Additional funding for Airport Knock signals Government commitment to balanced regional development – Senator Murphy
Fianna Fáil Senator for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has welcomed the fact that the government has agreed a revised additional €6 million funding package for the regional airports, including Ireland West Airport Knock, Kerry, and Donegal.
Senator Murphy and his Fianna Fáil colleague Senator Lisa Chambers raised this issue in the Seanad last week.
“Ireland West Airport Knock is a vital life link for the west and north west region from both a business and tourism point of view. It provides an essential connection to global markets for regional businesses and also provides a gateway for much needed tourists and in attracting foreign direct investment into the region. It is most welcome that the Government has allocated an additional €6million in supports for 2021, in addition to the €21 million in funding available under the Regional Airports Programme,” said Senator Murphy.
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.
“Knock Airport has seen traffic plummet by more than 80% this year from the 807,000 passengers who passed through there in 2019, creating significant financial difficulties. The critical importance of this airport to the West of Ireland cannot be underestimated and I have highlighted the ongoing challenges facing Ireland West Airport Knock at every opportunity. It is great news to see the Government giving this level of recognition to Airport Knock and it will give them a much needed boost to get back up and running and maintain the necessary core capability especially during these difficult Covid times,” said Senator Murphy.
The Department of Transport will also provide further operational and capital funding supports of €22m for Cork and Shannon Airports, which is in addition to the €10m in capital funding announced in Budget 2021.
“The additional €6 million funding for three regional airports Knock, Donegal and Kerry signifies the government’s commitment to balanced regional support and this funding will specifically cover Covid-19 related losses occurred to date,” concluded Senator Murphy.
Senator Murphy is available for an interview or further comment on 087 1668775.