17/01/2008

Derry Airport Boss 'Removed'

The temporary suspension of flights at Northern Ireland's third largest airport last spring has continued to have an impact.

The City of Derry Airport closed down when the Civil Aviation Authority expressed concerns over safety, including the lack of effective bird control and poor runway drainage.

Now, this week, the manager of the North West airport has been removed from his position.

Seamus Devine was initially temporarily suspended after an internal investigation was ordered into the airport's four-day closure last May.

Now, he is returning to work but instead as an air traffic controller after an independent report described a "damning list" of shortfalls in safety procedures.

Derry City Council, which owns the airport, said Mr Devine has been removed form his top post following the conclusion of the investigation.

The licence of City of Derry was originally suspended in May when an inspection raised concerns about the drainage, the facility for parking planes and bird controls.

When the airport closed Ryanair – which was operating a service between Londonderry and London Stansted - cancelled its flight.

Also, passengers on British Airways flights to Dublin and Glasgow were advised to check in at City of Derry to board buses that took them to Belfast International where the flights have been rescheduled.

Package holidays and flights bound for Bristol and Liverpool were also temporarily axed.

See: Derry airport closes due to safety failures.

(BMcC)

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