Cllr: “It’s do or die for Waterford Airport”

City & County Councillor Eddie Mulligan (FF) has appealed to Waterford’s Government representatives to use their influence to make Waterford Airport’s ‘last throw of the dice’ as he put it, a punt worth taking.“Back in March, I warned that the future of Waterford Airport was in severe jeopardy with Transport Minister Shane Ross requiring an economic viability report for future funding,” said Cllr Mulligan. “This unseen report is now on the Minister’s desk but this time it is accompanied by a substantial and well publicised business case for a €12 million and long-needed runway extension with investors providing €5m, Local Authorities €2m and €5m match funding requested from Government.”
Citing Minster John Halligan’s “close friendship” with Minister Ross, in addition to Deputy John Deasy’s influence, Cllr Mulligan said both TDS should be doing “everything in their power” to deliver the Government funding needed.

A planning application for the long-awaited runway extension at Waterford Airport was recently submitted.

A planning application for the long-awaited runway extension at Waterford Airport was recently submitted.

“All they need to do is highlight the Government’s own words from the National Planning Framework,” said Cllr Mulligan. “It’s all there in black and white.”
Page 40 of the Project Ireland (the National Planning Framework) states that Regional opportunities to leverage International growth are to be prioritised.
Referencing Waterford, on page 52, the NDP acknowledges that Waterford City is served by a Regional Airport geographically close to EU Trading partners and will be important in Ireland’s response to Brexit. This point is further endorsed on page 142 of the NDP where regional airports are acknowledged as a key infrastructure for both national and international regional development.
“This is a no brainer for Minister Halligan so I have to trust that he’s about to get this deal sealed for us,” Cllr Mulligan continued.
“It was after all one of his conditions when he accepted his role in Government,” Cllr Mulligan said.

In a pointed comment directed towards the West Waterford-based Fine Gael TD, Eddie Mulligan contended: “As for the enigmatic Mr Deasy, maybe he’s going to surprise us all and confirm from his new ‘constituency’ in the United States that he has secured the funding and a lucrative American Airline to be the first to use the new runway.”
Waterford Airport served 83,000 passengers per year on average between 2003 and 2013, during which time, operators repeatedly claimed that that a runway extension was vital when came to secure jet propelled aircraft movements from and to Killowen. It’s been suggested that such a development (for which a planning application was recently lodged) would give the airport an estimated capacity of between 300,000 and 500,000 passenger journeys annually.

For full story see The Munster Express newspaper or
subscribe to our Electronic edition.

Leave a Comment