Published on May 3rd, 2020 | by Mark Dwyer0
Support Package for NI Airports Approved
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced that the Northern Ireland Executive has secured £5.7million support for Belfast City Airport (BCA), City of Derry Airport (CODA) and to associated airlines still operating passenger services.
The financial support package, to be joint funded by the Executive and the UK Department for Transport, will allow the airports and airlines to continue to operate for a period of three months.
Announcing the package Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “As the COVID-19 lockdown continues, many people are continuing to deliver critical services across the North that are necessary to keep people safe and connected. This is particularly true of our airports who are dealing with a significant drop in passenger numbers and are valiantly working to keep our island connected during this difficult time. Our airports connect people and places and even in these times of restricted movement we need to facilitate essential travel including people who have to travel for urgent medical care and indeed staff in our valued NHS.
Welcoming the announcement, Chairperson of the City of Derry Airport Board, Albert Harrison, said that the financial support package will cover all operational costs of City of Derry Airport on a temporary basis.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Michaela Boyle, also welcomed the investment saying: “This is a very welcome announcement for the City of Derry Airport and for Derry City and Strabane District Council. This investment will safeguard jobs and provide temporary financial stability during the current COVID-19 response period. It will also allow for routes, which are vital for those who need to travel, to continue to operate.”
Steve Frazer, Airport Manager for City of Derry Airport commented: “Today’s announcement of support from the Secretary of State for Transport and the Northern Ireland Executive provides immediate stability for City of Derry Airport to continue delivering vital connectivity at a critical time for essential workers in support of the fight against COVID-19.”
At present a daily return service by Loganair from City of Derry Airport to London Stansted is operating (excluding Saturdays), serving NHS staff and other essential travellers. Aer Lingus currently operate five services per week between Belfast City Airport and London Heathrow