Cork Airport officially opens reconstructed main runway
Cork Airport’s newly reconstructed main runway was officially opened by Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, at the weekend.
The project was completed within 12 months of being approved, making it the fastest large-scale construction project undertaken in the State in recent years.
Martin was joined by Ireland’s Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton, and senior cabinet members along with civic and business leaders at the opening ceremony.
Speaking at the ceremony held on the new runway, Martin remarked: “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.”
While Naughton noted: “Cork Airport is a key strategic national asset and all of us here today know the key role Cork Airport plays locally and nationally.
“Before the arrival of COVID-19 to our shores, Cork Airport was on a strong growth trajectory with over 2.6 million passengers recorded in 2019. It has been connecting people, places, families and businesses for the last 60 years.
“The whole team here 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 base.
“Government will continue to support Cork as it continues on its road to recovery from COVID-19. 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.”
Cork Airport’s managing director, 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.
“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.”
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 , 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.
• Construction images courtesy of Karol Kachmarsky/Cork Airport.