“moving the airport into a position where it will be fit to go commercial..”

The Irish News reported today that the manager of the City of Derry Airport has been redeployed as a air-traffic controller in the aftermath of last year’s difficulties, the BBC picked up the story here, but there have been other interesting comments about the airport’s future. Yesterday UTV reported that the Chairman of the Assembly’s Regional Development Committee, Fred Cobain, was linking a British and Irish government offer of joint funding of £14.2m to improve safety at the airport to the airport being run by a private company.

UUP Stormont Regional Development Committee chairman Fred Cobain said he hoped the north west gateway would be attractive to a private business in a so-called arms-length deal to separate Derry City Council from day-to-day operations. “The money will be made available to extend the runway, moving the airport into a position where it will be fit to go commercial and the council would take a step back,” he added.

The Regional Development minister has already granted the council the power to compulsary purchase adjoining land and the council, while denying any intention to privatise the airport, has indicated that the kind of franchise-style deal described in the UTV report is on the cards. Adds Additional BBC report here [RealPlayer file]

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  • Just shut it down ffs.

  • StarHound

    “Just shut it down ffs.”

    Is that really the level of debate on here at the minute?

    The City of Derry airport project might yet be seen as a brave long term investment move by Derry City Council. They have taken the iniative to provide an economic stimulus for the region and it is worth noting that it has broad support in the area despite unease about the costs and embarrassment over safety issues in the past.

    An initiative like this was not going to come from the direct rule era departments or the private sector. Witness the time wasted so far with proposed comprehensive regeneration projects for Derry – “we have more visions in this city than there were in Lourdes”….

    http://www.derryjournal.com/editorial/A-glimpse-of-the-future.3566117.jp

  • Elvis Parker

    ‘The money will be made available to extend the runway, moving the airport into a position where it will be fit to go commercial’
    Poor Fred Cobain – lets ignore the fact that he is running completely contrary to UUP policy – what convinces him that the safety extension will make the airport any less of a basket case