Northern Ireland

Roof damage plane not low-flying

Belfast City Airport
Image caption The CAA and Belfast City Airport investigated the incident

A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) report into claims of a low flying plane in Belfast has found it was at the correct altitude.

The report followed claims that a plane had caused damage to roofs in Parkgate Drive, East Belfast on 8 June 2010.

The CAA said it had not been possible to to conclude the reason for the damaged roofs.

"The flight profile was examined by an investigator and no anomalies have been identified," a statement said.

"The data available indicates the aircraft was flying the correct flight path and was at the appropriate altitude."

Mark Beattie, Operations Director at Belfast City Airport, said: "This report is consistent with the findings of our own internal investigation and the data obtained from our noise and track monitoring system which accurately plots the height and trajectory of arriving and departing aircraft.

"While the CAA investigation could not determine the cause of the dislodgement of slates, the airport immediately carried out full repairs to the property as a gesture of goodwill."

Dr Liz Fawcett, Chair of the Belfast City Airport Watch (BCAW) Steering Group, said the report's conclusions only increased residents' concerns about safety.

"The CAA report does not rule out the possibility that the roof tiles were blown off by a plane," she said, "nor does it advance any alternative theory as to the cause of this incident.

"If the aircraft in question was flying at the correct height at the time, that is of considerable concern, because it suggests similar incidents could easily happen in the Parkgate area again.

The CAA spokesperson said it was very unusual for them to receive reports of roof damage due to low flying aircraft.

"This is one of only two to have ever been reported to the CAA Safety Data Department."

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