Derry airport business case for support over six years due for consideration

A business case for support for City of Derry Airport over the next five or six years is due for consideration by the Department of Finance.

By Kevin Mullan
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 5:10 pm

That’s according to the Finance Minister Conor Murphy who says he views the Eglinton facility as a ‘key part of connectivity to the north-west’.

Mr. Murphy said talks are ongoing with both London and Dublin regarding support for the north west air hub.

“We are in dialogue with London about PSOs (public service obligations) [state subsidised routes],” Mr. Murphy told the Stormont Finance Committee. “The process has been interrupted by the pandemic and the interruption to the North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC) arrangements, but we also need to have a discussion with Dublin Ministers. We are in contact with the Cabinet in Dublin to make sure that we get that discussion. It is a matter of what support we can provide, which we are looking at, and then what support the airport can draw from PSOs from London and other parts of Britain and the relationship that it has with the rest of the island.”

City of Derry Airport (CoDA).

The minister said a business case for support for the airport over the medium term has been put forward but pointed out that it is a cross-departmental issue.

“The airport has put forward a business case. One of the difficulties that we found during the pandemic when we were trying to get funding for not just CoDA but Belfast City Airport and Belfast International Airport is that no single Department has responsibility. Britain has a neater fit in that the Civil Aviation Authority can do it. The Department for the Economy has an interest in the airports because of the PSOs and other matters, and the Department for Infrastructure has an interest in regulation.

“However, there is no overall responsibility. The Department of Finance has collaborated with the Department for Infrastructure and the Department for the Economy. We are trying to take a collaborative approach to ongoing support for CoDA. The business case that the airport has put forward needs to be assessed and brought to the Department of Finance.”