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Belfast City Airport
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Belfast has two airports. The one closest to the city, at only three miles away, is George Best Belfast City Airport, named after the famous footballer who called Belfast his hometown. The airport can easily be accessed via the Sydenham Bypass Road. Hiring a car at the airport is possible and gives visitors the flexibility to explore Belfast's unique districts as well as destinations outside the city, such as the beautiful seaside town of Bangor or the picturesque Hillsborough village.
Who to Book With
Four car hire companies have offices at George Best Belfast City Airport: Avis, Hertz, Budget and National. Cars are available for hire on the spot but advance booking is recommended. Hire cars are retrieved and returned to the car hire parking area right next to the airport building.
Need to Know Essentials
You will need to show the following paperwork at car collection:
- National driver's licence (renter must have held the licence for at least two years)
- Credit card of the renter
- Identification (national ID or passport)
Seatbelts must be worn by all persons inside a vehicle in motion at all times. Police will apprehend those who violate this rule. Mobile phone use is strictly prohibited while driving. Speed limits must be followed: 30mph for built-up areas, 60mph for rural areas and 70mph for motorways. However, it is best to check signs as there are exceptions to the rules. Tolls are not levied on Northern Ireland motorways. Petrol is expensive here; so much so that locals sometimes pop over the border to the Republic of Ireland to fill up.
Located three miles from Belfast city centre, George Best Belfast City Airport can be accessed easily by car as it is conveniently located along the A2, on the Sydenham Bypass Road between Holywood and Belfast. Travellers using the M1 and the M2 motorways should follow the signs leading to the M3 to Sydenham Bypass Road. Buses, including deluxe buses, and taxis are available at the airport. Trains are available at the nearest station, at Sydenham.
The closest train station to the airport is Sydenham Station. The station can be accessed via a shuttle bus which picks up passengers at the taxi rank. Trains are operated by Translink NI Railways and run every 20 minutes from 06:00 to 23:00 on Monday through Saturday and hourly from 09:00 to 22:00 on Sunday. From Sydenham Station, trains go to Central and Victoria Street stations in Belfast. A ride from Sydenham to Belfast Central or Victoria Street costs around £1.80 (£0.90 for children).
The airport's taxi provider is Belfast City Airport Taxis. Taxis are available at the taxi rank outside the airport terminal. Cabs can seat five to six people and are metered. The base fare is £2.50 for one to four passengers.
George Best Belfast City Airport to Belfast city centre costs around £10.
There are two bus services which operate to and from the airport. Airport Express 600 has services from 05:45 and 21:25 departing every 20 minutes for Belfast Europa Bus Centre in downtown Belfast. A one-way fare costs £2.20. A deluxe coach service called. The Airporter runs 11 times a day to Belfast city centre (Hilton Hotel Belfast/Waterfront Hall) and Londonderry. A ride costs about £18. Number 3 Metrobus leaves Sydenham Railway Station every 10 minutes to City Hall from 06:00 and 19:00.
George Best Belfast City Airport only has one terminal building. In 2010, more than 2.7 million passengers passed through the airport's gates. The airport is an important facility for low-cost regional airline Flybe. It is an international airport with both scheduled and seasonal flights to and from continental Europe. Most flights, however, come from within the UK, with three airlines serving the London route. Aer Lingus and British Airways flies to London-Heathrow, while British Airways and Flybe fly to London-Gatwick.
There are four parking options at George Best Belfast City Airport. The short-stay parking area is close to the terminal building. Here, the first 10 minutes of parking is free. The first hour costs around £5. Using the long-stay parking area costs around £20 for the first 24 hours and up to £100 for two weeks. The closest parking area is the Fast Track parking area, which is ideal for business travellers. Parking here requires prior reservation. Finally, the Executive Parking Area is for frequent travellers and is paid on a yearly basis.
BT Openzone is the internet provider for George Best Belfast City Airport. Wireless LAN can be accessed by laptops, tablets and smart phones in the Departures lounge and at the Conference Centre. Four internet kiosks are also available at the Departures lounge for a fee.
There is an information desk to the right when entering the terminal building, across from the car hire counters. There is also a multilingual tourist information counter at the Arrivals area.
Customer Service: +44 28 909 9093
Persons with reduced mobility are recommended to contact their airline for assistance. Parking spaces for the disabled are available. Wheelchair-accessible taxis with priority pick up are also available. Toilets, lifts and other public facilities have been adapted for use by persons with reduced mobility.
Restaurants and Bars
Two restaurants can be found at the airport: O'Brien's Sandwich Bar and the Harvest Market. The cafés here are Costa Coffee and Expression by Lavazza. There is also the Bushmills Bar for those needing a few drinks before flying.
There are no VIP lounges but meeting rooms, conference rooms and other business facilities are available. These venues include AV equipment, catering and a secretary service.
Money and ATMs
ATMs are available throughout the terminal building. A Travelex bureau de change counter can be found on the ground floor near the Arrivals doorway.
The airport's Departures area has a few shops where passengers can get their retail fix. House of Ireland, World Duty Free and WHSmith are the main shops here.