Regional airports received almost 16.4 million euros in government funding over the next four years.
Almost €6.6 million has been allocated to airports in Donegal, Ireland West (Knock) and Kerry under the State’s 2021-2025 Regional Airports Scheme.
Shannon Airport will receive €4.3 million and Cork Airport €5.5 million.
It is the first time that Shannon and Cork airports have been included in the regional funding plan, which is limited by size and passenger numbers.
The Department of Transport said both airports have become eligible in 2022 due to low passenger numbers in 2020 and 2021 as a direct result of the pandemic.
The five airports can also apply for almost €22 million in operating aid later this year to support air traffic control, firefighting and security.
Minister of State for Transport Hildegarde Naughton said the money will help invest in safety measures and projects with a focus on “sustainability”.
Suggestions for “sustainable” projects include solar parks, electric vehicles (EV) and electric vehicle charging stations at airports, and replacing airport lights with more energy-efficient LED bulbs.
Cork Airport will also complete a major substation project this year.
“The Government has maintained a strong commitment to the aviation sector throughout the Covid crisis, providing an unprecedented €161 million in aviation-specific support to our airports in 2021 alone,” said Ms Naughton.
“Today’s announcement represents the Government’s commitment to continue to support Ireland’s regional airports to remain financially sustainable as they prepare for future growth.”
Welcoming the €4.3 million financing for Shannon Airport, Shannon Group chief executive Mary Considine said it will “enable the airport to invest in vital infrastructure and rebuild from the Covid-19 pandemic”.
“While we have made good progress in restoring air traffic at Shannon with 26 flights to 11 destinations for Summer 2022, the aviation sector still has some challenging years ahead,” said Ms Considine.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have strived to improve our airport and make the passenger experience more enjoyable and easier.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/regional-airports-to-get-164m-from-state-to-aid-post-covid-bounce-back-41565589.html Regional airports will receive €16.4 million from the state to support post-Covid recovery