Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Passenger numbers drop at Derry airport

Passenger numbers at City of Derry Airport have slumped by over a fifth and flight movement fell by 25% over the past six months compared to last year.

From April to the end of September this year the Eglinton-based facility brought in income of £888,257.

This was less than the same period last year when income generated by the Airport stood at around £1.1m.

The figures are contained in Derry City Council’s Quarterly Corporate Review which was due to be discussed at a special meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee this afternoon.

The City Treasurer has reported that the Council’s overall net expenditure is in line with its budget, with a total loss of £36,942 over the six months.

The report from Town Clerk and Chief Executive Valerie Watts states: “Adverse variances at City of Derry Airport, Building Control, cleansing and refuse, parks, playgrounds and playing fields, and corporate management have been counterbalanced by variances on waste management, leisure centres and environmental health.”

The Council’s total income over the six months to the end of September, stood at just under £2.3m — a reduction of £207,000 on the same period last year.

The report states: “There has been a significant reduction in passenger numbers due to the economic downturn and Building Control, where income has reduced by £205,116 and £57,727 respectively.”

Sickness pay to Council staff has been slashed by around 25% to £218,896 over the six months.

Overtime was also cut by around a fifth to a financial cost of £350,226. The report states that this was due to reorganisation at City of Derry Airport, resulting in savings of over £71,000.

Honing in on the Airport, the Report states: “Movements fell by 24% and passengers numbers fell by 20.6% [April — June]. However, this quarter does show slight improvement over January to March.

“All routes are showing signs of improvement and the new direct Alicante service is performing very strongly.”

In total, there were only three cancellations or diversions at City of Derry Airport over the six-month period.

The report also states that there has been a significant increase in the number of dogs being re-homed in Derry , while the number of strays impounded has decreased.

Around one third of waste in Derry is now being recycled in blue bins, kerbie boxes and at local amenity sites.

Almost 3,000 redundant TVs and fridge freezers and over 5,000 other items of bulky waste were collected by Council officers over the period.

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