Galway Airport To Survive

Galway Airport looks set to survive after the Cabinet rejected a recommendation for its closure by an independent report.

The airport's future became uncertain in mid-January when Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey TD, announced the discontinuation of the Public Service Obligation (PSO) air services between Dublin and Galway.

Soon after, a Department of Transport "Value for Money Report on Regional Airports" effectively suggested the closure of the airport on economic grounds when it recommended the payment of an annual Opex operation subvention of €1.3 million, to the airport, should cease.

However the Cabinet has this morning rejected the report's findings and allowing the Carnmore airport to still apply for Opex funding.

Managing director for Galway Airport, Joe Walsh, welcomed the decision adding that the airport will now be able to take part in further talks with the Department of Transport regarding future funding under the operational subvention programme.

In a statement this morning, Managing director for Galway Airport, Joe Walsh, said: “We will now be engaging with the Department of Transport in relation to the operational subvention requirements and it is expected that there will be a review and allocation of funding. As a consequence of this decision Galway Airport will be part of the programme from 2011 onwards, depending on how long the programme will last. This is very important news for us, it has given us an opportunity to get back at it and have further discussions with the Department, but there is still a lot of work to be done.”

The airport and its management must now compile a submission for the Department of Transport stipulating how much of an operational subvention it needs and why. This is understood to be due in May.


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