THE old terminal building at Cork Airport will be demolished to make way for aircraft parking.
Airport director Niall MacCarthy also said a new business park is set to be developed at the airport in the next five to six years.
He was speaking at a meeting of Cork County Council, held at the airport, where he held a question and answer session with councillors after discussing the airport’s progress in recent years.
He said a new business park could be developed on land owned by the airport and revenues would be used to attract new airlines and increase routes.
“We have 40 acres of land zoned for commercial use across from the existing business park. We do not own the current business park, people think we have some share in it but we have no share at all,” he said.
“We will bring [the 40 acres] to the market at some stage as a business park. The economics of it means it doesn’t make any sense to build it at the moment. One of the issues is to access the site it would cost us a fortune for road, sewage and electricity access but at some stage, probably in the next five to six years, there is potential for that to be a business park phase two.
“The beauty of that is that with Cork Airport owning the land, that will then help to cross subsidise our operations and help bring in new routes here so it would be good for tourism,” he added.
The existing business park is home to companies such as Amazon and IBM.
Mr MacCarthy said management had looked at a possible aviation museum at the location but the cost of access to the site was high with a new roundabout required.
He also confirmed that the old terminal building will be demolished in the coming years to make way for more room for aircraft.
“The old terminal is defunct, with a capital D. It was built in 1961 and it is non-compliant in every respect – the security systems, the fire alarm systems, the fire escapes, the baggage systems, the whole baggage screening. To even put one passenger through it would take €40m because you couldn’t legally put a passenger through it,” he said.
“We need aircraft stands as we continue to expand. This [new terminal building] can take four million and with two piers on either end, it could take five million “You couldn’t put people in a 53-year-old building with low ceilings and damp. Eventually, it will be demolished to make way for extra aircraft parking.
Cork Airport saw passenger numbers increase by 6% in September, 12,300 more than in the same month in 2016 with 59,000 extra in the year to date.