The Managing Director at Cork Airport says the massive runway reconstruction taking place later this year will help ensure the airport is positioned for post-COVID-19 recovery. .
It was announced today that Cork Airport has awarded the main construction contract for the rebuilding of the airport’s main runway to Colas Limited.
Minister of State Naughton visited the airport today to meet with MD Niall MacCarthy and Colas Ireland CEO Gearoid Lohan and confirmed the approval of €10m in Government funding towards the project.
‘‘This will be the single biggest investment by any Government at Cork Airport and, when complete, it will serve as a key strategic asset for Cork and the entire region over the next 20 years," she said.
She defended the decision to close the airport for almost thee months between September and November.
"By closing the airport, this very significant project can be delivered in a quicker time, in a safer environment and with less long-term impacts on airlines and passengers," she said.
Around 250 construction and supply jobs will be created during the project with mobilisation and preparatory site works to begin at night immediately. These won't the airport's summer flight schedule.
The main construction works will follow on a 24/7 basis over a 10-week period from September 13. Construction of the new runway will be completed by November 22 in advance of the busy Christmas travel period.
Over €40 million is being invested in Cork Airport between 2020-2022 to upgrade the infrastructure at the airport of which the main runway reconstruction, a new Electrical Sub-Station and a new Hold Baggage Security screening system, constitute the major parts.
Colas was awarded the contract following an extensive EU tender process. The project to reconstruct the main runway is being supported by Government funding of €10 million from the Department of Transport, with the balance of the funding coming from Cork Airport’s parent company, daa plc, to complete the project.
Planning and design work for the reconstruction of the main runway started last year and Cork Airport followed a comprehensive EU procurement process commencing last November leading to the award of the contract today following design completion.
The reconstruction of Cork Airport’s main runway will be the fastest large-scale construction project undertaken in the State in recent years - 12 months from funding approval to the completion of the main works – encompassing EU tendering, design, regulatory approvals and construction.
“This project forms part of a total investment and upgrade programme of €40 million between 2020 and 2022 so that the infrastructure at Cork Airport is positioned for recovery post-COVID-19," Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport said.
"The construction programme includes a reconstruction of the main runway and the replacement of the airfield electrical systems, ducts and pits. These are all between 20 and 30 years old and the resulting electrical upgrade will reduce Our runway electrical carbon footprint by 70%.
"These works are necessary to ensure that the main runway at Cork Airport continues to meet and exceed strict national and international regulations governing the operation and specification of runways at major airports and position us well for the future.
This runway at Cork Airport typically has more than 22,000 commercial aircraft movements annually and in addition, facilitates thousands of smaller aircraft.