Spin-off for Sligo Airport
SLIGO AIRPORT could be one of the main beneficiaries of a spin-off from the G8 summit.
According to airport manager, Joe Corcoran, the airport in Strandhill is ideally placed to cater for any ancillary air traffic associated with the big event. He said: "We have the faculties to cater with the air traffic, all we need is to be asked."
With refuelling facilities available at Sligo airport, Mr Corcoran expects to be put on standby.
"It's very likely that Sligo will be used, possibility on the security side such as by the Air Corps," he added.
Sligo Airport already has experience of catering for major events and was to the forefront when the World Rally Championships was held here in 2007 and 2009.
Apart from dozens of aircraft using the airport at Strandhill, the Sligo airport authorities also established an airfield at IT Sligo during the event to cater for the large volume of helicopter traffic.
Enniskillen does not have an airport but has an airfield and the main airports likely to be used for ferrying the World's leaders in and out from Northern Ireland will be Derry and Belfast.
"Jet traffic will obviously use those airports but for the smaller aircraft I've no doubt there'll be a spin-off for Sligo," said Mr Corcoran.
It would be a welcome boost for Sligo Airport following the decision of the Government in February 2011 to withdraw the Public Service Obligation funding from the DublinSligo route and the consequent ending of scheduled flights to and from the capital.