Development Council can be basis for future growth at Cork Airport

Monday, January 6th 2014

  • Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Dr Leo Varadkar, TD, confirms that a Development Council for Cork Airport will be established.

I am pleased that Minister Varadkar confirmed to me that a Development Council for Cork Airport will be established.  This will provide the forum for all key stakeholders who have an interest in the development of Cork Airport to engage with management and contribute to the further growth of the airport.

Cork Airport serves the entire region of Ireland South, making it a convenient airport of choice for a population of almost 1 million.  It is also on the door step of many large international businesses and at the centre of Cork’s growing international reputation as a key IT hub.  These clear competitive advantages reinforce the potential of Cork Airport and its importance to our local, regional and national economies.

If the airport is to reach its full potential there must be clear lines of communication between management at the airport and key stakeholders.  There is a clear mutual interest in the growth of Cork Airport and there are many people and groups who will share in the benefits of future growth.  If this potential is to be harnessed then there must be a formalised process of engagement, which is why I raised this issue with the Minister.

The recent announcement of the expansion of Aer Lingus Regional services at Cork Airport highlights the progress that is being made.  I want to again to commend the team at Cork Airport for delivering this further growth at the airport.  This reaffirms the status of Cork Airport as Ireland’s second airport and a key transport link for the entire Munster region.

Clearly, this demonstrates the potential for growth that is possible at Cork Airport.  The establishment of a Development Council will provide the basis for further growth. This will ensure that there is a common understanding, particularly at local level, of issues of concern, potential opportunities for growth, and the operating performance of the airport.

Posted under Cork, Cork City, Infastructure, Tourism, Transport

Parliamentary Question: Cork Airport stakeholder engagement

Question to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Dr Leo Varadkar, TD)

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the potential of formalised stakeholder engagement regarding the development of State airports; if he will consider liaising with airport management to establish such a consultative body for Cork Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer.

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 19th December, 2013.

REPLY

As the Deputy will be aware Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and Shannon Airport Authority (SAA) between them have statutory responsibility to operate, manage and develop the three State Airports and as such engagement with stakeholders is an operational matter for the companies involved.

Policy in relation to the future of Cork airport of was decided by Government in November 2012 in the context of the decision to separate Shannon Airport from the DAA. The Government decided then that the existing ownership of Cork Airport by the DAA would be maintained for the present. That decision is consistant with the Booz and Co. report on the future ownership and operation of Cork and Shannon  Airports, that found that Cork Airport performs well under DAA ownership and management and operates to a sustainable business model.

In the circumstances, a Development Council for Cork Airport is to be established. The Council will provide for strong engagement with, and alignment among, the key stakeholders in the Cork region and will serve to foster a common understanding, particularly at local level, of issues of concern, potential opportunities for growth, and the operating performance of the airport. I understand that the Council is to be established shortly and I hope that its work will lead to improved traffic growth that will ultimately benefit the Cork area and region.

Posted under Cork, National Work, Parliamentary Questions, Sport, Tourism, Transport

Aer Lingus expansion reaffirms Cork Airport’s status as key link to Munster region

Wednesday, December 18th 2013

  • Expansion by Aer Lingus Regional at Cork Airport reaffirms its status as Ireland’s second airport and a key transport link for Munster region.
  • Aer Lingus Regional to increase in capacity of 25% at Cork Airport.

The further expansion of capacity at Cork Airport is a very welcome development and I want to commend the teams at Cork Airport and Aer Lingus Regional for delivering further growth at the airport.  This reaffirms the status of Cork Airport as Ireland’s second airport and a key transport link for the entire Munster region.

This increase in capacity will deliver and extra 50,000 seats for summer 2014.  It will also mean that two additional aircraft will be based in Cork.  This is a greater number of scheduled options than has been available for the last five years.  Clearly, this demonstrates the potential for growth that is possible at Cork Airport.

Cork Airport is a vital piece of infrastructure for the development of both tourism and business in the region.  It is important that this is recognised through a process of formalised stakeholder engagement.  This process would allow all groups with an interest in the operation of Cork Airport to have an input into its development.

I have raised this issue with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Dr. Leo Varadkar, TD and he has confirmed to me that a Development Council for Cork Airport is to be established. This will provide for strong engagement with, and alignment among, the key stakeholders in the Cork region.  It will foster a common understanding, particularly at local level, of issues of concern, potential opportunities for growth, and the operating performance of the airport.

The expansion of services and the establishment of a Development Council underline the progress that is being made in securing the future of Cork Airport.  I hope that both of these announcements will lead to further traffic growth that will ultimately benefit the Cork area.

Posted under Cork, Cork City, National Work, Tourism, Transport