Written Answers. - Trans-European Airport Network.

Batt O'Keeffe

Question:

25 Mr. B. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications if he intends to have Cork Airport designated as an Airport of Community Importance. [8278/95]

I assume the Deputy is referring to the European Commission Proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision on the Development of a Trans-European Airport Network.

This proposal provided that the Trans-European Airport Network shall comprise airports of common interest situated within the territory of the Community which are open to commercial air traffic and which comply with certain specified criteria. Inclusion of airports in the network is a prerequisite to enable these airports to qualify for possible EU funding.

The proposal is at present being considered by the European Parliament and the Council's working group.
Cork Airport is listed in the Commission's proposal as a regional connecting point airport. This will render the airport eligible for EU funding, when the decision is adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.
The classification of Cork Airport was determined by reference to the traffic volume handled by the airport. However I should stress that the current classifications of airports generally in the Commission's proposal are not cast in stone. Airports can be upgraded to a higher category where future traffic growth justifies this.