Noel Dempsey TD, Minster for Transport, was given a tour today of the first of Ireland West Airport Knock’s major projects to be completed as part of its €46 million infrastructural investment, €27.1 million of which has been grant aided under the Government’s Capital Expenditure Grant Scheme for Regional Airports. The announcement of Government funding in February earlier this year marked the single largest investment programme ever in the history of the Airport. The Minister was met by Board Members Monsignor Quinn, Parish Priest of Knock, and Mr Des Mahon, County Manager Mayo, Mr Dara Calleary, TD, Mr Liam Scollan, Group Managing Director – Ireland West Airport Knock, and Mr Robert Grealis, CEO – Ireland West Airport Knock.
The project involved the construction of Perimeter Fencing and an Inspection Road which commenced on 2nd May this year and was completed three weeks ahead of schedule and under budget in August. This project is a key airfield safety enhancement required by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation). It is also required to contribute to the Airport’s attainment of Category II Instrumentation Landing Systems (CAT II ILS) status which will enhance the reliability of the Airport in poor weather and low visibility conditions and improve the certainty of operations.
Commenting on the project, Minister Noel Dempsey, T.D., said: “The construction of this Perimeter Fencing & Inspection Road ahead of schedule and under budget demonstrates the significant work being undertaken by Liam Scollan, Robert Grealis and their staff in developing Ireland West Airport Knock and the region.”
Robert Grealis, CEO Ireland West Airport Knock said: “We thank the Government, Minister Dempsey and his Department of Transport officials for this investment, as well as the many local Government representatives for their consistently strong support of the Airport throughout the years. We thank our main contractor, Frank Harrington Ltd., as well as our own staff who have worked with great enthusiasm and vigor to complete the project on time and within budget. We also congratulate the Minister on the completion of the Charlestown By-Pass which will improve road access to our Airport. These investments come as a major boost for driving the future growth and development of the Airport and the region, allowing us to further strengthen our position as the fourth international airport and the main international air access gateway for the West/North West and Midlands region.”
The funds, which will be drawn down over a four year period under the National Development Plan, will enable the Airport to further enhance safety and security systems, improve and expand facilities for aircraft handling and increase the size of the terminal building. This investment will form part of the Airport’s overall €46 million capital investment programme and will underpin its goal of developing new short, medium and long haul international air routes and growing annual passenger numbers to over one million.