The CEO of Shannon Group insists government backing for securing an EU hub for the airport is key – but it’s not all down to funding.
It comes as the Transport Minister is being called on to develop a Strategic Route Development Fund to help Shannon secure access to the likes of Paris, Frankfurt or Amsterdam, amid uncertainty about post-Brexit travel.
Clare FM’s James Mulhall reports:
With Brexit now firmly on the horizon, Shannon Airport’s sole European hub of London Heathrow has been causing concern here in the MidWest.
The issue has been brought up with Transport Minister Shane Ross, with calls for him to establish a fund for the airport to draw from in securing such a route.
The CEO of Shannon Group says the government is backing their efforts to try to find a strong EU destination for the airport but insists it doesn’t all boil down to money.
However, Matthew Thomas says such a route is particularly important now, with ambitious growth for outside Dublin planned in the Ireland 2040 project.
Matthew also says that while they would love to be able to make an announcement immediately on this, it’s a long-term project to sign such a deal.
Meanwhile, fresh calls are being made for Clare County Council to have a representative on the board of Shannon Group to steer it going forward.
At last evening’s meeting of the local authority, a number of councillors outlined their views that as the direct link between members of the public and the political process, their input would be important.
One of those was Ennis Fianna Fáil Councillor Pat Daly.