Cork Airport’s reconstructed main runway has officially reopened and management says work was not only completed on time, but within budget.
Such as Irish Examiner Reports indicate that the work completed, which aviation chiefs say is the fastest large-scale construction project undertaken in the state in recent years, will see flights return again Monday morning.
More than 430 people are employed in construction and supply jobs, including works at airports and runways, as well as in terms of lighting, drainage and sewerage.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin officially opened the newly reconstructed main runway at Cork Airport in a ceremony held on the runway at the airport today.
The ceremony was also attended by Minister of State at the Ministry of Transport, Hildegard Naughton, and senior members of the Cabinet, along with business and civil dignitaries.
Niall McCarthy, managing director of Cork Airport, called it a « courageous decision » to take on the business in the first place, though it has come under fire from tour operators, travel agents and others, who said business was hit hard by the shutdown. which were effective as of September 13.
There were fears that it would not be completed on time and would affect the business of tour operators at Christmas.
However, the alternative to getting the much-needed work done at the 60-year-old airport is the 10-month overnight shutdown next year.
Part of the decision to do so this year was due to the drop in passenger numbers in and out of the airport due to the pandemic.
Despite being Ireland’s fastest growing airport in 2019, when it had 2.6 million passengers, Cork Airport recorded an 80 per cent drop in passenger numbers in the full year to December 31, 2020, with just 530,000 people employed.
Traffic fell on all destinations, with passenger numbers to and from southern Europe the worst, down 87 percent year on year, while Western Europe fell 80 percent.
Passengers to and from regional cities in the UK fell by 81 per cent, while traffic to and from London fell by 76 per cent.
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