The future of Waterford Airport could be in renewed jeopardy following December’s anticipated ‘slash and burn’ budget.

The operational subvention paid to the regional airport has been cut from almost €1.494m last year to just under €605,000 in 2010 – and if anything there’s likely to be less not more available next year.

Fine Gael spokesperson Simon Coveney fears unless there’s additional funding forthcoming Waterford Airport – which is excluded from PSO (internal flights) subsidies – could be forced out of business.

Local airport bosses are already hoping its sole carrier Aer Arann can emerge from examinership with the help of fresh investment.

However, Transport Minister Noel Dempsey wasn’t giving the Killowen-based airport board much solace in the Dáil last Wednesday when asked how he could ‘expect it to survive’ on the basis of a 50%-plus subvention decrease.

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