Shannon Chambers has responded to a call from the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross T.D., seeking submissions to inform the compilation of Ireland’s next Regional Airports Programme.
Submissions were sought from interested parties seeking to contribute to the design of optimal, cost-effective measures in support of regional airports, and to align to policy objectives in other areas such as regional development, connectivity, sustainability, and climate impacts. When calling for submissions, the Minister stated that: “Securing best value for money in the deployment of Exchequer funds will also be crucial”.
Shannon Chamber’s Submission (see below link) provided responses to the following questions:
- The effectiveness of the current Regional Airports Programme
- Suggested changes that Shannon Chamber would like to see in the new Programme
- How the Programme can best support Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy, having regard to policy on climate action and sustainability
- Shannon Chamber’s views on the PSO scheme, the air service routes currently being supported and whether the Scheme should continue beyond 2022.
Shannon Chamber’s questions/ suggestions included:
- Assessing the current programme for its value for money?
- Has it led to displacement? Does it distort passenger movement between subsidised and non-subsidised regional airports? Is this cost effective?
- An assessment of its impact on rail services is warranted.
- Detailed surveys of passenger profiles at subsidised airports warranted to assess their impact on non-subsidised airports.
- Shannon and Cork, as airports with less than 3 million passengers, should be included in the Programme.
- The environmental impact of people movement should be an essential element of the new Programme.
- Investment into supports for airline connectivity into the regional airports to support diversification of trade and tourism as we face Brexit would deliver a better return to the Exchequer than the provision of PSO funding.