Thursday, 17 December 2020
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
I want emergency funding for Sligo Airport to continue its search and rescue operations and its emergency medical evacuations for a region that stretches from Clifden to Belfast. I direct this question specifically to the Tánaiste because he quite rightly supported €750,000 funding to Waterford Airport in 2018 to supply similar services. Waterford is a bit like Sligo in the sense that it has had no passenger flights since 2016. I wish the airport good luck as it provides an emergency service. So does Sligo, however. It has been the busiest search and rescue base for the past three years in the whole country and yet Sligo has not got one cent of Exchequer funding from the Government for the past decade.
The Irish Aviation Authority has mandated certain infrastructural works to be completed by the end of January 2021. Up to €500,000 is required for this. The airport itself can supply €200,000 but we have nothing from the Government. There are 47 jobs there and it is an essential regional service. Will the Tánaiste give a commitment to this regional service?
I also want to re-echo the Ceann Comhairle's good wishes to all.