It was interesting to hear the head man in Aer Rianta and Dublin declare on Newstalk this past week that Dublin Airport is at full capacity.Dublin can no longer take new airlines from early morning to early evening peak times, only later times are possible outside of peak times.This must create opportunity for the likes of Waterford Airport. Cork Airport is also doing well and as they said at a business event in Cork they are the fastest growing airport in Ireland.Given these circumstances the time is right for the investment in Waterford Airport.
There is some delay on a land acquisition but otherwise it is all systems go, if the planning application can be approved.Now that Brexit is on the back burner for a while, and normal trade with the UK will continue, the time must be right.Private finance is there too and also local authority money from south east counties is there too, to fulfil the requirement of a longer runway and bring in jets.The last scheduled service for Waterford Airport was in June 2016.Some national papers are giving out about funding, even though Dublin is full, hotel prices are expensive and alternatives are needed.
The country is almost becoming a city state like Singapore with so much happening in the capital time to spread the resources to the provinces.Waterford Airport can deliver both a passenger and freight service for the south east.With regard to air freight it could be a good option to use it for products for onward deliver to outside the south east.Given the congestion of Dublin, the air freight could also be a strong to move on the Waterford Airport investment. We would welcome more action on this matter on behalf of Government and the Department now that the summer holidays are over, plans can be advanced.
The developers in the North Quays have indicated that the Airport is very important as have tourism interests too.Industry also see connectivity as critical also to get to main hubs for flights in the UK, whether it be London, Manchester or Birmingham as was possible before.Engineers doing jobs, businessmen meeting in London and elsewhere found it very useful.Some are even part commuting to London for work weekly and were the regular back bone of the service in the past, so there is a demand.
It also puts Waterford and the south east more on the map in terms of profile and for the IDA will assist in bringing investment to the south east as would the new technological university. Waterford Minister of State, John Halligan, has put much work into the airport along with Transport Minister Shane Ross, time now for implementation of the project.