Dáil Éireann - Volume 623 - 04 July, 2006

Written Answers. - Regional Airports.

Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Transport if he has received a proposal from the board [447] of Waterford Regional Airport to extend the runway at that airport; when that proposal was submitted to him; if he will provide funding for the proposed extension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26266/06]

  Mr. Cullen:A total of €100 million will be available for investment in capital projects in all regional airports under the Transport 21 framework between 2006 and 2015.

Following my announcement of the Transport 21 plan, I received a development plan proposal from Waterford Regional Airport in December 2005. A key element of that proposal was the extension of the runway and associated works. My Department advised the airport at the time that it was formulating a new scheme to implement the Transport 21 provisions and that formal submission of proposals under the new scheme would be sought in due course.

My Department has now launched the new scheme and has invited the regional airports to submit their applications by 15th September 2006. These will be assessed and prioritised by my Department later this year by reference to a planning and implementation framework extending to 2010. Meanwhile, for the sake of legal certainty, the new scheme has been formally notified to the EU Commission for clearance in relation to the guidelines on the funding of regional airports which were published in December last.

It is open to Waterford Regional Airport to submit the runway development proposal for consideration under the new scheme.