When set against the 2007 figures, passenger numbers at Waterford Airport rose by 24 per cent last year: that’s the most encouraging finding in the airport’s annual report.

In an upbeat statement, Airport Chairman Dan Browne said that a total of 144,000 availed of the services Aer Arann provided at Killowen last year, compared to the 116,000 figure attained in ’07.

Throwing non-scheduled private aircraft movements into the equation, Mr Browne was pleased to announce that total aircraft movements last year came to 30,000.

During 2008, several projects were carried out under the €27.8 million capital programme approved by the Government; with €5.5 million of that to be raised by the airport.

“Significant further work is planned, but is delayed until exchequer finances improve to allow it to proceed,” according to Mr Browne.

“The Board of Waterford Airport remains fully committed to the capital programme and see it as essential to the development of Waterford Airport and the role it is playing in the economic development of the South East region.”

With the upgraded Airport Road an unabashed success and the second Suir crossing soon to open, the Board believes that a further increase in passenger numbers is inevitable given the improvement in local infrastructure.