in order to appreciate how far the company has come to today.

Belfast City Airport has a rich and interesting background, dating right back to World War II.

Here are a few key dates through the history of Belfast City Airport.

  • Belfast City Airport was originally named 'Belfast Harbour Airport'
  • Belfast Harbour Airport was opened on 16th March, 1938 by Mrs Anne Chamberlain, the wife of then British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. The inaugural flight was to Glasgow, Scotland
  • Throughout the war, Harbour Airport (or RAF Belfast as it was known) was home to the development and deployment of many famous aircraft including the legendary Shorts Sunderland flying boat
  • In 1952, the runway was extended to its present 6000ft, requiring more than 500,000 of filling due the nature of the reclaimed land its built on
  • On 6th April 1960, Belfast City Airport was the setting of the maiden flight by the world's first vertical take-off and landing jet (The SC1), a forerunner to the Harrier 'JumpJet'
  • The terminal building comprised of converted sheds and a Nissen wartime hut in 1983 and baggage handling was operated by the Fire Service
  • In 1995, Belfast City Airport played host to then US President Bill Clinton
  • The continual development of facilities at Belfast City Airport since 1983 culminated in the construction of a completely new terminal which was officially opened on June 3rd, 2001
  • In 2003, Belfast City Airport ownership was passed to the Ferrovial Group who had headquarters in Madrid and a huge interest in construction and airports throughout the world
  • Belfast City Airport was re-named 'George Best Belfast City Airport' on 22nd May, 2006 to commemorate the life of International footballing legend, George Best who was born and grew up close to the airport
  • George Best Belfast City Airport was awarded the private sector 'Gold Award of Excellence' at the Northern Ireland Quality Awards in February 2007
  • In May 2007, Belfast City Airport was presented with the 'Environmental Accessibility and Customer Service Award' at the O2 Ability Awards
  • Belfast City Airport was sold to Fortis for £132.5 Million; almost four times what former owners the Ferrovial Group bought it for