The ceremony took place on the runway on Saturday, 20th November to celebrate the fastest large-scale construction project undertaken in the State in recent years, reports Shauna McCrudden
An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has officially opened the newly reconstructed main runway at Cork Airport. It was opened at a ceremony on the runway at Cork Airport on Saturday, 20th November, to mark the completion of the fastest large-scale construction project undertaken in the State in recent years. It took 12 months from funding approval to the completion of the construction works.
An Taoiseach was joined by the Minister of State at the Department of Transport and senior cabinet members. This was along with civic and business leaders to witness this key strategic asset for Cork and the South of Ireland.
Speaking at the ceremony held on the new runway, Taoiseach Micheal Martin TD, remarked, “It is my great privilege to officially reopen the newly reconstructed Cork Airport runway and mark the successful delivery of the 10-week reconstruction project. This project future-proofs a critically important strategic asset for Cork, the southwest region, and for Ireland for many years to come.
“The investment by the Government of €10 million in this project will ensure continued, essential, connectivity – connecting people and places, families and friends, economies and businesses; with enormous benefits for the city, the wider region and for the country.”
Cork Airport closed to deliver this major project. Colas was awarded the main runway contract following an extensive EU tender process. The project to reconstruct the main runway was supported by Government funding of €10 million from the , announced in November 2020 with the balance of the funding coming from Cork Airport’s parent company, daa plc, to complete the project.
Minister Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, said, “Cork Airport is a key strategic national asset and all of us here today know the key role Cork Airport plays locally and nationally. The whole team have been unwavering in their focus on recovery and building a successful future for Cork Airport.
“This is clearly seen in the return of airlines and services to the airport along with new services such as the new weekly service to Geneva this winter operated by Swiss International Air Lines. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will double its daily service between Cork and Amsterdam Schiphol from next week.
“I also welcome Ryanair’s announcement of a €200m investment in Cork Airport and a full recovery of its pre-pandemic passenger capacity with the reopening of its two aircraft bases. The Government will continue to support Cork as it continues on its road to recovery from Covid-19.”
The massive runway reconstruction project was completed on schedule and within budget in a 10-week construction period. Over 430 were employed in construction and supply jobs during the rebuilding of the main runway as well as the upgrading of the airport’s approach, airfield and ground lighting, runway edge and centreline lighting together with all its drainage and ducting systems.
The Managing Director at Cork Airport, Niall MacCarthy said, “Today is a very proud day for everyone associated with Cork Airport. Rebuilding and reopening the new runway at Cork Airport is a major milestone on our road to recovery post-Covid-19. Seeing the quality of the finished product is a testament to the tight teamwork undertaken by our airport team, our daa group team and all our skilled construction partners.”
In total, daa is investing over €40 million at Cork Airport over a three-year period between 2020 and 2022 to upgrade and enhance critical infrastructure to get ready for strong growth to take off from the end of November into 2022 and beyond. As part of this capital programme, Cork Airport is also investing in the construction of a new Electrical Sub-Station for the airport early next year.
All these investment projects have sustainability and green energy efficiency as a priority. The electrical upgrade will reduce the runway electrical carbon footprint by 70%. Cork Airport has recently completed an upgrade of its Hold Baggage Security screening system at the airport to ensure that checked-in baggage complies with the latest and highest international standards at a cost of over €12 million.
Niall added, “We are very confident about the future of Cork Airport and, with your support as stakeholders, we will grow this airport back to be an engine of growth for the South of Ireland economy once again. We are renowned for our customer service at Cork Airport and from Monday, November 22nd, nothing will please us more than welcoming our passengers back again.”
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