• Belfast City Airport 500X367
    Belfast City Airport
    UK / Infrastructure

    Transport & logistics


    BCA is a small regional airport in Belfast, Northern Ireland, located ten minutes by car from Belfast city centre In 2016 it served 2.7m inbound and outbound passengers. Its focus is domestic routes operated by scheduled carriers, serving business as well as leisure customers.

    Currently four scheduled carriers (Flybe, British Airways, Aer Lingus and Eastern Airways) serve 17 domestic routes, including London Heathrow and London City. A small part of BCA’s traffic is international: Aer Lingus currently serves four sun routes (although this is due to drop to two) over the summer months; KLM serves Amsterdam; and Icelandair flies to Reykjavik.

    Aeronautical revenues (airport charges) are not subject to economic regulation. Commercial revenues are generated principally from car parking, royalties on retail, food and beverage, car hire spend, rental income (lounges and offices) and advertising space.

    Over 1,000 people are employed on the site, but only c.70 of those are employed by BCA. Many activities are outsourced (e.g. security, facilities management, air traffic control); and others are provided by third parties on-site (e.g. retail, food and beverage operations and ground handling). Fire services, maintenance, advertising, car parking and administration / management are the main activities that remain in-house.

    Investment rationale

    • BCA is critical infrastructure in Northern Ireland for people needing to travel between Belfast and the UK mainland
    • Its location close to the city centre makes it the airport of choice for a significant part of the Northern Ireland air transport market: in particular for inbound business and leisure travel as well as for outbound travel for those based in, or close to, Belfast
    • Opportunities exist to grow commercial revenues

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc.

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