Move airport to Leitrim call

Paul Deering

Published 19/11/2008 | 16:06

Historic gathering… Monday night's Borough Council sits without officials. Credit: Photo: Carl Brennan

A businessman wants Sligo Airport to relocate to County Leitrim offering the ideal solution, he says, to the present difficulties being encountered over the planned runway extension in Strandhill.

Having become aware of the continuing controversy over plans by Sligo Airport Company to extend the runway on to Dorrin's Strand in order to comply with Irish Aviation Authority and International Civil Aviation Organisation standards, Mr. Charlie Ferguson has earmarked a site near the village of Kinlough on the south side of lake Melvin which he says has already got the seal of approval from engineers and international pilots.

Mr. Ferguson told The Sligo Champion that the 600 acre site would accommodate a runway of 3,000 metres and would be an the perfect location for an airport to serve the North West and border region.

The board of Sligo Airport has applied for planning permission for a 259 metre runway reconfiguration to the east which would require the construction of a platform over mudflats at Dorrin's Strand but the plan has run into opposition.

Mr. Ferguson, whose background is in major construction and civil engineering works, said his family owned a substantial portion of the Kinlough site while agreement in principle had been reached with other landowners in relation to future development if it was financially viable.

"I have been made aware of the planning difficulties that exist and that the current site is substandard by international standards," he said.

Geographically, the airport would be better in County Leitrim, said Mr. Ferguson.

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