FERMANAGH District Council has refuted allegations that St Angelo airport is going into ‘terminal decline’.
However, a spokesman for the council – which owns the airport – confirmed that the amphibious flying school, which is based there, is closing ‘for family reasons’, and is relocating in England.
Last week, a Herald reader – who did not want to be identified – emailed regarding developments at St Angelo which the council has leased to the Enniskillen Airport Company.
The email stated: “I am alarmed to hear the Amphibious Flying School is leaving Enniskillen Airport. This comes after the cafe has shut, and it seems the airport is going downhill.
“The flying club has trained many pilots who have gone on to become commercial airline pilots, and is a valuable resource. Soon the helicopter school will probably leave, and there will be nothing left. “What can be done about this terminal decline in the airport’s future? A massive hanger was built not long ago costing millions of pounds, yet what is it being used for?
“Can someone step in and help out the fledgling little businesses who are still left at the airport. One of the directors was in the paper (the Herald) not long ago, and has now left. Who actually owns and runs this airport, which we are so lucky to have in Fermanagh?
“ It is appalling that the council is not doing anything about this or any other local politicians,” the reader concluded.
Robert Gibson, the director of leisure with Fermanagh district council, explained that the council owned the airport and leased it to the Enniskillen Airport Company which, at one time, comprised two directors, now one, Alan Cathcart.
“His co-director, Stephen Finlay had always said he was only in it for a short period and would withdraw when he felt sure everything was fine and would and over control to Mr Cathcart.
“I have spoken to Alan this morning about these claims and, yes, the amphibious school is closing for family reasons and moving back to England. However, the Enniskillen Airport Company is currently looking to replace this service.”
As regards the helicopter business, Mr Gibson insisted it was going, ‘from strength to strength’, and he commented:
“Enniskillen Airport Company are running Enniskillen Airport as a business and are seeking opportunities at all times to improve and grow the business.”
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition