Wednesday, 11 November 2020: The joint chambers of Ennis, Limerick, Galway and Shannon have welcomed the revised €80 million funding package agreed by Government for the aviation sector, particularly the additional €8.4 million allocated to Shannon Airport and the inclusion of an Airport Charges Rebate Scheme, subject to EU Commission approval.
Commenting on this acknowledgment by Government of the significance of the aviation sector to the Irish economy, regional airports’ role is delivering balanced regional development, and the essentiality of protecting and preserving air connectivity for our island nation, the chambers in a joint statement said: “This funding will help airports, including Shannon, to weather the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on their operations and to remain sustainable until air travel resumes at an acceptable level.
“The Airport Charges Rebate Scheme, if approved by the EU Commission, will encourage the rebuilding of traffic, through directly providing the airports with a common fixed sum per passenger. This will enable the airports to stimulate traffic by reducing airport charges for airlines and restoring and growing passenger numbers to the regions.”
Having lobbied extensively for recognition of the role Shannon Airport plays in stimulating economic activity along the western seaboard, and the necessity of enabling the Airport to remain functional and sustainable for the long term, the joint Chambers thanked the Government, particularly Ministers Eamon Ryan and Hildegarde Naughton, and local politicians, for their commitment to Shannon Airport and Irish aviation.
“We will continue to keep the alignment of national aviation policy on our and Government’s agenda and will continue our call on Government to engage with airlines to devise plans for strategic route development into regional airports.”
The Chambers also welcomed the decision by Government to undertake a study to assess the potential for a rail link from Shannon Airport and Shannon town to the Dublin Ennis rail line.