The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, T.D., has today published an Issues Paper for Consultation on the development of Ireland’s next Regional Airports Programme.
Minister Ross said today’s publication is an important step in the process to replace the current Programme, which will expire at the end of this year.
‘Inclusive and informed policy development is dependent on timely engagement with key stakeholders and I look forward to receiving people’s views on Government policy in this area’.
Commenting on the publication, the Minister said: “The paper provides the framework to allow us invite views on the effectiveness of current support measures but we are also asking for respondents to consider the need for something different’.
The Issues Paper describes the structure of existing Programme supports and grant schemes and provides a brief outline of the State aid framework that is currently in force in respect of airports and airlines. A short questionnaire is also provided at the end of the Issues Paper to help guide responses.
The Minister hopes the consultation will contribute to the design of optimal, cost effective measures in support of regional airports, but will also align to policy objectives in other areas such as regional development, connectivity, sustainability, and climate impacts. ‘Securing best value for money in the deployment of Exchequer funds will also be crucial’ added the Minister.
The Minister is inviting the views of all key stakeholders and interested parties on the Issues Paper through a public consultation process which will take place between now and 30 September. Minister Ross has undertaken to consider all submissions, before reverting to Government later in 2019 with a draft Regional Airports Programme to cover the period 2020 to 2024.