Cork Airport director named

A new director of Cork Airport has been identified to succeed Pat Keohane when his term ends later this year, it emerged last night.

The Dublin Airport Authority, which manages Cork Airport, has confirmed that Niall MacCarthy has been appointed to the position of director designate at Cork.

It is understood the Government’s failure to deliver independence for Cork Airport since his appointment seven years ago was key to Mr Keohane’s decision not to not seek another term.

A chartered accountant, Mr MacCarthy has been the acting director of Shannon Airport since Christmas.

In a memo to Cork Airport staff yesterday, DAA director of human resources Damian Lenagh said Mr Keohane’s seven-year term as director will finish on Oct 3 2012.

Mr MacCarthy will work with Mr Keohane over the summer months to ensure “an appropriate handover”, said Mr Lenagh.

The boards of Cork and Shannon airports were effectively wound down after Christmas when the two-year terms of both boards ended on Dec 31, 2011.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar made the decision not to replace board members until he had considered the Booz report which set out options on the separation of the state airports.

As an interim measure, Mr Varadkar appointed interim boards to oversee the activities of both airports.

Mr MacCarthy has been acting director at Shannon alongside the DAA’s head of finance Ray Gray, while Mr Keohane is overseeing Cork Airport alongside DAA deputy chief executive Oliver Cussen.

The Booz report, published in February, recommended Shannon Airport be separated from the DAA and placed into a separate corporate structure with a remit to expand its activities beyond passenger travel.

The report said Cork Airport should remain within the DAA, although with greater autonomy due to the debts associated with it.

Mr Varadkar confirmed in May that he was “spinning” Shannon out from the DAA and needed more time to consider Cork’s position.

His decision is expected before the end of the year.


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