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Executive Ministers urge Transport Secretary to support vital links

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City of Derry Airport
City of Derry Airport
BT Coleraine

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy, Economy Minister, Diane Dodds and Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon today spoke with Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps and urged him to put in place support for our airports and ports.

Minister Murphy said: “Today I reinforced to the Transport Secretary the urgent need to support airports.

“It was a productive phone call with Grant Shapps and Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis. I hope the Transport Secretary can quickly deliver the support needed to maintain business links in the short-term and ensure our airport links remain in place now and when we enter the economic recovery stage.”

Economy Minister, Diane Dodds added: “Today I had an important conversation on air connectivity with the Transport Secretary and Secretary of State. I impressed upon them the essential role of Northern Ireland’s three airports, not only during this crisis, but also when we emerge from it.

“Belfast City airport is an important business link from the centre of our capital to GB. The International Airport has maintained and will continue to maintain, vital freight links for the province. And the North West’s economy benefits directly from the routes provided through the City of Derry Airport. Strong air connectivity with GB has never been more vital for our economy and, therefore, it remains a top priority for me.”

Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon added: “I understand that the economic impact of the current COVID-19 crisis is being acutely felt by many sectors including Ports, Airports and Airlines. Maintaining connectivity is vitally important and I will continue to work with Executive colleagues engaging with the representatives of ports and airports to ensure that no effort will be spared to ensure that happens. Today I also spoke with the Secretary of State for Transport and raised the need for financial assistance to support ports and the local aviation industry. I will continue to press for critical support to protect our economy and most importantly our community at this difficult time.”

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