Wednesday, 24 March 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Shannon Airport Facilities
85. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the outcomes of a Governmental review concerning a group (details supplied); and when a new chairperson for the board of the group will be appointed. [1713/21]
I would like to thank the Deputy for his question on Shannon Group.
As the Deputy is aware, given the unprecedented challenges faced by Shannon Group as a result of Covid-19, I committed to undertaking an examination of the future viability and sustainability of the Group.
The outcome of this examination was reflected in a recent Memorandum to Government on Shannon Group. In considering the issues being faced by Shannon Group, Government noted the Exchequer supports being availed of by Shannon Group. These supports include the economy wide supports put in place to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic on businesses and the aviation specific supports which includes a €32.1 million allocation to Shannon and Cork Airports under a new Programme for regional State airports. Capital funding requests from Shannon Airport under this Programme are currently being assessed by my Department.
Further to these supports, I would like to advise the Deputy that the Commission recently approved State aid support schemes to help address liquidity issues at airports as a result of Covid-19. Shannon Airport and other airports will shortly be invited to apply for funding under these new Covid-19 Supplementary Supports Schemes which have a budget of €26 million. These schemes include compensation for State airports (approx. €20m) in light of Covid impacts in 2020. This funding will provide State airports including Shannon Airport with flexibility to roll out route incentives/charge rebates, in consultation with airlines, with a view to supporting recovery and growth of connectivity when possible.
Government fully appreciates the important role of Shannon Group to the economy of the Midwest region and nationally and in this context my Department continues to work with Shannon Group to ensure it is well positioned to weather the current crisis and for recovery and growth into the future once circumstances allow.
In relation to the appointment of a new Chairperson to Shannon Group, I am conscious that this is an important and challenging time for Shannon Group. The appointment of Board members is a matter for Minister Ryan and I understand that he intends to appoint a new Chairperson as soon as possible.