SHANNON AIRPORT IS TO RECEIVE over €6m in funding under the Regional Airports Programme.

A total allocation of €21,100,051 in direct exchequer supports has been announced by the Department of Transport split between five different airports.

Cork Airport (€10,402,880) has received the biggest allocation followed by Shannon (€6,836,610), Ireland West (€1,787,797), Kerry (€1,434,355) and Donegal (€638,409). The figure for Shannon is an increase on the €5,527,049 from last year.

It brings to €11,184,360, the total funding allocation obtained by Shannon with €4,347,750 granted in a capital allocation earlier this year.

All funds are to be administered under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025, which provides targeted support for vital safety and security operations at the airports such as air traffic control, fire services and security, ensuring airports can continue to remain compliant with regulatory requirements in these areas. A mid-term review of the programme is to be completed by the end of 2023.

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton (FG) noted that the anticipated level of funding “is 41% higher than last year’s operational funding allocation, will meet 100% of all eligible salary costs in the areas of safety, security and air traffic control at these airports in 2022”. She said the support demonstrated the Government’s commitments to regional airports.

Ireland’s aviation industry has recovered well following the lifting of travel restrictions in March 2022. Funding this year to airports will total over €37 million, which has helped to support strong recovery and growth of passenger traffic through Irish airports. This funding builds on the €161 million provided in unprecedented aviation supports during 2021.

Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) said the funding for Shannon arrives “at a critical juncture in its history”. He stated, “Shannon is proving time and time again to be recovering strongly from the Covid-19 pandemic but the work is far from over. This funding can be used for vital safety and security operations at the airports such as air traffic control, fire services and security, ensuring airports can continue to remain compliant with regulatory requirements in these areas”.

All eligible salary costs in the areas of safety, security and air traffic control are anticipated to be met for 2022 as a result, Joe Carey TD (FG) believed. “It is vital that Shannon continues to qualify for this support as part of the Regional Airports Programme which will undergo a mid-term review to be completed by the end of 2023. This will consider how the programme is delivering on its objectives, primarily in the context of supporting balanced regional development. It will also explore how international connectivity and services, to and from the regions can be maintained and enhanced”.

Senator Martin Conway (FG) maintained the investment was “crucial for the continue stability and growth in Clare and the Mid-West economy”.

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