Regional airports to receive €3.4m in Government grants

Regional airports to receive €3.4m in Government grants

Kerry Airport will get the largest share of the money, scooping €1.5m.

The Government has confirmed state grant aid of more than €3m for regional airports.

Donegal, Kerry and Ireland West Airport (Knock) will all benefit from the money which is aimed at safety and security services.

The money is provided for improvements 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.

Kerry Airport will get the largest share of the money, scooping €1.5m, with Knock Airport set to receive €1.35m.

Donegal will receive just €580,000 of the grant aid money.

Minister for International Transport Hildegarde Naughton said it should help support them through the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I fully recognise the devastating impact that the current crisis has had on our regional airports," she said.

"In addition to today’s funding, I also announced further supports for these airports on November 10 when Government agreed to a revised supports package of €80m for Irish aviation.

"As part of that announcement, in order to safeguard the viability of these airports, Donegal, Kerry and Knock will be eligible to receive up to €6m in supplementary supports next year to make good the impacts of Covid in 2020."

Ireland West Airport (Knock) will receive €1.35m extra funding
Ireland West Airport (Knock) will receive €1.35m extra funding

This latest announcement is in addition to almost €2.5 million in capital grants which allocated to these airports in July.

Ms Naughton added: "This will give funding certainty to the regional airports over a five-year timeframe, helping them to remain viable as they transition through the various phases of recovery from Covid.”

Ireland West Airport welcomed the €1,35m announcement saying they were grateful to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport for the "continued support."

In a statement, airport chairman Arthur French said: "This funding will serve to go part of the way to subventing the close to €4m losses the airport is forecasting this year as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic."

The airport went from a record high of 807,000 passengers in 2019 to an estimated 145,000 passengers in 2020 – an 82% decline and a passenger level last experienced in 1995.

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