The newly reconstructed main runway at Cork Airport was officially opened by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin today.
At a ceremony on the runway at Cork Airport to mark the completion of the fastest large-scale construction project undertaken in the State in recent years - 12 months from funding approval to the completion of the construction works – the Taoiseach was joined by Minister Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport and senior cabinet members along with civic and business leaders to witness the result of the single biggest investment by any Government at Cork Airport to reconstruct a key strategic asset for Cork and the South of Ireland for the next 20 years.
Speaking at the ceremony held on the new runway, Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD, remarked:
'It is my great privilege today 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 south-west 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.'
Minister Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport said:
'I hope to announce funding for Cork Airport as part of the Regional Airport Programme in the coming weeks. Our continued investment in Cork Airport demonstrates the confidence that I as Minister, and Government as a whole, have in the future growth of the airport and the region it serves.'
Meanwhile, managing director at Cork Airport, Niall MacCarthy said:
'The massive runway reconstruction project was completed on schedule and within budget in a 10-week construction period, during which the airport made the brave decision to close completely to undertake the reconstruction works and be delivered in a quicker time, in a safer environment and with less long-term impacts on airlines and passengers than an alternative of night time closures next year over a 10-month period next year.'
Over 430 people were employed by the main contractor Colas Limited, daa’s integrated delivery partner Bechtel and multiple sub-contractors including Atmac Construction, Atkins - a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, Brooklyn Engineering Services, FLI Carlow and Lagan Asphalt Group on the project management, engineering, design and construction of the runway to complete the project on time.
'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. Rebuilding major infrastructure is always disruptive but we have confined the disruption to a short 10-week off-peak period and now we can reap the benefits of recovery. Seeing the quality of the finished product today is a testament to the tight teamwork undertaken by our airport team, our daa group team and all our skilled construction partners. 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,' Niall MacCarthy added.