There is now a clear pathway for the required funding to be provided for capital investment works at Sligo Airport in order to support the continuation of the Search and Rescue service from the Strandhill base, according to the Minister for State at the Department of Health Frank Feighan.

He told Midwest News this evening it  follows a positive meeting between Department of Transport officials, The Irish Coast Guard and Management and members of the Board of Directors of Sligo Airport today.

The meeting was attended by Minister Frank Feighan, deputies Marc MacSharry , Marian Harkin, Department of Transport Airport Division officials, The Irish Coast Guard and representatives of the Sligo Airport Board of Directors.

Minister Feighan says there needs to be improved communication in the coming days on this issue between the Department of Transport and CHC, the company which operates the Search and Rescue service on behalf of the Irish Coast Guard.

But he insists that Sligo Airport will be ready, willing and able to deliver the required runway and lighting upgrade works on time. 

“As a result of commitments made at the meeting, I am now satisfied that there is no threat to the future of this vital Search and Rescue service or about it being moved from Strandhill for the duration of the contract currently in place which runs until 2023”, he told Midwest News.