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Belfast International Airport

Volume 229: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what reports have been commissioned by the Northern Ireland Office concerning the viability of privatising Belfast international airport; if he will make them public; and if he will make a statement.

A feasibility study on the privatisation of Belfast International Airport was commissioned from Hambros Bank Ltd in 1991; its final report is confidential to Government and is not available publicly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he intends to take to ensure the full protection of current contractual agreements and working conditions for all employees at Belfast international airport on its transfer to private ownership; what changes there will be to contractual agreements or working conditions; and if he will make a statement.

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 will apply to the process of transferring Northern Ireland Airports Limited—NIAL—into private ownership. The employees of NIAL will therefore transfer to the successor company with the benefit of their terms and conditions of employment. On the sale of the shares of the successor company to private ownership employment contracts will be unaffected.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many firefighters are employed at Belfast international airport; under whose specific control they currently operate; under whose specific control the airport fire service will operate after privatisation; and if he will make a statement.

Fifty-six airport firefighters are employed at Belfast International Airport. They operate under the control of the airport company and that arrangement will continue after privatisation.