SDLP Councillor Colm Eastwood of Derry City Council’s airport committee claims that the Council “haven’t committed to selling the airport”, although he also admits “we haven’t ruled it out either”. And, previously in the comments zone here, Sinn Féin Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn stated that establishing the airport as a company “is not a prelude to privatisiation.” But with the Council having compulsory purchased land adjoining the airport, and demolished the houses, in a bid to move the airport “into a position where it will be fit to go commercial” the North South Ministerial Council statement notes that
The Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government have now paid over grants amounting to over £3 million. In addition to the approved grant scheme, Derry City Council has funded the construction of a new taxiway and extended aircraft parking apron.
Derry City Council has committed to the immediate incorporation of City of Derry airport into a company wholly owned by the Council followed, within a period of 18 months, by either sale of equity of the company outright or by sale of the company but with the Council retaining control of the airport land through a long-term lease. [emphasis added]
Derry City Council has established an advisory Board comprising independent members committed to completion of reform by December 2009.
Update To note the updated BBC report
However, Paul Gosling, head of the north west public sector review group, said he believed the airport would eventually be sold. “The basic problem will be finding someone to buy the airport”