A €4.3 million allocation to Shannon Airport from the Regional Airports Programme has been welcomed by Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey as a significant move to put Shannon on a level playing field with its competitors.

“I have campaigned over many years to have Shannon included in this important funding stream and this is the first ever allocation to the airport under the programme,” he explained.

“The €4.3 million will enable the airport to further improve safety and security while it will also be used to support projects with a sustainability focus. It’s important that Shannon is incorporated in this programme on a permanent basis as it puts it on a level playing field with its competitors.

“I am again calling on Government to make this commitment in the interest of balanced regional development and to enable Shannon to reestablish its passengers base in the wake of the Covid pandemic,”Deputy Carey added. 

€16.4 million was allocated to regional airports under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025, with almost €6.6 million going  to Donegal, Knock and Kerry regional airports and over €9.8 million allocated to Shannon and Cork airports.

The allocations will contribute towards capital investment in the areas of safety and security at airports, while also supporting projects with a sustainability focus.

Airports eligible for funding under the Regional Airports Programme will also be eligible to apply for operational grant-aid, later this year. Almost €22 million in operational support is also available during 2022 to support air traffic control, fire services and security related operations at airports. 

Announcing details of the programme Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton reiterated the Government’s commitment to help regional airports remain financially sustainable as they prepare for growth into the future.

“This capital funding will support a great number of safety and security related capital projects, ensuring that airports can continue to remain compliant with regulatory requirements in these areas.

“Shannon and Cork regional State airports have never, before now, been eligible for funding under this Programme.  However, due to reduced passenger numbers in 2020 and 2021 as a direct result of Covid, both airports have become eligible for funding under the Programme in 2022,” Minister Naughton added.