EY report crucial to future of facility

EY report crucial to future of facility
Waterford Airport.

Pádraig Hoare

Whatever is in the EY report could sound the death march or be the elixir of life for Waterford Airport.

It looked bleak for the facility in April when Transport Minister Shane Ross seemed to suggest time was up for Waterford Airport.

Mr Ross said the airport has received “substantial exchequer support” of some €20m under the Regional Airports Programme as he announced a review by EY into its viability.

“We must have regard to the prudent use of taxpayers’ money and we will not be in a position to consider further exchequer support for Waterford unless and until we have visibility on a sustainable future for the airport. The airport authorities in Waterford are aware of this position.”

Local stakeholders are convinced that an extended runway could give Waterford Airport the boost it needs to be competitive.

However, that will cost money — millions of euro. Money the Government will not provide, according to Mr Ross.

“Decisions of that nature — for example, the proposed runway extension at Waterford — are commercial matters for airports themselves and are outside the scope of the programme,” said Mr Ross.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, a predecessor of Mr Ross in the transport ministry, offered a sliver of hope in June.

“We are supporting Waterford Airport as best we can, though it does not have any flights any more. However, we think it is important that it is assisted in its efforts to encourage carriers to operate again between the south-east and England,” he said.

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