City of Derry Airport is set to experience a significant reduction in flight numbers in the next year, according to the airport’s director.
The economic downturn, air passenger duty charges and competition with airports in the Republic of Ireland were listed as reasons for the proposed reduction.
Damien Tierney, the director of the Derry City Council owned airport, presented a report on the performance and future plans of the airport to members of Derry City Council’s regional services committee at the Guildhall.
“2014-15 will probably be our most difficult year,” Mr Tierney said.
“We know from discussion with Ryanair we will have 18 to 20% less weekly movements. That is a result of the economic situation, air passenger duty and Ryanair reducing its fleet,” he added.
Mr Tierney told councillors he hoped the reduction would be a temporary measure.
The airport director said the subvention required from local ratepayers to run the airport in the next twelve months had been agreed at £2.040 million, although he added that a recently received rates bill meant the airport would require a further £105,000.
The subvention given to the airport by Council has reduced by almost £1 million this year because of efficiencies and cost cutting measures.
He also said revenue generated from car parking at the airport had reduced by £100,00 per year because of competition.
The report also said the City of Culture celebrations had a “very limited” impact on passenger numbers at the airport.
The airport’s contracts director, Clive Coleman, said; There was an bit of an uplift around the Radio One weekend and over the Fleadh in August but generally we did not have much increase in passenger numbers he said.