City of Derry Airport: Funding package to be announced

City of Derry Airport Image copyright City of Derry Airport
Image caption The Derry to Stansted flights will cease in March 2017

Details of a multimillion pound funding package from Stormont to support City of Derry airport are expected in the "coming days."

John Kelpie, Chief Executive of Derry and Strabane District Council, told BBC Radio Foyle that discussions on the funds are at an "advanced stage."

The funding would establish a route development fund at the Derry airport.

On Tuesday, City of Derry airport confirmed Ryanair was to drop a number of services from its 2017 schedule.

Both the Stansted and Faro routes are being axed, while the flight to Liverpool is being reduced to twice a week.

Mr Kelpie said the Stormont funding had received the backing "at the highest level" and enjoyed cross-party support.

"We are talking days rather than months for an announcement," he said

The airport is currently also exploring the option of operating government funded public service obligation (PSO) flights to London.

Mr Kelpie said the PSO application was being treated "very favourably" by the Department of Transport in London.

He said that if all "the pieces line up" a new airline will be offering a twice or three times daily flight to London as of April 2017 when Ryanair cease its service.

Running at loss

The Derry airport is currently running at a £2.145m loss per year, paid for by local ratepayers.

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