From: Kieran O’Donnell Tuesday 10th November 2020
O’Donnell welcomes Government Aviation Support Package for Shannon Airport
Shannon Aiport shares €42.1M Support Package for Regional State Aiports(€22.10m) and Charges Rebate Scheme( €20m)
Government approved study to assess the potential for rail line link from Shannon Airport and Shannon town to the Dublin Limerick Rail line
Limerick Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell has welcomed that Government has agreed a revised €80 million funding package for Irish aviation, which involves an additional €48.10m total funding package on top of the already €31.30m allocated under Budget 2021 (See Note to Editor below). Shannon Airport will share in €22.10m with Cork Airport, involving €15.6m in operational funding and €6.5m in capital. Shannon and Cork Airport have already been allocated €10m capital under budget 2021. Furthermore, Shannon Airport will benefit from an Airports rebate scheme of €20m to commence in January.
“This is very welcome government funding for Shannon Airport and is to ensure it comes through Covid19 intact. Along with the easing of Air travel restrictions since Sunday midnight as well as an Airports Rebate Scheme to operate from January next, this funding recognises the severe impact Covid19 has had on Shannon Airport and how vital it is to the region and Ireland Inc.
“Restoring connectivity to Heathrow and US is vital for Shannon Airport and the region. This additional Government funding should greatly assist in bringing back these vital strategic routes as quickly as possible, whilst at the same time keeping public health safety as a priority.
“I also welcome the decision by Government today to approve a study to look at the potential for a rail line, linking Shannon Airport and Shannon Town to the Dublin Limerick rail line. I have been calling for a rail spur to link Shannon Airport to Limerick City for a long period and look forward to public engagement and progression with this study.
Notes To Editor:
Press Release on Aviation Support Package:
€80 million support package for Aviation Sector
The Government has agreed a revised €80 million funding package for Irish aviation. In recognition of the very difficult winter season being faced by the aviation sector the Government has decided to provide an extra €48 million in supports for 2021, in addition to those announced in Budget 2021.
The Department of Transport will provide further operational and capital funding supports of €22m for Cork and Shannon Airport, which is in addition to the €10m in capital funding announced in Budget 2021.
For the smaller regional airports of Knock, Kerry and Donegal, in addition to the €21m in funding available under the Regional Airports Programme for 2021, further operational support of €6m will be made available.
The funding package will also include an Airport Charges Rebate Scheme for January to March 2021, subject to State Aid approval from the EU Commission. This is one of the recommendations made by the Task Force for Aviation Recovery and, at an estimated cost of €20m, will support the retention of core connectivity through the Winter season.
Commenting on the decision Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD said:
“The Government is fully alert to the devastating impact of the global pandemic on international travel and values the critical role that Aviation plays in the Irish economy. It is expected that it may be some time before it is possible to permit a large scale return to air travel, but we remain committed to ensuring that the aviation sector can maintain the necessary core capability to retain strategic connectivity and to quickly rebound when circumstances allow.
In addition to the general Covid-19 supports, such as the wage support scheme, and targeted aviation funding already committed in Budget 2021, I welcome the fact that the Government today approved this department’s proposal for an additional €48 m funding for the sector, focusing in particular on Cork and Shannon and our smaller regional airports which are important contributors to the economics of their regions
Government has also decided that a study should be undertaken to assess the potential for a rail link from Shannon Airport and Shannon town to the Dublin Limerick rail line.”
Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton TD said:
“It goes without saying that 2020 has been a difficult one for the aviation sector in its entirety, both for those employed directly and for business’ who rely on the sector, from pilots and cabin crew, the staff at our airports, engineers, the groundhandling crew, the fueling companies, disability service handlers and catering staff.
Today’s decision to provide additional supports to our airports further demonstrates the Government’s intention to protect and preserve Ireland’s strategic connectivity. This year and into 2021 the State will have provided in excess of €180m in supports for the aviation sector. The funding package being announced today will ensure that our regional airports can maintain the necessary core capability to conserve strategic connectivity and to quickly rebound when circumstances allow. ”
The forthcoming National Economic Plan will provide for any further appropriate measures to safeguard strategic regional connectivity and the resilience of the aviation sector
Notes for editors
In summary, the revised support package for aviation is as follows:
|Government €80m Aviation Support Package
|Further support measures announced 10 November
|Total Funding for 2021
|Regional Airports Programme
(Knock, Kerry, Donegal)
|€21.3m (capital and operational supports)
|Additional regional Scheme *
(Knock, Kerry, Donegal)
|€6m (operational funding)
|Regional State Airports Programme
(Shannon and Cork Airports)
|€10m (capital supports)
|€15.6m (current funding)
€6.5m (capital funding)
|Airports Charges Rebate Scheme* (Jan- March)
(Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock, Kerry, Donegal Airports)
|*Schemes subject to EU Commission approval