Source: Pat McGrath, RTE
The Irish Government has signed a new contract to secure air services to and from the Aran Islands off Irelands west coast, for the next four years.
The €5.6M deal will see Galway Aviation Services Limited, trading as Aer Arann Islands, operating flights to Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr.
The agreement includes day to day management of the State owned Aerfort Chonamara, along with aerodromes on the three islands.
The company is also charged with the management of two other (non-operational) facilities in Cleggan - near Clifden - and on Inisbofin.
Built at a cost of €9M, the airstrips have never been formally commissioned and have been effectively lying idle for years.
The new contract with Galway Aviation Services runs until 2025.Editorial note: Aer Arann (Now Aer Arann Islands) have operated services linking the three Atlantic Coast islands on Irelands Wild Atlantic Way since 1970, providing vital year round community connectivity with the mainland, supporting tourism & trade, initially based at Oranmore & later Carnmore next to Galway City & currently operating from Aerfort Chonamara (Connemara Airport), approx. 20 miles west of the "City of Tribes", a reference to the city's Irish - Norman history.