Saturday, 23rd June 2018
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Sinn Fein TD for Waterford Deputy David Cullinane has learned that state funding for Waterford Airport is under serious threat due to no commercial flights being in operation.

The Minister for Transport has previously withheld additional financial support to the Airport agreed as part of the Programme for Government as it was contingent on the operation of commercial flights.

Speaking today Deputy Cullinane said "It is my understanding that future state funding for Waterford Airport is under serious threat. The Airport has been without commercial flights since VLM ceased operations in 2016. Efforts to obtain a new carrier are ongoing. The status of Air Southeast announced this year is unclear.

"The Minister for Transport Shane Ross has previously withheld promised additional funding due to the lack of a commercial carrier in place. The Department also refused to fund an extension of the runway as current policy does not allow for such capital funding.

"However the refusal to provide capital funding outside of limited safety works is purely a matter for Government and funding models for all four regional airports is currently under review.”

"I have long said that an extension of the runway is vital if the Airport is to have a long term viable future. The size of the runway limits the type of Aircraft that can fly from Waterford making it all the more difficult to obtain a commercial carrier.

"Any loss in state funding will be devastating for the Airport. It is coming to a point where the Department needs to decide if it wants a regional Airport in Waterford or not. If it does it needs to provide the funding to extend the runway.

"I will work with the Airport management and local Oireachtas members in finding a solution. However the responsibility for finding an alternative carrier lies with the Airport management and the decision on funding a runway lies with the Minister for Transport."

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