The owner and operator of Belfast International has announced plans to invest £100 million in the airport over the next five years.

VINCI Airports said that the investment would enhance the airport’s operational and environmental efficiency, with work already underway to construct a new £25 million security building next to the existing terminal.

The new facility is scheduled to open by summer 2024, and will have the required new generation CT scanners meaning passengers will no longer need to remove liquids of electronics from their luggage.

Existing terminal facilities are also set to be revamped, with an improved airside departures area with additional gates and seating, new catering and retail outlets, and an extended immigration area.

Finally VINCI confirmed that a 26 MWp solar farm is to be built on the airport site, which it said will generate 22.4 GWh of electricity and save 12,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

The project is one of several similar investment plans currently underway at UK airports, including the construction of a £50 million security screening hall at Birmingham airport, and a £100 million regeneration of Leeds Bradford.

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Commenting on the news Graham Keddie, managing director at Belfast International airport, said:

“VINCI Airports’s commitment to Northern Ireland has been unwavering and their determination to invest such an amount demonstrates the belief they have in the airport, it’s team and potential for future growth.

“As we mark our 60th anniversary at the end of this month, today’s announcement sets out a clear vision of how we intend to provide a long-term strategic vision for the Airport, our passengers, and the wider region.”