Minister Dermot Ahern Announces Green Light for Derry Airport Investment
Governments to invest €15 million
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern T.D., today announced that the EU Commission has given the green light for the Irish and British Governments to invest over €15m in the City of Derry Airport.
Minister Ahern emphasised the benefit of this investment for both sides of the border:
“It is clearly in our interests to support the development of infrastructure that will meet the needs of the whole island. This investment will deliver real benefits to the people and businesses, on both sides of the border and will provide for the long term development of the airport. Last year the airport had a passenger throughput of 250,000 people.”
“City of Derry Airport is a prime example of transportation infrastructure which serves communities on both sides of the border. It is this crucial North/South dimension which is the distinguishing feature of the airport, and which has persuaded the Irish Government that further investment in the airport will deliver significant benefits to the entire North West region.”
“By working together on a cross border basis we can maximise our opportunities for the economic development of the North West. Secretary of State Hain and I recently launched North West Gateway Initiative to take full advantage of the potential of the region as a whole”.
The North West Gateway Initiative was launched on 2 May at the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference in Dublin and includes:
• a new non-statutory integrated spatial planning and development framework for the region;
• an examination of the potential for joint investment in key infrastructure projects;
• joint analysis and actions by agencies in areas such as trade and investment promotion, tourism, skills/training, further and higher education, innovation and business development;
• better co-ordination of public services, notably health, education and information services;
• a commitment by the Governments to the look closely at the particular needs of the North West in drawing up programmes under the new round of EU structural funds.