- Dominance of Dublin Airport spelled out in black and white
- Aviation policy needs radical overhaul
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Tourism and Aviation Cathal Crowe is calling for an overhaul of Ireland’s aviation policy to be given serious consideration.
His comments come ahead of the launch of a report on the economic impact of Shannon Airport on the Irish economy and the wider Midwest region, which has concluded that Ireland’s aviation policy has to date failed to create a level playing field for airports outside of the capital to flourish.
Minister of State Jack Chambers will officially launch the report at Shannon Airport this morning.
“This report highlights what we’ve felt in the Midwest region for quite a long time,” said Deputy Crowe.
“Dublin Airport is enjoying excessive dominance in the market.
“This is typical in many European countries, where the capital airport does far better than the other airports in the country, but it’s felt all the more here as a small island nation.
“The argument for capping flights in and out of Dublin Airport and sharing that across other airports has added significance now, with Dublin reaching its own cap.
“The regional airports funding has been very generous to Shannon, Cork and Knock in recent years but it is determined by passenger threshold.
“This is currently being reviewed and I hope that the threshold can be lowered because Ireland has capacity within EU state aid rules to better fund its airports, but this can only happen if a more realistic passenger number threshold is used.
“Whilst Dublin welcomes more than 30 million passengers per year, Shannon and the other airports only receive a fraction of this and therefore these airports’ incomes are lower, and this is a major hurdle in trying to expand and pursue capital projects to increase passenger numbers.
“As my party’s aviation spokesperson, I’ve already held a series of public consultation events in the county, and I will be continuing this in the coming months – it’s key to hear directly from those on the ground who rely on Shannon.
“I’m delighted to have Minister Jack Chambers visit Shannon Airport today for the launch of this report.
“He’s a very proactive minister in the Department of Transport and really understands airports – I’ll be pressing the importance of the outcomes of this report to him and pursuing a change in Ireland’s aviation policy.”