In the Dáil last week, Deputy Halligan expressed his disappointment to Transport Minister Leo Varadkar that there had been no progress on the 150-metre extension which Government TDs had “made such a fanfare of announcing” almost one year ago.
Minister Varadkar confirmed to Deputy Halligan that the land purchase for the runway end safety areas, which his Department had pledged €400,000 in funding for, had been delayed.
The Minister said the CPO process had been referred for arbitration this August and expressed hope that the land purchase and necessary works would be undertaken later this year.
“In reality, we have been promised a runway extension for many years, by successive governments,” he said.
“In 2011, the current Government first pledged the €400,000 in funding and then froze that grant after Aer Arann’s decision to pull out of Waterford.
“This infrastructure, while limited, could be vital to Waterford Airport attracting a direct service to London, which was previously used by more than 80,000 passengers per year.
“The extension would also pave the way for additional expansion into the future to bring larger jet aircraft into Michelle Clancy reports Waterford, which can only be beneficial to the region.”
Deputy Halligan welcomed the promise from Minister Varadkar that his Department’s commitment to Waterford Airport remained strong.