Airports

Published on December 7th, 2022 | by Alan Dwyer

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Over €21 million in Operational Funding for Irish Airports

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton T.D., has announced the provision of over €21 million in direct Exchequer support to the airports of Shannon, Cork, Ireland West, Kerry, and Donegal. This funding is being administered under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025, which provides targeted support for 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.

Ireland’s aviation industry has recovered well following the lifting of travel restrictions in March 2022. Funding this year to airports will total over €37 million, which has helped to support strong recovery and growth of passenger traffic through Irish airports. This funding builds on the €161 million provided in unprecedented aviation support during 2021.

Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton

Commenting on the announcement of the allocation of funding, Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton said, “I am delighted to be announcing operational allocations of over €21 million today to Shannon, Cork, Donegal, Ireland West Airport Knock, and Kerry airports under the Regional Airports Programme. It is anticipated that this level of funding, which is 41% higher than last year’s operational funding allocation, will meet 100% of all eligible salary costs in the areas of safety, security, and air traffic control at these airports in 2022. This funding, which is in addition to the €16.4 million in capital supports that I announced to these airports during April, demonstrates Government’s commitment to our regional airports.” The Minister continued with a comment on the current growth, “Exchequer funding provided during the COVID crisis and to date in 2022 has enabled the strong recovery of traffic through our airports and in particular our regional airports. This is evidenced by Kerry, Ireland West Airport Knock, Cork, and Shannon airports each currently outperforming Dublin Airport in terms of a faster recovery towards the pre-Covid passenger numbers achieved in 2019. As we look forward to a strong 2023, these regional airports are currently forecasting a return of passenger numbers above 2019 levels.”

Welcoming the funding announcement, the Chairman at Ireland West Airport, Arthur French said, “I wish to thank the Taoiseach, Minister Ryan and in particular our local Minister Hildegarde Naughton TD, for their ongoing support for the airport and region and also to our local TD’s, political representatives and the Western Chambers for their strong support for the airport and the regions it serves over the last two years in particular. Without this ongoing support and that of our Local Authority shareholders and airline partners, the airport would have been in a very vulnerable position through the COVID-19 pandemic. The second half of 2022 has proven to be a very positive one with travel returning to close to 2019 levels and we are optimistic that 2023 will be a very strong year for the airport and that the positive trends we are seeing for international travel, will continue and we will return to passenger growth sooner than anticipated.”

Detail of all funding, including the capital, allocated to airports in 2022, is detailed as follows:

Airport2022 Operational Allocation2022 Capital AllocationTotal 2022 Funding Allocation
Donegal€638,409€722,169€1,360,578
Ireland West€1,787,797€4,760,485€6,548,282
Kerry€1,434,355€1,084,482€2,518,837
Shannon€6,836,610€4,347,750€11,184,360
Cork€10,402,880€5,462,385€15,865,265
Total Allocations€21,100,051€16,377,271€37,477,322

The following table reflects the increase in operational funding over last year’s allocation:

Airport2021 Operational Allocation2022 Operational Allocation
Donegal€460,871€638,409
Ireland West€1,017,826€1,787,797
Kerry€1,298,034€1,434,355
Shannon€5,527,049€6,836,610
Cork€6,689,769€10,402,880
Total Allocations€14,993,549€21,100,051

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