Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) has called for support to ensure the aviation sector can continue to have a positive impact in the Cork region.
CIT President Dr Barry O'Connor said that for Cork to succeed, Cork Airport must succeed.
The airport has been in the spotlight recently amid concerns for its future, with reports that Ryanair could withdraw its winter base from the airport.
Cork Airport recently revealed that it expects to lose around €20m this year, as it saw 95% less passengers during lockdown this year.
CIT today announced details of its own initiatives that have supported those working as pilots.
The Institute said it recognises the critical contribution of Cork Airport to the economic and social well-being of the region and highlights the contribution of aviation-based businesses to the regional economy and calls for supports to ensure that the aviation sector is empowered to help the region to grow.
Dr Barry O’Connor, President of CIT, spoke of the institute's commitment to ensuring that the pillars of the aviation sector in Cork are not forgotten in this time of upheaval.
“Cork Airport is the most critical piece of transport infrastructure in the Munster region,” he said.
“The multi-national company base in Cork has developed so powerfully as a result partly of the direct and gateway opportunities that Cork Airport offers to the world.
“For Cork to succeed, Cork Airport has to succeed,” he added.
“It will be critical to this region in the years to come and it must be enabled to unlock the continued potential of the region.
“The work of the Aviation Task Force, which reported in July, must be built upon.”
CIT has enrolled 120 students – all of them commercial pilots - on its innovative Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in International Business with Aviation Studies, a European first.
“CIT continues to support the career needs of the people of Cork and beyond,” said Dr O’Connor.
“While we have an established reputation in many areas, our ability to provide this offering attests to our proximity to Munster’s industrial and commercial base.
“As CIT joins with IT Tralee to become Munster Technological University we will double down on our engagement with industry,” he added.
“The aviation sector has been one of the hardest hit sectors locally, nationally, and internationally,” said Dr Pio Fenton, Head of Marketing and International Business at CIT.
“As an enabling business it is critical that those working in aviation, and the sector itself, are supported so that when the opportunity arises the region can spring back into life as quickly as possible.
“CIT is determined to do what it can to support this.” Dr Fenton spoke of the timely contribution to those working as pilots.
“Pilots invest heavily in their careers.
“The current disruption was unimaginable just six months ago.
“Being able to offer an educational offering that takes account of their specific career needs is something we are very proud of,” added Dr Fenton.