Welcoming the publication of a draft National Aviation Policy by the Minister for Transport, Sport and Tourism, Leo Varadkar T.D., Clare Deputy and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade Pat Breen has urged local stakeholders to engage with the consultation process which the Minister has now initiated.
The absence of an explicit National Aviation Strategy has resulted in fragmented policy making over the past two decades. The publication of this draft National Aviation Policy aims to address this and I commend Minister Varadar for his commitment to developing this very important Sector. The Aviation Industry is worth €4.1 billion annually to Irish GDP, it supports 26,000 direct jobs and 16,000 in the supply chain and this draft policy aims to continue developing the sector over the next 20 years.
The Aviation Industry does not just involve airports and airlines; it also involves many aviation related activities including aviation finance, repairs, maintenance and education.
The Publication of the draft policy comes at very important juncture in the development of Shannon Airport. After years of decline, real progress is now being made at Shannon Airport. New routes and services have contributed to a significant increase in the Airports traffic with continental traffic jumping by a massive 140% alone in April 2014 compared to last year. There is
also significant investor interest in developing further aviation related and the Airport is ideally placed to become an aero-industrial hub, a gateway from Europe to the US in association with the International Aviation Services Centre. This Government’s is about ensuring that the right conditions exist for a flourishing Aviation Industry at Shannon Airport and this National Aviation Policy is about supporting Shannon Airport to achieve its full potential.
The consultation process provides interested parties with a further opportunity to shape the future of Shannon Airport before the final report is published. Submissions
are now invited and I would urge all those who have an interest in developing Aviation and Aviation Related Activity at Shannon Airport to actively engage with this consultation process and ensure that their submissions are forwarded to the Department of Transport by close of business on the 31st July 2014.
The final policy paper will provide certainty to the Aviation Industry and to investors about the Government’s own aviation policies for Shannon Airport for the next 20 years and stakeholders here in the Mid-West now have an opportunity to contribute to this.
The draft National Aviation Policy can be viewed on http://www.dttas.ie/sites/default/files/publications/aviation/english/draft-national-aviation-policy/draft-aviation-policy.pdf