DAA chief to attend Cork Airport meeting

The chairman of the DAA is to hold a cross-party meeting with public representatives from Cork to discuss the future of the county’s airport.

Fine Gael TD for Cork North West Áine Collins yesterday said she hopes that the meeting with Pádraig Ó Ríordáin will take place by the end of this month.

“Pádraig is from Cork and understands the Cork region. He also heads up the Cork Airport Development Council and I believe we as a group need to express our joint concerns to him and need to look at actions that can proactively turn around the situation in Cork Airport urgently,” Ms Collins said.

She said the airport is pivotal to the continued growth of the region. “I don’t profess to be an aviation expert, but it is obvious to all that Cork Airport is in a crisis situation, in particular with falling traffic numbers [and] a decrease in routes, all of which is detrimental to our region,” she said.

“The debt is strangling the airport and preventing Cork from competing on a like-for-like footing with the likes of Shannon Airport.

“We are haemorrhaging routes and flights as it is too expensive for airlines to consider Cork as a viable route, even though the airport can offer airlines access to over 1.2m people in the Munster region,” the TD said.

“Perhaps we should be revisiting the option of Ryanair taking over the old terminal building and part of that deal being that they offer affordable daily flights to Dublin. Since we lost the Cork/Dublin route, the airport has 500,000 fewer passengers annually. At this stage I don’t think anything should be ruled out.”

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