A leading west of Ireland lobby group has called on the Government to back proposals designed to safeguard the future of Ireland West Airport, Knock.
The airport has requested a €75m investment over the next five years to expand its routes and develop other aviation-related business, in a bid to secure the airport. Almost 150 people are directly employed at the airport, which supports an additional 900 jobs in the region. It also provides an annual tourism and related spend of €117m in the west. Now the Council for the West has added its voice to the campaign for immediate investment in the airport by the Government.
“The Government has recently received excellent proposals from Ireland West Airport. These proposals should be supported and we believe there should be a high-level implementation plan setting out how the Government – particularly the Departments of Finance; Enterprise, Trade and Employment; and Tourism and Sport – will can assist Ireland West Airport in securing its aviation, enterprise and regional development objectives,” said Sean Hannick, chairperson of the Council for the West. “We call on the Government to ensure that the proposals submitted by Ireland West Knock urgently receive the attention and the commitment which they require and deserve. The continued successful development of Ireland West Knock is central to the economic future of the region.”
The council has made its call is in the context of the recent announcement of a €300m Government investment initiatives to support Shannon Airport. “Shannon and Ireland West Knock compete for business. Notwithstanding this, there has been history of co-operation between the two airports. Government policy must be developed and implemented in a way which is fair to both, so as to provide a level playing field”, the chairperson concluded.