Transport Minister Commits To Examining Measures Needed To Support Shannon Airport

The Junior Minister for Transport has committed to examining measures that may be needed to support Shannon Airport, as part of a wider review of Shannon Group.

Hildegarde Naughton’s comments came during a Dáil debate on the Airport, during which Clare TDs stressed the urgent need for state aid to keep the airport operational and to keep heritage sites open.

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Speaking during a Dáil debate on Shannon Airport, Midwest TDs told the Junior Minister for Transport that Shannon has been hit harder than other Irish Airport during the Covid-19 crisis.

There has been a 96% reduction in passenger numbers during the pandemic.

Airport Management this week announced their plans for cost-cutting measures including voluntary redundancies and pay cuts for staff, and the Dáil has heard that Shannon has sought a range of government supports to help it through the crisis.

It’s already received over €6 million to help fund the upgrade of baggage screening equipment.

Last night, Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey urged Junior Transport Minister Hildegarde Naughton to provide the necessary state aid to keep the airport operational.

The Aviation Task Force is due to publish its report shortly, and its members – which include Shannon Group CEO Mary Considine – will meet with Minster Naughton this week.

Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD has insisted that any funding awarded to Shannon Group by the task force be fully conditional on the company keeping the Shannon Heritage sites open throughout the autumn and winter months.

Cathal Crowe says it’s vital the recommendations are implemented quickly.

In response, the Minister insisted that she is taking the issues facing Shannon Airport very seriously.

Minister Hildegarde Naughton has said she will examine the future viability and sustainability of the Airport, while also stressing it’s importance to the region.

She promised to look into measures that may be necessary and appropriate as part of a wider review of Shannon Group.