AN airport which was at the centre of a serious flight safety incident is to receive €8.5m to extend its runway.
Sligo Airport is one of six regional airports to benefit from €86m capital grants package. It will use the funding to extend its runway to meet safety and aviation requirements.
In 2002, a Euro Celtic plane overshot the airport's runway on landing and ended up with its nose in the sea. None of the 36 passengers, which included the members of the Dublin band Aslan, was injured.
Local shellfish farmers have raised concerns about the plan to extend the runway by building a platform over mudflats. But the airport has said that with the Atlantic Ocean close to the west end of the runway and the waters of Sligo harbour near the east end, there was no affordable alternative.
Under the Transport 21 plan funding, Ireland West airport in Knock will receive €27m. Kerry Airport will receive €17.7m to provide better terminal facilities to cope with the increase in tourist numbers, while Waterford, Galway and Donegal airports will receive €22.3m.
© Irish Independent