High hopes for Galway airport’s future

Galway Airport
Galway Airport

A decision on the future usage of Galway Airport should be made in the early months of next year when the City and County Councils consider a consultant’s report on the site.

Nine submission tenders are being considered by Galway City and County Councils to carry out a feasibility study on the future of the 115 acres, now in the ownership of the two local authorities.

“There have been a lot of suggestions but no decision will be made until both Councils study in detail the report of the consultants,” said a spokesman for the City Council.

Meanwhile, the airport will continue to be operated by Carnmore Aviation Ltd., a subsidiary of the Weston private airport near Dublin, until next summer when their 11 month lease on the property expires.

Since Carnmore Aviation Ltd. took over the Carnmore facility last June, it has continued to operate as an airport, accommodating private flights, the local flying club as well as facilitating the Irish Coast Guard and the Air Corps.

Ballinasloe based Civil Engineering firm, Conneely Engineering, own the Weston facility – the company’s MD, Brian Conneely, is an Abbeyknockmoy native.

Both councils paid a total of €1.1m for the airport site, taking on the project in the context of the site being a valuable public asset for the city and county.

However, the Galway City Tribune has learned that the Weston owners are interested in developing Galway as a major European centre for the training and up-skilling of pilots, at a location where air space is relatively clear.

They are also hoping that the airport could become an important hub for multi-national companies in the city using private jets. The Weston owners are also involved in the importation of aviation fuel.

The City Council though have insisted that no decision on whether the site will continue to operate as an airport has been taken – and won’t until the feasibility report has been completed and studied.

“The purchase of the site was a strategic decision, given its size and location close to the M6 and on the fringe of Galway city.

“We would expect though that after receiving the report of the consultants early next year, a decision will be made shortly after on the medium to long term usage of the site,” said the City Council spokesman.

Weston Airport in Dublin currently operate a ‘private air taxi service’ to Biggin Hill airport in London, used primarily by company executives aiming to save travel time with the use of the quieter private airports.