Deputy Cullinane said:
“Notwithstanding the caveats placed upon it by Cabinet, the government’s commitment to the future development of Waterford Airport is to be welcomed.
“I note that this is through matching funds, not a grant, but the important thing is we have an opportunity here to secure a key capital project for the region and it must be grasped with both hands.
“The local authorities of the south-east, as well as certain business interests, have agreed to participate on the basis that the Minister will release €5m for the project.
“The reason why there have not been any flights from Waterford Airport in three years is because it is well-nigh impossible to attract carriers to use the Airport in its present condition.
“We need the investment in order to extend the runway and by doing so bring much-needed jobs and infrastructure to Waterford and the south-east.
“This has to be a priority for the Minister and government. We cannot continue to see the south-east downgraded by officials in Dublin with little or no idea of the needs of the region.
“Both local business and regional authorities have shown their commitment to the Airport. We need the Minister to act quickly and follow up his announcement as a matter of urgency.
“Despite all the caveats, we need this to happen.
“I will support this initiative in every way I can.”