Update to our story (see below in italics) date line 27 November 2019, the purchase price has been announced as €2.75M, which would seem to be a good deal for the tax payer if it includes the entire infrastructure, including terminal, NavAids, fuel farm, hangar & GSE.
A statement released by Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne reads:
“Aerfort Chonamara is of strategic importance to the communities of the Aran Islands as it is the mainland landing point for the air service to the islands which is funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht.
For over a year, my officials and I have worked to acquire Aerfort Chonamara, which is located at Na Mine in the Indreabhán area.
Having Aerfort Chonamara in State ownership provides certainty and assurance to the communities on Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr as regards the Government’s long-term commitment to this lifeline transport connection.”
The Irish Government is in the final stages of purchasing Aerfort Na Minna/Connemara Regional Airport, at Inviren, County Galway, on the countries west coast, in order to secure long-term connectivity to the Aran Islands.
Aer Arann Islands currently operate from the airport, with a fleet of three BN Islanders, which is 28km west of Galway City, with regular flights to Inis Mór, Inis Meáin, and Inis Oírr out in the Atlantic.
Aer Arann started the service to the islands back in 1970, operating from Oranmore, later moving to Carnmore before setting up at the purpose built airport at Inviren.