Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton T.D., today announced the provision of over €23 million in direct Exchequer supports to the airports of Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Ireland West (Knock), Kerry and Donegal.
As part of an €80m package of supports that was announced for Irish aviation last November, the Government gave a commitment to securing EU approval for a €26 million scheme to help compensate airports for the damage caused by Covid. Of this amount, €20 million is being provided to State airports – Dublin, Cork and Shannon – in line with a measure under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This measure is compensating airports for a portion of the damage caused by Covid to airport business in the period 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020.
The remaining €6 million is being provided, in two phases, to the airports of Ireland West, Kerry and Donegal under sections 3.1 and 3.12 of EU’s Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current emergency of COVID-19. Almost half of this amount, which relates to losses in 2020, is being announced today. The remainder will be disbursed in December following an assessment by the Department of Transport of eligible losses in the current year to end 2021.
The funding that is the subject of today’s announcement has been calculated in line with the eligibility criteria of measures under the approved State aid Scheme. Details are as follows:
Announcing this funding, Minister of State Naughton said: ‘I am pleased to be in a position to announce a total of €20m in funding to our State airports – Dublin, Cork and Shannon. The funding has been allocated on a pro-rata basis with reference to passenger numbers in 2019. This important funding is being provided ahead of a return to international travel on 19 July. I am hopeful that this funding will go some way towards aiding the recovery process in the aviation sector. As travel restrictions begin to lift, I am also hopeful that this funding may assist in restoring connectivity by affording our State airports greater flexibility in their capacity to offer route incentives, in consultation with airlines.”
Minister of State Naughton added “Shannon and Cork airports are also eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Regional State Airports Programme, with a total budget of over €32m in 2021. In fact, earlier this week, as part of this Programme, I announced €10 million in Exchequer funding for a significant runway reconstruction project at Cork Airport.”
Minister of State Naughton advised ‘In relation to our regional airports, Ireland West, Kerry and Donegal, I am delighted to announce the provision of almost €3m in direct grant funding to these airports in recognition of the impact of COVID-19 on their business. These airports are also eligible for capital and operational funding under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025.
Minister of State Naughton concluded ‘I am confident that today’s announcement, coupled with the funding programmes, will help the aviation sector regain its position as a critical economic driver when recovery begins.’
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