Aviation and air services at Galway Airport ceased at 5pm yesterday, Tuesday, after agreement couldn’t be reached to keep it open. The site at the airport is now without an aviation service for the second time in two years.
John Madden of Carnmore Aviation said, “There was a proposal put to the councils that would create 100 full time permanent jobs here, in drone, R&D and assembly. The project had IDA support. A consortium of three European companies were going to redevelop the terminal building to a five star building to look after their clients. They were going to reactivate all the instruments and landing system and tower.”
Mr Madden explained that a French company were operating from the airport doing aerial survey work and wanted to stay until the end of March. They have now relocated to Cork.
Mr Madden expressed his disappointment at the decision. “It is so sad that this is gone. It is very disappointing.”
The end of the agreement between Carnmore Aviation Ltd, who operated the site and Galway City and County Councils, the owners of the site, sees the end of all commercial activity at the site.
As well as the expiry of the aviation licence, the licence to refuel emergency aircraft also expired yesterday, Tuesday.
This comes after a motion proposed by Councillor Joe Byrne at last week’s County Council meeting was unanimously agree that Galway City/County Councils endeavour to continue the usage of Carnmore Airport beyond the date of 15 December 2015, for a minimum period of 11 months.
Following yesterday’s news however, City Councillor Niall McNelis said, “I am very disappointed with the news. My biggest fear is that by the time a decision is made on aviation, and waking up and realising that this was let go that the runway will fall into disrepair. The runway and aprons where planes are taxied to need to be treated every three weeks. The process of looking for an operating licence will now have to be started all over again if an operator is sought.
“I praised the purchase of airport lands by Galway City and County Councils and great opportunities exist for film industry and possible manufacturing. But an air strip ticks a box for possible investment for Galway as a city, county and region. This is a very sad day for Galway and the region’s future possible development.”
In 2015 the airport facilitated aviation access for 58 Jets, both for promotion of tourism in the area, and access for Galway based multinational companies.
It was also used by the Air Corps and the Coastguard to refuel.