€10 million in State funding approved for the rebuilding of Cork runway

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Minister of State Naughton announces approval of €10 million in Exchequer funding towards Cork Airport Runway Reconstruction, writes Shauna McCrudden

Hildegarde Naughton TD, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, at Cork Airport where she announced the approval of €10m in Exchequer funding towards Cork Airport Runway Reconstruction.
Present at the announcement were: Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director, Cork Airport; Minister Naughton and Gearoid Lohan, CEO of Colas Ireland. Pic: Brian Lougheed

As part of the €40+ million investment in Cork Airport 2020-2022, Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton has approved €10 million of State funding to the rebuilding of the main runway at Cork Airport under Government supports to State airports.

Cork Airport has awarded the main construction contract for the rebuilding of the airport’s main runway to Colas Limited, part of the International Colas Group, a leader in the field in the design, maintenance and construction of transport infrastructure. Colas has extensive airport construction experience with similar runway reconstruction projects completed across the world. 

Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport said, “We are delighted to award this significant runway reconstruction contract to Colas. 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. We are very grateful to the Irish Government for the significant financial support to get this project underway and completed.”

Around 250 construction and supply jobs will be created during the project, including several local specialist sub-contractor roles. Mobilisation and preparatory site works will begin at night immediately, without impacting the airport’s summer flight schedule. The main construction works will follow on a 24/7 basis over a 10-week period from 13th September. Construction of the new runway will be completed by 22nd November in advance of the busy Christmas travel period.

The investment in Cork Airport between 2020-2022 includes the main runway reconstruction, a new Electrical Sub-Station and a new Hold Baggage Security screening system. Colas was awarded the contract following an extensive EU tender process. The project is 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.

Minister Naughton said, ‘‘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.”

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.

Minister Naughton added, “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. Following the 10-week closure period, the airport will be in a position to reopen in good time for Christmas and will enable the airport to operate in an unrestricted way in 2022.”

Gearoid Lohan, CEO Colas Ireland said: “We are delighted to be awarded the contract for the reconstruction of such a prestigious and high profile piece of Ireland’s national infrastructure. The scale of the project, from start to finish cannot be underestimated involving detailed planning and logistics – 3,000 truckloads of asphalt, 500 maintenance hole pits to be built, 140 kilometres of electrical cable and 60 kilometres of cable duct and drains to be laid. 

“This is a major project, which has a time-sensitive duration and is essential to the economy of the South of Ireland. We are fully committed to its successful delivery from immediate mobilisation through to the key 10-week main construction phase later this year.”

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Shauna McCrudden

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