Belfast International Airport (BFS)
History, Facts and Overview
(Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK)
During World War I, a site at Aldergrove, close to Belfast, was chosen to be an airfield and used constantly by the RAF. In the mid-1930s, a route was established to Glasgow and the airfield became the country's first civilian airport.
After World War II, Belfast's Aldergrove Airport shared much of its traffic with the Nutts Corner airfield in nearby County Antrim. The mid-1960s saw Aldergrove being inaugurated as the city's civil airport and complete with extended runways, Belfast Airport began serving large jet passenger planes, with routes to New York.
By the 1970s and now handling over one million passengers per year, Belfast Airport was expanded at the cost of more than £3 million. Soon after, new services began to destinations in Canada and Europe. In 1983, the airport officially became known as Belfast International Airport (BFS) and the next two decades saw a new Aviation Terminal and cargo centre, privatisation and the arrival of eastJet as a major airline.
Facilities at Belfast International Airport (BFS) are excellent, with two foreign exchange booths and five ATMs, while postal facilities, baby changing rooms and a children's play area complete with video arcade are also onsite. There is a good supply of shops and restaurants at the airport, including many familiar brands, such as Les Boutiques, Dixons Tax Free and Boots the Chemist. For last-minute gifts and souvenirs at Belfast Airport, pay a visit to the Taste of Ulster, while for newspapers and magazines, there are four different outlets of World News.
A food court is also located within Belfast International Airport, together with a couple of bars. Popular eateries include the Café Paul Rankin in departures, Delice de France in the main arrivals hall, the Food Village next to the boarding card desks, and Starbucks in the departures lounge.
Those flying out of Belfast and needing business services can visit the airport's Business Lounge, which is directly associated with the Bank of Ireland and comes complete with Internet access points. Refreshments are also available free of charge and some of the bigger airlines offer business lounges for their business-class customers.