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City of Derry Airport receives £1.23m to survive pandemic

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said the Executive is giving ‘urgent consideration’ to support for Northern Ireland’s other airports.

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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 received £1.23 million in additional support to help it survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The Stormont Executive is also giving “urgent consideration” to further support for Belfast International Airport and Belfast City Airport, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said.

Travel has been among the hardest hit industries throughout the pandemic.

The £1.23 million grant for Derry is based on 50% of its deficit for this financial year, and is aimed to help the airport remain operational.

Ms Mallon said the airport plays a vital role.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Ms Mallon acknowledged that other airports in Northern Ireland are also facing challenges due to the pandemic.

“Urgent consideration is also being given by the Executive to support for Belfast City and Belfast International airports,” she said.

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

Earlier this week Belfast International chief executive Graham Keddie announced his airport will not be able to remain open 24/7.

He said it will close for several hours on certain days this month when there are no scheduled commercial flights.

The decision had to be taken due to major airlines reducing the number of routes they operate, he said.

Mr Keddie added that the airport had remained open 24/7 during lockdown at a cost of around £65,000 per day to accommodate medical emergency flights, military and PSNI traffic, the Royal Mail and all cargo flights.

PA


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