independent

Monday 21 October 2019

Fears expressed on rescue service

‘Lonrach Solas’ the resident rescue helicopter at Sligo Airport
‘Lonrach Solas’ the resident rescue helicopter at Sligo Airport

Sligo Airport may not be able to continue to provide a base to Rescue 118, the search and rescue helicopter according to Fianna Fáil general election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim, Shane Ellis

Following meetings with airport officials he stated: "I am in frequent dialogue with Albert Higgins, Chairperson of Sligo Airport Board, who has concerns as the airport is struggling to meet the costs required for a 24-hour tower which is critical to operations of Rescue 118.

"I understand the cost of the tower is approximately €50k per year yet since the public service obligation funding ceased for the airport there is little to no income at the airport. Compared with Waterford Airport, who are of a similar level yet receive much funding yearly, we in the west are being left behind. Along the western sea board, we know all too well the dedication and commitment of our search and rescue teams. It is imperative they have a base in Sligo and that funding is guaranteed for the tower to facilitate operations out of Sligo."

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