Almost 6,000 people have registered their support for a new campaign to secure the future of City of Derry Airport.
Two Derry men living in Liverpool have set up the ‘Save City of Derry Airport’ campaign in light of recent announcements that flights to London Stansted and Faro are to be scrapped, with the future of remaining routes uncertain.
Eamonn McGowan from Top of the Hill, Senior Business Analyst with Lloyd’s Bank and Conlaoth Rodgers from Foyle Road, Head of History in a school in Liverpool, said the airport was a vital asset that must be developed.
The new lobby group has been in contact with senior figures over the airport’s future during the past week, as the central and UK government announced measures to help rescue the airport from potential closure.
Commenting on the public response to the campaign, Eamonn said: “The support has been phenomenal, including coming from employees and ex-employees. Everybody has really pulled together.
“What we need is a couple of different airlines running domestic routes, as well as international routes to places like Amsterdam, Malaga, Italy and that will help bring in tourists - we have a lot of events in our city that people will want to come to. There is always something going on.
“It is a risk in itself having a single carrier. We also need more convenient flight times and a real strategy to turn the airport around.
“We are pushing for infrastructure at the airport and also the A5 and A6, a rail terminal, more connectivity. When you think about the catchment area it goes right to the other side of Dungiven, and then there is the A5 coming from in from West Tyrone and all the folks from Donegal.
“People want to use the airport. We use it ourselves all the time - we know how important it is for a lot of folks, and we do not want something else taken away from the north west. Some are saying it’s a white elephant but there is a bigger voice in support of it.”