Ireland West Airport has welcomed the announcement by Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton T.D. that funding to the amount of €2,185,983 from the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport has been approved for Capital expenditure (CAPEX ) projects for Ireland West Airport.
The funding is provided to contribute towards capital investment in the areas of safety, security and sustainability under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025.
Welcoming the announcement, Arthur French, Chairman, Ireland West Airport said: "We welcome today’s announcement of funding towards Capital Expenditure projects by the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton T.D which will assist the airport in undertaking important safety, security and sustainability related projects in the coming months.
"We also wish to acknowledge the continued support of Ministers Naughton and Ryan and the Department of Transport during what continues to be a very challenging time for the airport due to the continue impact of Covid-19."
Fianna Fáil Deputy Dara Calleary welcomed the announcement saying: "I am very pleased that the Department of Transport has confirmed this allocation of over €2milion in funding for Knock today and I have also been assured that airports eligible for funding under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025 and the Covid-19 Regional State Airports Programme 2021 will also be eligible to apply for operational grant-aid, targeted at vital safety and security related operational expenses later this year.
"This is good news for our airport and like everyone in the region, I am looking forward to seeing the airport fully operational again in the coming months, pending Covid restrictions. This has been a very difficult period for the airport, for it’s management and it’s staff. This allocation of funding offers some light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
Fine Gael TD Michael Ring added: "This significant funding allocation for Ireland West Airport Knock will contribute towards capital investment in the areas of safety, security and sustainability”.
"Ireland West Airport Knock will also be eligible to apply for operational grant-aid, targeted at vital safety and security related operational expenses later this year.
"Almost €20 million is available from the Department during 2021 for air traffic control, fire services and security related expenses which will help ensure that airports can continue to remain compliant with regulatory requirements in these areas”.
His party constituency colleague Alan Dillon TD added: "Our airports and aviation sector have had an incredibly tough year so investments such as this are more welcome than ever. As an island, we rely on aviation and maritime sectors more than our European neighbours. This funding to support capital investments at Knock Airport will help ensure it can bounce back quickly once air travel resumes.”
"I am conscious much of the funding allocated for aviation has been to support our airports, but more needs to be done to support our airlines. One method I propose is to incentive airlines to provide greater routes from regional airports versus an over-reliance on Dublin Airport."