CORK Airport's Fire Service will be better able to handle emergency situations following the opening yesterday of a new €1.8m Fire Training Facility.
The new facility will ensure the Fire & Rescue Services crew at the airport have access to world-class training, allowing for a variety of scenarios with various types of aircraft.
The facility was demonstrated as part of the opening ceremony with searingly hot fires in two types of airplane engine drawing gasps from the watching group as the fire team tackled the blazes.
Speaking at the opening, Chief Fire Officer Jim Johnson said: “We take great pride in the exceptionally high standards of safety at Cork Airport and work hard to ensure they are always maintained. Today’s opening of the new fire training ground further enhances our ability to deal effectively and safely with any situation that may arise.
"On the island of Ireland, we are now one of the foremost professional and well-equipped fire services around."
Minister Simon Coveney officially opened the new facility. The event was also attended by the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Tony Fitzgerald and Cork County Deputy Mayor Cllr Ian Doyle.
Minister Coveney praised both management and staff for the huge strides the airport has taken in recent years. He said the work of Managing Director Niall MacCarthy and his team had helped reverse the airport's fortunes, with 2016 a turning point following several difficult years.
"The story of Cork Airport keeps getting better and better," he said. "This is an airport that is moving in the right direction. It is a huge economic driver for this city, this county and this region."
He also paid tribute the emergency services at the airport, whose work often goes unnoticed by passengers as they travel.
Niall MacCarthy also praised the fire and rescue crews, saying: “The Fire & Rescue Services crew play a critical role in the safety of the operations and the new facility will ensure they have access to the best possible training scenarios.
He added: “2017 has seen several significant capital investment programmes coming to fruition as we improve our overall customer experience. It’s important that as we continue to experience passenger growth, we don’t forget to ensure we offer class-leading facilities at Cork Airport”.
The training simulator was built by KIDDE Fire Trainers, who are a specialist aviation supplier while the civil works on-site were completed by Ballincollig Firm, HBS Construction.