DUBLIN, Ireland: Waterford Airport, nine kilometers south-southeast of the city of Waterford, is set to receive a Euro12 million private sector investment for a major runway expansion, with the goal of increasing its accessibility to international flights.
The investment, announced by Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD, and William Bolster, Executive of Waterford Airport, marks a significant step towards positioning the south-east region of Ireland as a key player in air tourism.
Comer Group International, in partnership with Bolster Group, will contribute Euro12 million towards the expansion plan, which is part of an overall investment plan valued at up to Euro30 million. This private investment is the first major commitment in the south-east by Comer Group International, led by local investor William Bolster. The remaining funds will be sought from central and local government sources.
The expansion project aims to equip the airport with the capacity to accommodate large and mid-range airliners like the Airbus 320, facilitating international flights to and from the region. It is anticipated that flights to London will commence by late 2024, with additional destinations to follow.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar hailed the announcement as "hugely important for Waterford and the South East Region," emphasizing the positive impact on international connectivity and passengers. He also stressed the government's commitment to matching funding for the project.
In a joint statement, Comer Group Director Luke Comer and William Bolster, Executive of Waterford Airport, said, "Those local to the area have had to travel to Dublin or Cork to catch flights over the last seven years and the time absolutely felt right to bring the airport back to life with much needed investment and put Waterford firmly back on the international map."
Minister McGrath highlighted the potential economic benefits of extending the runway, making the South East more appealing to leisure and business travelers from abroad, while also simplifying international travel for residents across the region.
"This has the potential to boost economic growth in the region in the decade ahead and complement significant investment already planned for Waterford including in urban regeneration and the South East Technological University," he added.