SINN FÉIN’S spokesperson on transport, Darren O’Rourke, has said the runway reconstruction at Cork Airport is “almost an exemplar in terms of major capital projects”.
The Meath TD made the comment while speaking to The Echo during a visit to Cork to attend a number of engagements including meetings with Cork Chamber, Cork Cycling Campaign, and the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU).
Mr O’Rourke also met with Cork Airport management and lauded the progress made since its temporary closure in mid-September.
“The work with the airport runway is, I would say, almost an exemplar in terms of major capital projects.
“We have a long, long history of overspends and overruns and this is neither. It’s on time and on budget at this stage. That’s impressive.
“I was talking to them [airport management] about what lessons can be learned elsewhere and we had a good conversation in relation to that,” he said.
“The airport is having its reopening in the next couple of weeks and is ambitious to get back to full capacity and has a really good plan to do that.
“Obviously it will require some State support into the future.”
The runway reconstruction is the largest construction project to be undertaken at the airport since the building of the new terminal 15 years ago.
Cork Airport’s main runway, has been in operation since the airport opened in October 1961. It was originally 1,883 metres long and was extended by a further 300 metres in 1989. The main runway was overlaid in 1999.
Once completed the 10-week project will see the reconstruction of the runway along with the upgrading of the airport’s approach, airfield and ground lighting, runway edge, and centreline lighting. The project to reconstruct the runway is being supported by Government funding of €10 million from the Department of Transport, announced in November 2020.
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.
Cork Airport is investing over €40 million between 2020-2022 to upgrade and enhance critical infrastructure.
The airport is poised to reopen on the morning of November 22 following the enhancement works.