Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins, who is a former member of the board at Waterford Airport, has welcomed the confirmation of €12 million in private sector investment by Comer Group International in partnership with Bolster Group to develop a major runway expansion plan at Waterford Airport.
The significant development now clears the way for the business plan seeking matching funding to be submitted to the Department of Transport, which is expected to be sent early next week.
Senator Cummins said: “This is a very welcome development. I have been kept up to date on how these negotiations were advancing over the last number of months by William Bolster and Michael Walsh, and I believe huge credit must go to them, the chairman Dan Browne, the board, and management at the Airport for bringing about this very significant funding commitment by the private sector.
“The next step is to take the business case to the Department, and I expect it will be very well received by government. I have constantly liaised with the Taoiseach on this matter since I was on the board of the airport. He has been a vocal supporter of our goal to develop a runway in the South East capable of servicing the main aircrafts of choice by most major airlines, B737’s and A320’s.
“As recently as the 30th September at Fine Gael’s Small Business & Enterprise Conference held in the SETU Arena, the Taoiseach restated his commitment to the principle of 50:50 funding.
Senator Cummins added “For my part, I will continue my engagement with the Taoiseach on this critically important project for Waterford and the South East region. As was the case ahead of the 2019 cabinet decision, I will also liaise with my Fine Gael ministerial colleagues to ensure their full support should a proposal be brought to cabinet, and I am certain other Waterford Oireachtas members will do likewise with their respective parties.
“I have always believed in the ability of Waterford Airport to offer the essential direct connectivity to the region that we require to grow our business and tourism offer. The runway expansion project ticks a huge number of boxes and would undoubtedly drive the propulsive growth envisaged for Waterford in the National Planning Framework”, concluded Senator Cummins.