A €5 million extension to the main terminal building at Knock airport has got the final go-ahead.
The new terminal area in the townland of Kilgarriff west, comprises a departure lounge, retail, security screening, baggage handling area, check-in hall, office accommodation and associated works.
Work on the new terminal is expected to begin in April and be completed by the end of the year. Environmentalist Peter Sweetman had complained that excessive aircraft noise would be created in the area.
He had appealed to An Bord Pleanála a decision by Mayo County Council to grant permission for the 1,500 metre extension which would include a doubling in size of the check-in area as well as new security screening and additional seating at departures.
However, airport chief executive Robert Grealis yesterday welcomed the ruling, saying the increased space was "desperately wanted". "The building's current capacity is 500,000 passengers per annum. We are projecting 700,000 passengers this year so it's a tight squeeze, especially in the summer season."