Extra £750k to secure Derry airport’s future

City of Derry Airport.
City of Derry Airport.

An extra £750,000 in funding to keep planes in the air at City of Derry Airport has been provisionally approved.

The intervention was made at a meeting of Council’s Governance & Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday.

Councillors rubber-stamped the extra cash after the council’s officer team reported serious concerns over the airport’s viability.

“For 2019/20 CODA has available funds of £2.225m including unspent reserves brought forward and in-year capital savings. For 2020/21 CODA is anticipated to have available funds of £2.165m including unspent reserves brought forward and inyear capital savings.

“Whilst all efforts to reduce costs and increase income have been made and continue to be made, it is very unlikely that these sums will be sufficient to ensure continued operation until March 31, 2021,” reported the Lead Finance Officer Alfie Dallas.

Councillors provisionally charged officers with pressing London for funds for the Eglinton facility beyond 2021.

The move was backed by the committee without remark, except that of consistent critic, Independent Councillor Paul Gallagher.

“We’ve had many issues over the years about the airport regarding its viability or lack thereof. Once again it’s back to the ratepayer with a begging bowl. The ratepayer will be very annoyed,” said Colr. Gallagher.

The funding must now be endorsed by Full Council at the end of the month.