The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, has welcomed the news that the Government is to invest €1,868,000 in Ireland West Airport Knock. The funding is part of a €3.6 million Regional Airports Programme funding package announced earlier this week.
Minister Ring said: “I cannot overstate the significance of this funding in terms of the impact it will have on our airport and as a clear sign of the Government’s long term commitment to Knock. That Ireland West Airport Knock received over half of the Government funding announced today illustrates the priority being placed by the Government on Knock as an important regional airport for the future. Of the three regional airports which were allocated a combined €3.6 million today, it is significant that Knock got more than Kerry and Donegal airports combined.
“I have worked closely with Minister Ross to ensure continued Government investment in Ireland West Airport Knock and I commend him for ensuring this support for our local airport," he added. "It is an international gateway to the west of Ireland and is extremely well placed strategically. This bodes extremely well in terms of our ability to attract tourists and businesses to Mayo and the west for the future.”
This week's allocation is on top of capital grants of more than €1.9 million which have already been disbursed to these airports, bringing the total grant funding this year under the Regional Airports Programme to €5.5 million.
Joe Kennedy, chairman of the airport, welcoming the announcement said: "We wish to acknowledge the support of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, in awarding this funding for the airport. We also wish to thank Minister Michael Ring TD and his department for their ongoing support and in particular their support for the development of a new tourist visit centre at the airport which will open next year. I wish to also extend our thanks to local representatives for their support for the airport throughout the year. 2017 will see the airport have its busiest ever year with passenger numbers set to reach almost 750,000 and this year has also seen the airport embark on a major investment plan aimed at transforming the facility over the next three years with a planned €15m investment in new passenger facilities, terminal upgrades and infrastructural works across the airport facility and runway. I would like to thank the Department of Transport, our local authority partners and our airport customers for their support in delivering these projects over the next three years. We look forward to continuing to work with Government on a long term commitment and investment to support the airport’s growth and development plans."