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City of Derry Airport receives £1.23m grant to survive Covid-19 pandemic


City of Derry Airport (Paul Faith/PA)

City of Derry Airport (Paul Faith/PA)

City of Derry Airport (Paul Faith/PA)

City of Derry Airport has been given £1.23m in extra support to help keep it open during the pandemic.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon announced the short-term support grant on Thursday, with the amount based on half of the airport’s deficit for this year.

Northern Ireland’s three airports have all been badly hit by a lack of flights during the pandemic.

Last week Belfast International Airport announced it would have to shut for several hours on certain days this month when there are no commercial flights in order to save costs.

City of Derry Airport has been facing financial problems for some years, which have been exacerbated by Covid-19.

Talks are taking place about further support for Belfast City and the International Airport.

Minister Mallon said: “Our airports connect people and places and their importance in these times of restricted movement must be maintained.

“I recognise the vital role that City of Derry Airport plays as a gateway to the North West. While my powers in relation to airports are limited, I have been working alongside my Executive colleagues to ensure that the City of Derry Airport is supported to remain open at this time of economic challenge.

“For an island community airports are needed to facilitate essential travel including people who have to travel for work including those providing urgent medical care. They are also an important gateway for the arrival of essential goods and medicines into the North.

“I acknowledge that other airports are also facing challenges as a result of Covid-19. Urgent consideration is also being given by the Executive to support for Belfast City and Belfast International Airports.

“I remain committed to working with Executive colleagues and our local airports to ensure we protect the connectivity we as an island rely on.”

Londonderry Chamber Chief Executive Paul Clancy welcomed the "very positive news".

"Strong and secure connections in and out of the North West are crucial for the economic prosperity and development of our region and the City of Derry Airport provides a key link to the rest of Ireland, the UK, and Europe."

The Department for Infrastructure has been asked when support is to be announced for Belfast International and Belfast City airports.

Belfast Telegraph