Report on Cork Airport debt given to minister

Industrial relations troubleshooter Peter Cassells has presented his report on the long-running row over who will shoulder Cork Airport’s €220m debt.

Industrial relations troubleshooter Peter Cassells has presented his report on the long-running row over who will shoulder Cork Airport’s €220m debt.

The report was presented yesterday to Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey.

“We don’t have a date yet on when the report will be released,” a spokesperson for Mr Dempsey told the Evening Echo.

The Cork Airport Authority (CAA), and the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), have been locked in a bitter battle over who will pay for the €200m upgrade at Cork, which included a new terminal building, car parking and other ancillary building works.

The CAA, many local politicians, business and community groups, are holding the Government to a promise made by former Minister for Transport Seamus Brennan in 2003 that Cork Airport would begin life debt-free after the break up of Aer Rianta.

However, the DAA want Cork to take on some of €220m burden, with sources suggesting that the CAA should take more than half — or some €110m — of the building costs. It’s feared that if the €110m debt is passed on to the CAA is would make life very difficult for the airport to grow and expand.

Mr Cassells was due to report to Mr Dempsey on March 7, but he told the minister he needed more time.

If a deal cannot be struck on how the debt is shared out, Mr Dempsey could be forced to dissolve the CAA and put it back under the control of the DAA board.

Article courtesy of the Evening Echo

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