Donegal has been given a huge tourism boost following the news that Donegal Airport will receive a grant of €341,000 from the Department of Transport.
Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has welcomed the grant of €341,000 for Donegal Airport which was announced by the Department of Transport as part of their Regional Airports Capital Programme.
The grant allocation is to cover capital works at the airport in Donegal and the funding will be necessary for the Airport to progress and develop in the years ahead.
The grant allocation of €341,000 will provide for a backup facility for existing lighting units for runway lighting and airport navigational aids, a new de icing unit for the runway and aircraft and an apron extension to provide for additional aircraft.
Pat the Cope told Donegal Daily, “I urged the Government to increase the support to Donegal Airport especially in the context of increased funding in next years Capital Works Allocations Budget, particularly as Donegal Airport is so important to the economic development of Donegal.
“I worked closely with Donegal Airport over the years and I will be meeting with the Minister of Transport shortly with a view to ensuring that the PSO will continue when the existing agreement expires in 2017.
“The continuation of the PSO is the very lifeline by which the airport survives and as such it’s renewal must be guaranteed.
“Donegal Airport serves a hugely important role in the socio economic life of Donegal both in the context of Tourism and connectivity to other airports and other communities for tourists, business people and locals alike, including hospital appointments for locals accessing health appointments in Dublin.
“The Department of Transport must remain committed to developing and progressing Donegal Airport as County Donegal lacks either rail connection or Motorway access to the county – the airport is a key transport link for the county.”
Pat the Cope complimented the management and staff of Donegal Airport on their continuing success with the Airport and the services they provide, as it is evident with the increased passengers numbers using the airport and the increased services available to the airport users.
Gallagher concluded by saying, “It will be extremely important that “Through fare options” be made available for passengers using Donegal Airport and travelling on to the UK and mainland Europe as such a service currently exists for passengers travelling on to the USA.
“It is of critical importance that Airports such as Donegal remain high on the Governments agenda and are sub vented accordingly for the role they perform and play in rural development and providing transport links for the people of Donegal.”