Ireland West Airport Knock eligible to apply for share in State Funding up to €42.5 million over the next four years

Posted in Connect on August 14, 2015.

Regional airports Ireland West Airport Knock, Donegal, Kerry and Waterford could receive up to €42.5 million in state funding over the next four years under two aid schemes. The Core Airport Management Operational Expenditure (OPEX) scheme, to fund running costs and the Airports Capital Expenditure Grant (CAPEX ), to cover capital spending.

The approval by the European Commission allows the Government to give the airports up to a total of €42.5 million between now and 2019 under both schemes. “The level of funding provided in each year of the programme will be determined on the basis of submissions from the airports, including five-year business plans, and the availability of Exchequer resources in any one year.”

This programme will greatly assist the regional airports in working towards a position of viability as under EU rules, regional airports will not qualify for aid to cover running costs after 2024, which means they have nine years to become self-sufficient.

Deputy John O’Mahony said the announcement is hugely significant in the context of the continued development and growth of the airport.

He stated: “This is major news and it cannot be overstated just how important a development this is. The growth of Knock Airport and the growth and development of the western region are inextricably linked, and this news that IWAK can now make their submissions for support under the programme has to be seen as a hugely positive step.

“This process has been ongoing for a long time and a huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes. When the public looks at Knock Airport they see a progressive airport that is continually adding new destinations and they see an airport that is used by people from right across the region. “That has not happened by accident and it is because of the energy and commitment of the management and staff at the airport that is it rightly regarded as one of the leading regional airports in the country.

“The benefits it has already brought to the west of Ireland are impossible to measure and the good news today is that those benefits will continue to be felt by the people that live in the west.”

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