Agenda item

City of Derry Airport Medium Term Funding Proposition and Short Term Funding Requirements

Minutes:

The Lead Finance Officer presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was for Members to approve that formal engagement is progressed with central government to provide the financial assistance required to secure the sustainability of the airport beyond 31 March 2021 and ensure the existing connectivity to key UK destinations is maintained for at least a further 6-year period beyond 2021 whilst critical transport infrastructure (A5 and A6) is progressed and roads connectivity to the North West is significantly enhanced.  He stated that in the interim Members were being requested to consider and approve an additional underwrite of funding for CODA (Operations) Limited between now and 31 March 2021.

 

Councillor Gallagher expressed concern at the recommendation contained in the report given the numerous issues which had arisen regarding City of Derry Airport over the years in terms of its viability or lack thereof.  This funding would essentially be met by the ratepayers of this Council area who, he suggested, were displeased with Council’s continued efforts to bail out the Airport.  He referred to the limited services currently operated from the Airport and to the drastic drop in passenger numbers and said it would appear that increasing numbers of passengers were opting to fly from Belfast.  He expressed concern at the lack of any new route development or airlines operating from City of Derry and the constant bid for funding from this failing venture.  He referred to continued assurances that the subvention would reduce, however, this was evidently not the case with Council continuing to provide funding to address the situation at the Airport.  He queried why Members were being advised that formal engagement had taken place with central government in relation to contributions towards ongoing revenue costs, which would allow Council’s current subvention to reduce considerably.  This had evidently never happened in the past nor had the earlier suggested £7 million from central government ever materialised.  He urged that the Committee seriously address central government advising that Council would be withdrawing its subvention as the cost of operating the Airport was their responsibility. 

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       (a) that formal engagement is progressed with central government to provide the financial assistance required to secure the sustainability of the airport beyond 31 March 2021 and ensure the existing connectivity to key UK destinations is maintained for at least a further 6 year period beyond 2021 whilst critical transport infrastructure (A5 and A6) is progressed and roads connectivity to the North West is significantly enhanced; and

 

(b) that Council approve a maximum additional

underwrite of funding o CODA (Operations)

Limited between now and 31 March 2021 of

£750k from in-year capital savings.

 

 

Supporting documents: