Sligo County Council have granted planning permission for the controversial runway extension at Sligo airport.
The plannig permission was granted by Sligo County Council on Monday 17th September, despite a total of 221 submissions by people opposed to the development after a campaign spearheaded by the Dorrins and Cummeen Strand Conservation Group.
Sligo airport manager Joe Corcoran, welcoming the decision said: “This is a very important milestone in providing a modern and efficient regional airport and represents confidence in the procedure that Sligo Airport has followed in order to address compliance issues with the present facility”.
The airport aims to extend the runway out on a 259 metres platform onto Dorrins Strand on the eastern side to comply with updated criteria set by the International Civil Aviation Authority.
The project also involves the installation of an instrument landing system to improve poor weather operations. An upgrading of the runway and approach lighting system is planned, together with fencing of the airport to meet requirements of the Department of Transports Security Division.
Mr Corcoran said the improvements are neccessary to meet the criteria set by the Irish Aviation Authority. “Without this work being carried out the licensing of Sligo Airport as a public commercial Airport would be in jeopardy”.
However, the Dorrins and Cummeen Strand Conservation Group has vowed to vigorously object to the council’s decision by way of an application to An Bord Pleanala.
Mr Corcoran has pointed out that the present operation at the airport supports over 60 direct jobs taking in the airport operation itself, maintaining the Coast Guard search and rescue facility and Usher Aviation, the Aircraft Maintenance company.
Mr Corcoran said the staff of the airport wish to thank the planning staff of Sligo County Council for the thorough way the planning application was handled.