Don’t introduce a departure charge for Galway Airport, says Walsh

Introducing a departure charge for passengers at Galway Airport would be “uncompetitive” and a bad business move according to Fine Gael Cllr Brian Walsh.

Galway Airport is not ruling out the introduction of a €10 departure charge, similar to one that is in operation in Knock Airport, in order to fund projects the airport hopes can become a reality in the future.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Galway Airport managing director Joe Walsh gave a presentation to councillors on the airport’s plans and ideas.

Councillors heard that Government funding has been cut by 50 to 60 per cent. Also the airport is considering ideas which would involve the extension of the runway and the construction of a new terminal, and entrance routes to the airport.

Should these come to pass, the airport predicts that it could be receiving 1.2 million passengers a year by 2030.

However funding must come from some quarter. Cllr Walsh asked if this could include something like a €10 departure charge. Mr Walsh replied that it was being considered and was not being ruled in or out.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Walsh told the Galway Advertiser that if the airport introduced the charge, it would be a bad business move.

“I think it would be wrong to introduce this charge,” he said. “I think it would be very uncompetitive to charge people for leaving the airport and it might be something which could make them reconsider using the airport. The airport should look at other ways of securing funding, not this.”

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