Regional airports to receive €48 million extra funding

Galway Daily news €5 million funding for Knock Airport includes state of the art screening system

Regional airports including Knock and Shannon in the west of Ireland will benefit from an additional €48 million in funding agreed on Tuesday.

The Department of Transport will provide and additional €22 million for Shannon and Cork airports on top of the €10 million already in Budget 2021.

The smaller regional airports of Knock, Kerry and Donegal will receive another €6 million under the Regional Airports Programme, on top of the €21m already announced.

The final part of the funding package agreed this week is an Airport Charges Rebate Scheme which will run from January to March of next year.

The Scheme, which is subject to State Aid approval from the EU Commission, was recommended by the Task Force for Aviation Recovery and will have an estimated cost of €20 million.

The revised funding package for the aviation sector signed off on by the government this weeks comes to €80 million.

Minister of State and Galway West TD, Hildegarde Naughton said that 2020 has been an extremely difficult year for the entire aviation sector.

“Both for those employed directly and for businesses who rely on the sector, pilots and cabin crew, the staff at our airports, engineers, the groundhandling crew, the fueling companies, disability service handlers and catering staff.”

These measures will help to “protect and preserve” Ireland’s strategic connectivity, she said, with €180 million being spent on the aviation sector this year and in 2021.

“The funding package being announced today will ensure that our regional airports can maintain the necessary core capability to conserve strategic connectivity and to quickly rebound when circumstances allow.”

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said that the while “It is expected that it may be some time before it is possible to permit a large scale return to air travel”, the government will help to retain the “core capability” of the sector so that it can rebound when circumstances change.