David Cullinane, Sinn Féin TD for Waterford, has said that the proposed move by management at Waterford Airport to cut staff cover for emergency and search and rescue should not be allowed to happen.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“I have received information that Waterford airport is to lay off four fire-fighters and security personnel, a move that will have a significant impact on search and rescue for the south east.
“It will also have significant implications for emergency cover at the airport itself.
“According to some sources within the airport, the management are proposing to ‘step in’ to fire-fighter roles in order to keep the service staffed at minimum standards.
“If this turns out to be the case it will be completely unacceptable.
“The government subsidises the emergency helicopter at Waterford airport so this is not simply a matter for the airport’s management but for the Minister as well.”
David Cullinane said he would be writing to the CEO of Waterford Airport as well as the Minister for Transport to explain the situation and give assurances that lives would not be put at risk.