A PROPOSED NEW ‘aerotropolis’ in Offaly has been mooted for more than a decade, but in recent months it has got renewed impetus after a €2.5 million bid for State funding from the local council.
The airport’s backers say the aviation hub could bring much-needed jobs to the surrounding area, while also acting as a pressure valve for Dublin Airport – which is facing capacity constraints.
In addition to an airport terminal and runway providing potential access to “all major international destinations”, the development firm behind the largely privately funded scheme also wants to build a manufacturing and logistics hub on the 1,800-acre campus.
However opponents say most parts of Ireland are well-served for air connections, with five international airports across the island already serving a relatively small population and geographical area by global standards.
A new midlands airport would also compete for the same passengers Dublin Airport, the country’s dominant hub, which is little more than a one-hour drive at non-peak times from the proposed site.
With that in mind, we’re asking Fora readers this week: Do you think a new airport for the midlands is a good idea?