Airbus proposal for Galway Airport still grounded

Galway Airport

The failure of County and City Council officials to meet with a ‘large multinational company’ interested in leasing Galway Airport was raised again at a meeting of Galway County Council.

Cllr James Charity (Ind) said he had first raised the issue in April and despite an initial meeting between the parties, the lines of communication have since gone cold.

“I raised the issue of a large multinational company interested in leasing Galway Airport. Subsequent to that meeting, there were talks but six months on, having been waiting for some response from the Council, they say that nobody got back to them.

“They’ve now directed that back to a board meeting and I understand they’ve decided they are no longer looking at Galway Airport,” said Cllr Charity.

He said he could not see where the two local authorities, who jointly purchased the Carnmore airport from Galway Chamber in 2013, were going with the facility.

“There seems to be an abject resistance to any aviation on the site,” said the councillor. “We have repeatedly said if there was an option to keep aviation on the site, that’s what we’d do.”

It is understood that Airbus – a world-leader in aviation with several locations across Europe – was willing to pay a six-figure sum to lease the defunct airport on a short-term basis.

Interim Chief Executive of Galway County Council, Kevin Kelly, said there were ongoing discussions with another company seeking to lease the hangars at the airport which meant talks with the multinational company could not progress.

“The company was aware and understood that,” said Mr Kelly.

“There have been other interested parties. Under Urban Regional Development, we have applied for funding to assist with the development of a Master Plan for that site.

“Once the current tendering process is concluded, then we can move forward,” continued Mr Kelly.

Cllr Jim Cuddy (Ind) raised the issue of the Galway Flying Club’s continued use of the facility – stating that they had yet to receive a response from Galway County Council, having sought to continue their activities from the airfield.

“Galway Flying Club delivered a letter in October. This is November and the lease is up on December 15.

“This Council will not meet again before that,” said Cllr Cuddy, adding that the Flying Club had sought to renew their lease and should be accommodated by the Council.

Mr Kelly confirmed that the Flying Club’s correspondence had been received and that the County Council had been in contact with the City Council in relation to their offer.