This from the Offaly Independent:
The idea of an airport in Horsleap was first mooted in late 2005 by the then President of Tullamore Chamber of Commerce, Brian Kenny. At that time, he suggested the village should initially be the venue for a heliport, which could, in time, become a full international airport.
However, that idea has now been moved a step forward with the beginning of the feasibility study, which will examine the costs, viability, scale and scope of an airport development in the midlands region.
The chamber see an airport as a key infrastructural development for the region, specifically the three gateway towns.
“Horseleap is an ideal central location to serve the three towns of Tullamore, Mullingar and Athlone. It is also close to the new motorway/rail network and it’s flat,” according to Mr Little.
He added an airport would increase population, business, bring in tourists and improve the quality of life of people in the midlands area.
“With the motorway opening up, we will only be 45 minutes from Lucan. It would be easier and a more pleasant experience for many people in Kildare, and parts of Dublin to get a plane from the midlands rather than Dublin,” Mr Little outlined.
It’s understood the study will take at least three months to complete, after which if it is deemed feasible, the chamber will then go looking for finance from the various public bodies.
“We would need to go looking for finance to develop the project further and get the public bodies approval
According to Patrick Little, “It is all dependent on getting the business model right. It is a high risk project and all strategies would need to come together but it would be hugely beneficial for the midlands to have an airport,” he concluded.