DRD Minister intends to grant £8.6million to City of Derry Airport

Some £60-odd million has been spent by various administrations on the City of Derry Airport in recent years – including £19million in 2008 on “safety work”.  And still no sign of a buyer…

But, as the Irish Government prepares to cut the subsidy it provides for the Londonderry-Dublin flight, the Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, has announced his intention to grant £8.6million to the airport for further “essential safety works”.  Even though he has yet to secure the necessary funding.

From the Minister’s press release

Speaking after today’s meeting of the Executive the Minister said: “I intend to issue a Ministerial Direction to my Department to pay grant towards essential safety works at City of Derry Airport for the upgrade of its runway and infrastructure to meet the safety requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority. I propose to bid in the February Monitoring Round to secure £8.6 million to provide the necessary funding.”

Perhaps the reported rationalisation in 2009 has improved the airport’s operating deficit…

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  • “the Londonderry-Dublin flight”

    Pete, are you and some Unionists going to die in the ditch over the Londonderry name? I’ve looked at the BBC article and not once is Londonderry mentioned.

  • Ceist

    So while pulling funding from community transport groups that help the elderly, people with disabilities etc Conor is giving over £8 million to an unsustainable airport?

  • thethoughtfulone

    Absolute bloody disgrace!

  • wild turkey

    “So while pulling funding from community transport groups that help the elderly, people with disabilities etc Conor is giving over £8 million to an unsustainable airport?”

    a practical expression of SFs brand of socialism perhaps?

  • danidiot

    ..and the A2 Shore Road improvement project has been kicked back to 2015, at least. 10 years of devolved Government and between the lot of them they cant improve a 1 mile stretch of road.

  • Why not invite the Army to move Shackleton Barracks to LDY? After all, it’s so close to LDY that Ryanair landed there…

    I wonder how much the train service from Belfast to Derry could have been improved with the millions sunk by both governments into this money pit. There might even be some left over for an Antrim-Aldergrove-Lisburn shuttle.

  • Oops – just read a bit more and have noticed that that barracks is already closed. Oh well.

  • Cynic2

    Look there’s an election coming up and Catholic votes to be harvested. That’s politics – NI style. Why else would we pay all those taxes

  • Dixie Elliott

    And to think that the SF and SDLP controlled Derry City Council evicted people from their homes on Donnybewer Road at the behest of Michael O’Leary who wanted a longer runway. Why don’t they buy him a whole fleet of new planes while they are at it?

    The Little Britain crowd should look over in this direction for material for their new series Come Fly with Me.

    “The runways not long enough Micheal? We’ll get the unemployed on to it right away.”

  • the old Manxman

    It would be interesting to know for how many years you could run free London/derry-Dublin buses for on the amount that has been wasted on this nonsense.

    If yer desperate we can lend you Ann Reynolds who has an almost unique record in these times of shutting down airports.

    And of course the definitive judgement on the Strike City problem is Londonderry for the city, Derry for the county. This is (a) historically correct (b) annoys the maximum number of people. The latter principle, of course, always being the guiding light for knowing you’re doing the right thing in dealing with anything in two-thirds Ulster.

  • the old Manxman

    That should of course be ‘Stroke City’. Though maybe my fingers are wiser than they know …

  • thethoughtfulone

    Can you strike when on benefits?

  • Comrade Stalin

    ..and the A2 Shore Road improvement project has been kicked back to 2015, at least. 10 years of devolved Government and between the lot of them they cant improve a 1 mile stretch of road.

    That’s an utterly moronic comment. The devolved administration has improved hundreds of miles of stretches of road. Have you driven on the M1, M2 or Westlink lately ? Haven’t you see the improvements on the A1 or the area around the border ? These improvements have seen millions of passenger journeys.

    The A2 widening has taken a long time due to the wealthy neighbourhood it passes through and the effect on properties there. It sucks that the decision has been delayed but you can’t say it’s for lack of trying, unless you think the real problem is the government’s inability to simply railroad over local objections which is a different matter altogether.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “…essential safety works at City of Derry Airport for the upgrade of its runway and infrastructure to meet the safety requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority”

    So currently it unsafe? If that is the case, shouldn’t the airport be closed until such *essential safety works” are carried out?

  • PT, CAA has intervened previously:

    “24 May 2007 – The airport was closed by Civil Aviation Authority following an inspection.”

    It seems the Minister has taken on the role of Minister for the North-West of (the island of) Ireland:

    “I remain committed to rebalancing our infrastructure, including the North West of Ireland, with Derry as its capital. The airport is central to this.”

    AFAIK the CODA runway has already been extended. Perhaps the Minister needs to explain what further upgrade is necessary. I wonder if a business has been submitted and approved.

  • danidiot

    In replay to Comrade Stalin @
    29 January 2011 at 9:56 am

    The decision and approval of the final chosen scheme was made years back…..and funding was in place according to each of the Ministers in charge.
    Now, when the scheme should be commencing, it isnt.
    They’ve failed miserably to improve a 1mile stretch of road.

  • danidiot

    …and play the ball

  • That A2 Shore Road stretch according to Roads Division 2010:

    “In March 2007 the Department published the Draft Statutory Orders for the proposals and held a Public Inquiry in October 2007. The Department then considered the Inspectors’ Report and prepared a Departmental Statement on the outcome of the Inquiry process. These documents were made available following publication of the Statutory Notices, the Notice to Proceed and Direction Order, on
    1 October 2008.

    Roads Service is continuing with the development of the scheme. A Geotechnical Investigation along the route was completed in 2009 and an Archaeological Investigation is being carried out in 2010. An economic appraisal will be completed before making the final Statutory Notice, the Vesting Order, which will be made when funding is available to purchase the land required for the scheme. Progression of the scheme to procurement is subject to availability of finance in future years budgets”

  • Comrade Stalin

    and funding was in place according to each of the Ministers in charge.

    Which minister confirmed that funding was available ? I’d be interested to read the wording they used.

    This is seems self-evidently untrue given that, er, the money isn’t in place.

  • Wesley Johnston 14.01.2011: “In a Roads Service Board meeting on 30 November 2010 it was revealed that the initial pre-qualification tender process (which chooses which companies will be allowed to tender for construction) has now been completed. At the same meeting the Board “granted approval for tender documents to be released” which basically meant that the scheme was ready for construction. However, yesterday the DRD (which includes Roads Service) published their budget for the period 2011-2015 and this has revealed that due to lack of money this scheme has now been put on hold, seemingly until at least 2015.”

  • danidiot

    “Which minister confirmed that funding was available ? I’d be interested to read the wording they used.
    This is seems self-evidently untrue given that, er, the money isn’t in place”

    ..but was in place.
    (If I get permission to post detail of correspondence, I will)