Re: Re: Cork Transport

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From this morning’s quondam Cork Examiner:

01 March 2007

Airport debt will cripple development

I AM appalled but not surprised that the Government has broken all promises in relation to the creation of a debt-free Cork Airport and is now unfairly demanding that the airport pays a potentially crippling €100m towards the cost of its development.

Following the break-up of Aer Rianta in 2004, the then Transport Minister, Seamus Brennan, said Cork Airport would be transferred to its new independent status debt-free and all assets and contractual arrangements would be transferred to the Dublin Airport Authority.

This now-hollow commitment has been disregarded as the Government has engaged on the U-turn of the century.

If Cork Airport is forced to pay for its current development works, it will have serious implications on its expansion policy, which will adversely affect the competitiveness of the airport.

Saddling Cork Airport with a €100m debt will have a dire effect on the Cork region, which needs a profitable and successful international airport if it is to achieve its potential growth.

Without a successful airport offering connections to Europe and the rest of the world, the Cork and Munster region will not be in a strong position to attract and hold investment in the area.

The Government’s National Spatial Strategy states a commitment to develop the regional regions with a special emphasis on gateways such as Cork. However, the Government’s total disregard for and treatment of Cork this week leads one to question its commitment to its own strategy.

Government-party members in Cork cry out at how unfair and unjust it is for Cork to be given such a debt at the infancy of the airport. Despite all their bellowing, I do not see them putting actions into words and calling for an abolition of the debt and the resignation of Minister for Transport Martin Cullen.

Far more important than any party politics is the future of the airport and ensuring that those working at the airport do not lose their jobs.

The Government must take responsibility for the mess it has created.

Cllr Deirdre Clune

Douglas Village East



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