Shannon Airport is set to receive a further €10m in supports under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025, the Covid-19 Regional State Airports Programme 2021, as well as the Covid-19 Supplementary Supports Scheme for Irish Airports recently approved by the European Commission.
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton T.D., has announced the provision of almost €108 million in direct Exchequer supports to the airports of Shanon, Cork, Dublin, Ireland West (Knock), Kerry and Donegal.
This funding is being administered under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025, the Covid-19 Regional State Airports Programme 2021, as well as the Covid-19 Supplementary Supports Scheme for Irish Airports recently approved by the European Commission.
Of the €108m in funding announced today, €15 million is provided under the Regional Airports Programme and the Regional State Airports Programme, targeted at vital safety and security operations at the airports such as air traffic control, fire services and security, ensuring airports can continue to remain compliant with regulatory requirements in these areas.
Announcing these allocations, Minister of State Naughton said “I fully recognise the devastating impact that Covid has had on our regional airports. This is why I am delighted to announce that the operational funding of €15 million will cover 100% of the cost of all eligible expenditure at Shannon, Cork, Donegal, Knock and Kerry airports in 2021 under the Scheme. This will go a long way towards enabling these airports to remain financially sustainable as they move beyond this current crisis and into 2022’.
The remaining €93 million is being provided under the Supplementary Supports Scheme to Irish Airports which includes an allocation of almost €3m under Phase 2 of the overall €26 million Supplementary Supports package approved by Government on 10 November 2020. €23 million under this package was allocated previously during July this year. The additional €90 million under this Scheme, announced by Government in October and approved by the EU Commission on 3 December, is also being allocated today. This funding has been allocated to each airport on a pro-rata basis in line with 2019 passenger numbers and calculated in accordance with the eligibility criteria of all measures under the approved State aid Scheme.
Minister of State Naughton added ‘Building on my announcement of allocations totalling €23m under the Supplementary Supports Scheme to Irish Airports in July, I am delighted to announce a further considerable allocation of almost €93 million today to Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Donegal, Ireland West Airport Knock and Kerry airports. This funding will continue to compensate airports for the damage caused as a result of Covid and I am pleased to say that our smaller regional airports of Donegal, Knock and Kerry are being fully compensated for the damage caused by Covid to the maximum amounts allowable under this Scheme. This funding also reinforces the Government’s commitment to the Aviation sector, by providing State airports with flexibility to roll out discounts on airport charges, with a view to supporting the recovery and restoration of strategic connectivity, including on long-haul routes, for Ireland’.
Today’s announcement is in addition to almost €29 million in capital grants already allocated to these airports this year and brings the total funding allocated by Government to airports this year to €160m.
Shannon Group has welcomed the announcement by Hildegarde Naughton TD, Minister of State at the Department of Transport of confirmation that funding from the Department of Transport has been approved for Shannon Airport.
Commenting Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group said: “The aviation sector including airports have been at the epicentre of the devastation caused as a result of the pandemic. As we focus on rebuilding connectivity, we warmly welcome the Government support announced by Minister Naughton through the inclusion of Shannon Airport in the Covid-19 Regional State Airports Programme 2021.
We are grateful of confirmation of final approval of the additional funding for the state airports under the Covid-19 Supplementary Supports Scheme for Irish Airports recently approved by the European Commission. This will assist in Shannon’s recovery from the Pandemic and rebuilding vital air connectivity for this Region,” Ms Considine added.