‘Derry can’t be left on the hook for airport that serves entire region’

Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly. (0605PG64)
Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly. (0605PG64)

Derry City and Strabane District Council’s neighbouring local authorities, as well as regional and national government, need to step up to the plate in terms of contributing to the running costs of City of Derry Airport.

That’s according to Independent councillor for the Moor District Electoral Area (DEA), Gary Donnelly, who said ratepayers in Derry and Strabane can’t continue to subsidise the facility on their own.

Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly. (0605PG64)

Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly. (0605PG64)

“We need a proper rescue package for this airport.

“We need to be looking at State aid and other councils paying their fair share into it,” said Colr. Donnelly.

The Creggan-based representative pointed to the fact that citizens of the Causeway Coast& Glens and Donegal areas are in many cases better served by the airport than some citizens of Derry and Strabane who lived further afield.

“You could live a mile from the airport or half a mile and not pay anything in your rates towards it,” he said.

“But you could be coming from Creggan or Castlederg, 40 miles away, and you are paying through your rates for it.”

Colr. Donnelly said the current situation was inequitable.

“Look at Causeway Coast & Glens and Donegal, there is a significant percentage of users from Donegal, so these councils need to b asked to contribute.

“The council seems to be just firing money into an endless hole here and it’s causing other problems with rates, particularly in and around the city centre.”