Sligo Airport Picture: Wikipedia
The Minister for State at the Department of Health and local Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan has said “that following a positive meeting between Department of Transport officials, The Irish Coast Guard and Management and members of the Board of Directors of Sligo Airport there is now a clear pathway for the required funding to be provided for capital investment works at Sligo Airport in order to support the continuation of the Search and Rescue service from the Strandhill base”.
The meeting was attended by Minister Frank Feighan, Marc MacSharry TD, Marian Harkin TD, Department of Transport Airport Division officials, The Irish Coast Guard and representatives of the Sligo Airport Board of Directors.
Minister Feighan advised that “There needs to be improved communication in the coming days on this issue between the Department of Transport and CHC, the company which operates the Search and Rescue service on behalf of the Irish Coast Guard. I am confident that Sligo Airport will be ready, willing and able to deliver the required runway and lighting upgrade works on time. This will significantly enhance the operational capabilities of the airport in supporting the very important Coast Guard Search and Rescue Services throughout the area covered by the Sligo base from Galway to Belfast. We now just need to find the funding to support these works.
“From this meeting I wanted to understand what the issues were in relation to the potential problems from the Department side and I am now pleased that we have identified a mechanism whereby funding can be provided to assist Sligo with these essential capital works.
“As a result of commitments made at the meeting, I am now satisfied that there is no threat to the future of this vital Search and Rescue service or about it being moved from Strandhill for the duration of the contract currently in place which runs until 2023.
“I will now be working with my Oireachtas colleagues over the coming days to ensure that this funding will be delivered to Sligo Airport to support the retention of the Search and Rescue Base there without further delay.
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