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Recommendations from Aviation Taskforce ‘can save jobs’ say Shannon Group

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*CEO of Shannon Group, Mary Considine. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Recommendations from the published report by the Aviation Recovery Taskforce will save jobs, the CEO of Shannon Group has stated.

Rebuilding of Ireland’s economy will be given a kickstart by the recommendations of the report, Shannon Group have maintained. The entity responsible for Shannon Airport and Shannon Heritage have come under fire in recent weeks for the decisions to open Mid-West tourist attractions for a limited period this year while announced job losses and pay cuts at the International Airport have prompted the establishment of the Save Shannon Airport Campaign.

CEO of Shannon Group, Mary Considine was a member of the Aviation Recovery Taskforce. She was appointed to the group by former Minister for Transport, Shane Ross (IND).

In a statement to The Clare Echo, she outlined that the contribution of airports such as Shannon to the regional and national economy was recognised in the report. “It sets out clear recommendation to Government to support the restoration of vital air services into Shannon Airport. We now need to see the speedy implementation of the report to help rebuild our regional and national economy.

“Rebuilding lost air connectivity at airports like Shannon will be vital in rebuilding our economy. The Taskforce report recognises this and their importance in supporting balanced regional development”.

Among its findings, the report recommends that a stimulus package be put in place for Shannon, Cork, Knock and Donegal airports to allow them reduce airport charges for airlines which will help restore and grow passenger numbers into the regions. It also calls for an increased investment in international marketing funding for Tourism Ireland, with emphasis on regions in conjunctions with regional airports like Shannon to stimulate recovery of inbound tourism into regions.

Another recommendation asks that funding for essential capital projects should be granted to airports like Shannon. This would be in line with current European Commission rules on State Supports which allows for airports with under three million passengers to receive capital expenditure support.

The Taskforce report also calls for the extension of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme until March 2021 and liquidity supports for the aviation sector. It also recommends a review of National Aviation Policy.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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