Following a recent meeting of the Ireland West Airport Board, the Chairman Joe Kennedy welcomed the recent announcement by Government of the designation of lands adjacent to the airport as a Strategic Development Zone. Once this process is completed (which is estimated to take up to two years ) it will provide planning certainty for any potential developments that may take place at the airport.
However, the Board also noted while welcoming the designation, it is of limited value unless a comprehensive package of financial incentives are put in place to attract businesses to locate within the zone and create employment at the airport.
The Airport Board also outlined that it is committed to working with Mayo County Council in the development of the Master plan required to complete the zoning and urges the Government to prioritise the SDZ for job creation and to work on a detailed action plan that will include the financial incentives package required as well as addressing the existing infrastructure deficits around the airport.
The Board also wishes to acknowledge the ongoing investment by Government in supporting critical safely and security related capital projects at the airport and last week’s announcement of a further €1.1m is welcome in this regard. It is calling on the new Taoiseach and Government to continue to support its current capital investment plans over the next 5 years for critical infrastructural projects at the airport. The Board also highlighted the importance for increased marketing investment to support new route development into European and US markets, in the context of increased economic uncertainties around the potential impact of BREXIT, with the objective of delivering increased visitor numbers from these key markets into the West and North West of Ireland.