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Taoiseach officially opens runway at Cork Airport

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has officially opened the newly reconstructed main runway at Cork Airport.

At a ceremony on the runway at Cork Airport on Saturday, 20 November, the Taoiseach was joined by Minister Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport and senior cabinet members along with civic and business leaders to witness the result of the single biggest investment by any Government at Cork Airport to reconstruct a key strategic asset for Cork and the South of Ireland for the next 20 years.

Pictured at the ribbon cutting, were from left: Cllr. John Sheehan, deputising for the Lord Mayor of Cork; Bishop Fintan Gavin, Bishop of Cork & Ross; Bishop Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne & Ross, Church of Ireland; Basil Geoghegan, daa Chairman; An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, TD; Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director, Cork Airport; Hildegarde Naughton TD, Minister of State at the Department of Transport; Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs; Michael McGrath TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform; Dalton Philips, daa Group CEO; Cllr. Seamus McGrath, deputising for the Mayor of the County of Cork; Gearoid Lohan, CEO, Colas Ireland Limited. Pic: Brian Lougheed

Speaking at the ceremony held on the new runway, Taoiseach Micheal Martin TD, remarked: “It is my great privilege today to officially reopen the newly reconstructed Cork Airport runway and mark the successful delivery of the 10-week reconstruction project.

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD, speaking at the opening ceremony. Pic: Brian Lougheed

“This project future-proofs a critically important strategic asset for Cork, the south-west region, and for Ireland for many years to come. The investment by the Government of €10 million in this project will ensure continued, essential, connectivity – connecting people and places, families and friends, economies and businesses; with enormous benefits for the city, the wider region and for the country.”

Hildegarde Naughton TD, Minister of State at the Department of Transport speaking at the opening ceremony. Pic: Brian Lougheed

Minister Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport said: “Cork Airport is a key strategic national asset and all of us here today know the key role Cork Airport plays locally and nationally. Before the arrival of COVID-19 to our shores, Cork Airport was on a strong growth trajectory with over 2.6 million passengers recorded in 2019.”

She added: “Government will continue to support Cork as it continues on its road to recovery from COVID-19. I hope to announce funding for Cork Airport as part of the Regional Airport Programme in the coming weeks. Our continued investment in Cork Airport demonstrates the confidence that I as Minister, and Government as a whole, have in the future growth of the airport and the region it serves.”

Construction at Cork Airport (photo: Karol Kachmarsky)

The Managing Director at Cork Airport, Niall MacCarthy said: “The massive runway reconstruction project was completed on schedule and within budget in a 10-week construction period, during which the airport made the brave decision to close completely to undertake the reconstruction works and be delivered in a quicker time, in a safer environment and with less long-term impacts on airlines and passengers than an alternative of night time closures next year over a 10-month period next year.”

Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director, Cork Airport speaking at the opening ceremony. Pic: Brian Lougheed

€40m Investment

In total, daa is investing over €40 million at Cork Airport over a three-year period between 2020 and 2022 to upgrade and enhance critical infrastructure to get ready for strong growth to take off from the end of November into 2022 and beyond. As part of this capital programme, Cork Airport is also investing in the construction of a new Electrical Sub-Station for the airport early next year.

All these investment projects have sustainability and green energy efficiency as a priority. The electrical upgrade will reduce the runway electrical carbon footprint by 70%. Cork Airport has recently completed an upgrade of its Hold Baggage Security screening system at the airport to insure that checked in baggage complies with the latest and highest international standards at a cost of over €12 million.

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