George Best Belfast City Airport

We provide Air Traffic Control (ATC) services at 13 UK airports. At George Best Belfast City Airport we provide tower, approach and engineering services.

Tower Services

This is an ATC service provided for the airport and surrounding airspace. The controllers will look out of the tower windows, as well as at the ATC equipment, to give aircraft clearance to taxi, take-off and land.


This is a radar-based control service located in the lower part of the tower. Incoming aircraft are managed from approximately 40 miles away from the aerodrome, generally under 10,000ft.


An engineering team, based at the airport, are responsible for maintaining air traffic control services, such as radar and the Instrument Landing System (ILS).

The Operation: 2019

The current tower opened in 1994 and NATS has been providing an ATC service since 2016.

  • Flights: 35,382 (-2% on 2018)
  • Passengers: 2.45m (-2% on 2018)
  • Busiest ranking: 30th—UK’s busiest airport (flights)

Annual flight movements (historical)



Belfast City Airport was re-named ‘George Best Belfast City Airport’ in 2006 to commemorative the life of footballer, George Best who was born and grew up close to the airport.

  • Height of tower: 13m
  • 1 Runway: 1,829m x 45m

The Airport

The airport is currently investing £110m in improvements to the terminal, road infrastructure and airside area.

  • Height of tower: 65.5m
  • Runway: 2,160m x 46m

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