Claims of further delay for airport terminal denied

THE Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has denied speculation that the official opening of Cork Airport’s new terminal won’t now take place until October.

However, the DAA, which had to postpone the original May 10 opening, cannot give an actual date, except to say it will probably happen some time in June.

DAA spokesman Vincent Wall was commenting following speculation among airport staff that work on the project had slowed and that it would cause chaos if the terminal was opened during the peak tourist season. Staff sources said they expected it would be late September or October before the terminal was commissioned.

“We appreciate that things are getting busier for all airlines and baggage handlers. There may be logistical challenges but we are very confident of their continued support for a June operational date,” Mr Wall said.

Staff are currently being trained to operate the new terminal, part of a €170 million airport revamp.

Cllr Tom O’Driscoll said yesterday: “I certainly hope it will open in advance of July and August, when it becomes extremely busy.

“Passenger numbers are up 23% on last year and Aer Lingus is about to operate a new aircraft out of Cork,” Mr O’Driscoll said.

The Aer Lingus aircraft will start operating on June 27 to Birmingham, Tenerife and Berlin and to give a higher frequency of flights to other Mr O’Driscoll said he was disappointed the May 10 opening date had been postponed and he wouldn’t like to see the promise of a June opening fall by the wayside as well.

The whole airport revamp will cost in the region of €170m, an increase of €5m on the projected cost published 18 months ago. It is believed the increase is due to further costs incurred by contractors Rocon.

The issue of who will foot the bill has yet to be decided. The DAA will advance the money, but it has been suggested that Cork Airport Authority will have to reimburse them. Previously former Transport Minister Séamus Brennan promised that Cork Airport Authority would start life debt-free.

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