Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the discussions his Department has had with the management at Waterford Regional Airport regarding accessing State or European Union funding to extend the runway at the airport.
REPLY (Minister Paschal Donohue):
Funding support for capital expenditure under my Department's Regional Airports Programme is confined to safety and security related projects.
The projects being funded at Waterford airport under the Programme include the runway end safety area (RESA) as required by the IAA and safety standards. This project involved the purchase of land to facilitate the work.
Development projects, however, such as any capacity expansions, are a commercial matter for the airports themselves and should only be contemplated if they can be financed commercially. In the case of the proposed runway extension at Waterford, the airport authorities are fully aware of this position and I understand that they are pursuing local interests in relation to that project.
My Department invited all airports and other transport bodies to an Information Seminar earlier this month on the financing options under the European Union's European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the EIB.
The seminar was organised by the European Commission, the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency and the European Investment Bank. A representative from Waterford Airport attended that Seminar and also met separately with the agencies.