Waterford News

Progress at Waterford Airport as TDs briefed on business plan

Progress at Waterford Airport as TDs briefed on business plan
Will we see a Ryanair take-off at Waterford Airport?

There's been a positive development concerning the long-running Waterford Airport redevelopment saga.

Four members of the Regional Group of TDs, along with former Aer Arann owner and Shannon Group chairperson, Pádraig Ó Céidigh met with Waterford Airport management earlier this week in advance of a business plan being offered to the Government.

The prospectus being prepared is to extend the existing runway to cater to passenger jet traffic including Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft.

TDs Matt Shanahan, Michael Lowry, Verona Murphy, and Cathal Berry believe that the extension of the runway at Waterford Airport is key to the future development of the region.


Independent TD for Waterford Matt Shanahan says he has the full support of his Regional Group colleagues to see this project succeed who are concerned with regional development throughout the country.

The timeline for government receipt of the finished funding prospectus is thought to be a matter of two to three weeks, and supporters will be looking for a response as soon as possible as developments need to begin within the summer months to meet the envisaged construction schedule.

Speaking to WLR FM, Shanahan did admit that some issues still need to be addressed.


"We looked at figures yesterday, and there are very significant economic benefits to doing this project, but the question here now is the political will, and I think at this stage it requires all of the South East Oireachtas members to push not just this project, but for all projects in the region that need to be developed.

Shannon Group chairperson, Pádraig Ó Céidigh said he "[believes] in Waterford Airport. I believe in this region.


"When I owned Aer Arran, we actually started services out of here to Brittany and Luton and we got great community support. It is absolutely key for the infrastructure."

He continued: "The return on investment the taxpayer in this state will get if they extend this runway to take the Ryanair jets is huge [and] in figures I have calculated, they will get €5  back for every €1 of investment."

Waterford Airport's False Dawns

Back in November 2022, Beat reported that runway extension works would commence at the airport in early 2023. Official confirmation was expected shortly after the Christmas period.

At the time, Beat reported that the extension will involve the creation of a 2,287-metre-long and 45-metre-wide runway - long enough to facilitate the take-off and landing of Boeing 737s used by Ryanair or Airbus A320s used by Aer Lingus.

Airport staff were briefed on the planned construction at the time.

Should this happen it is understood that the investment will be funded in large by the Comer Group. who are set to share 80% of the airport's ownership.

Verbal assurances have been provided by the government regarding the remaining funding pending the final submission of updated costings by Waterford Airport.

New Waterford Airport Owners

In August 2023, Beat reported that Galway-born billionaire siblings the Comer Brothers had agreed to pay around €20 million for a majority stake in Waterford Airport.

The Comer brothers have acquired and developed a sizable portfolio including Berlin's Die Pyramide, London's Alexander House, and Palmerstown Estate in Ireland.

The regional airport hasn't operated commercial flights since 2016 and the additional funding is likely to progress plans for the construction of a runway extension.

According to the Independent, a significant investment programme is included in the acquisition price.

Additional reporting by Kyle Butler for WLR FM