A Cork TD has urged the Department of Transport to increase funding allocated to the Regional Airports Fund with the purpose of keeping aviation workers on the books for the duration of the runway works at Cork Airport.
Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said that the hundreds of workers who are at risk of being laid off for the duration of the planned 10-week runway works at Cork Airport later this year are “understandably worried about their incomes, their jobs and their terms and conditions”.
Deputy Ó Laoghaire has called on the Department to add to the Regional Airports Fund to resolve the issue.
“An additional stream of funding should be allocated and administered by Cork Airport and the DAA, to ensure employers can keep workers on the books over the course of the 10 weeks.
This can help the airport, its employers and crucially its workers to get over this period, and allow us to enter a period of rebuilding.
“Unquestionably, Cork Airport will still need ongoing funding. The Government need to realise that aviation will take two or three years to recover, that’s true not just in Cork but across the state. We will need an increase in OpEx and CapEx funding for three years minimum,” he said.
He said that the “very immediate and short term concern” can be addressed at a limited cost to the Department to ensure terms and conditions are safeguarded, jobs are secured and workers are reassured.
“I have written to the Minister for Transport to put forward this proposal. The Department of Transport have a duty to act, to ensure that we are in a position where Cork Airport can thrive and reach its full potential, and that all of its workers are protected,” Deputy Ó Laoghaire said.