Galway's two local authorities have agreed to purchase Galway Airport for €1.1 million.

The 115-acre site at Carnmore, on the outskirts of Galway city, will cease to function as an airport in the coming weeks.

The site has been used solely for private aviation since 2011, after the withdrawal of State funding for services led to a gradual withdrawal of commercial services from the facility.

Efforts in recent months to operate a park-and-ride facility from the airport have not been successful, with limited passenger numbers travelling on bus services into the city.

Galway City Council and Galway County Council said it is a strategic purchase and will be of benefit given the economic and enterprise remit for local authorities.

Galway Chamber of Commerce, the majority shareholder in the airport, said the airport was no longer viable as a passenger facility without a Government subvention.

It said the proceeds from the sale will be used to pay creditors and there will be no debt attached to the facility when it transfers to the ownership of the local authorities.

Chamber President Jim Fennell said a "satisfactory arrangement" had been arrived at with the airport's main creditors: two banks and the Department of Transport.

He said the deal was a good one for the city and county.

The five employees currently working at the airport will be made redundant as a result of the sale and will receive statutory redundancy payments.

No finalised plans for site

The councils said they have not finalised any plan for the future development or use of the airport site.

The local authorities said the purchase presents opportunities for economic development in the region. 

Any plans for the site will be have to be jointly agreed by both councils.

Galway County Mayor Liam Carroll said the authorities needed to discuss and devise the best possible use for the facility.

He said the €1.1m cost for the airport would come from capital budgets.

Mr Carroll said there were several potential uses that could be examined, including a technology park or the development of a centre of sports excellence for the western region.

He would not be drawn on a timeframe for any proposals.

Mr Carroll said both councils were adamant that the parcel of land, which sits on the city/county border, would be utilised in the interests of people in the area.

The deal comes in advance of new responsibilities for local authorities regarding economic development, which come into force next year.

The councils take ownership of the 115 acres of land with a 1,300-metre runway, as well as the former terminal building and two hangars.