Friday, 20th July 2018
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Waterford Airport's future hangs in the balance

Minister of State, Mr. John Halligan has issued the following statement regarding the future of Waterford Airport. Minister Halligan was responding to queries from journalists at the Airport on foot of an article published in yesterday's Irish Times.

Waterford Airport has been without commercial flights since June 2016. In a bid to boost its search for a new carrier, the airport received its full Regional Airports Programme funding for 2016, totalling €1.02 million. However this came with a warning from the Department that grant support would not continue unless a scheduled carrier was in place.

Since no carrier has been secured, Waterford Airport was not eligible for its operational funding for 2017 as it does not have scheduled flights operating on a year-round basis. However without some financial support the airport simply could not have survived and so the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport confirmed in January 2018 that emergency funding would be made available for six months.

This emergency funding was intended to give the airport management and board some space to secure a new commercial carrier and also to progress talks with private investors on a runway extension, which is crucial for Waterford Airport to be viable in the long-term. State money can’t be used for airport infrastructure but there are a number of other options under consideration. But so much hinges on whether a viable carrier service can be secured.

Airport management are aware that funding will not be provided indefinitely, given the current position with no carrier in place. With the Board, they are working with the Department in reviewing and trying to secure the future of Waterford Airport.

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