Northern Ireland Affairs Committee begins air transport strategy inquiry

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Strong airport links are essential to help grow Northern Ireland's economy, according to the chairman of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

Senior figures from Northern Ireland's three main airports are to address the committee's inquiry on an air transport strategy for Northern Ireland, which begins at Stormont on Monday.

Issues being addressed by the inquiry include the lack of public transport links to and between the airports, and the implications of the takeover of BMI by British Airways' parent company IAG.

While the Belfast to Heathrow route is protected under the deal, about 100 staff employed by BMI at Belfast City Airport were told earlier this month that their jobs could be at risk.

Laurence Robertson said the committee of MPs would be hearing a diverse range of views.

"It really is very important that we secure these routes from Northern Ireland to London and the rest of the UK in terms of business and people's personal travel," he said.

"Since we got the committee up and running again after the election, we've looked at the economy, business issues, and we want to play our part in transforming the economy in Northern Ireland."

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