£1.23million in additional support to safeguard City of Derry Airport
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has confirmed £1.23million in additional support to safeguard City of Derry Airport.
This short term support grant, which is based on 50 per cent of the airport’s deficit for this financial year, is to help City of Derry Airport to remain operational. The measure of support follows intervention provided earlier in the year to assist the airport to remain open during the Covid-19 emergency.
Minister Mallon said: “Our airports connect people and places and their importance in these times of restricted movement must be maintained.
“I recognise the vital role that City of Derry Airport plays as a gateway to the North West. While my powers in relation to airports are limited, I have been working alongside my Executive colleagues to ensure that the City of Derry Airport is supported to remain open at this time of economic challenge.”
Minister Mallon said that airports are needed to facilitate essential travel and are an ‘important gateway for the arrival of essential goods and medicines into the North’.
She said that consideration is also being given by the Executive to provide support to Belfast City and Belfast International Airports.
The Minister added: “I remain committed to working with Executive colleagues and our local airports to ensure we protect the connectivity we as an island rely on.”
SDLP Leader and Foyle MP Colum Eastwood has welcomed the intervention to save City of Derry Airport.
He said: “City of Derry Airport is critical to the economic development of our city and the entire North West region. It provides a vital transport link for investors and businesses seeking to set up in this part of the island and it sends a very clear message that Derry is open for business.
The MP said that this intervention “will secure continued operations at the airport as we continue to chart a way through the Covid-19 pandemic. Our response to the pandemic must be to invest in infrastructure, to upgrade our ambitions for rail, active travel and connectivity across these islands. It is not a moment to be scaling back and closing a key regional air hub.”