Dublin Airport US Pre Clearance facility should not be promoted at the expense of Shannon – BREEN.

July 2nd, 2010 - Pat Breen

Welcoming the news that the DAA has appointed a Marketing Company to promote the US Pre Clearance Facility, Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. has questioned the timing of this announcement warning that the facility at Dublin Airport must not be promoted at the expense of Shannon Airport.

“During his contribution to the Dail’s Transport Committee last week, the CEO of the DAA, Declan Collier announced that they have appointed a marketing company to promote the use of the US Pre Clearance facility. While this is welcome news I cannot understand why this Company was not appointed sooner, after all, the Shannon facility opened up for Commercial Traffic on the 5th August 2009 and on the 1st March 2010, Shannon became the first airport in the world to offer US Pre Clearance for Private Aircraft. I would have to question if this Company is being appointed now simply because a similar facility is on the verge of opening in T2 in Dublin.”

“I do not want to see a situation where the facility at Dublin is promoted at the expense of Shannon Airport. The facility at Shannon is already proving very popular with Airlines and passengers alike. British Airways was one of the first Airlines to sign up to use the Shannon facility. The success of their business class transatlantic services which stops off at Shannon to use the Pre Clearance facility en route from London City Airport to New York has fuelled speculation that BA is considering expanding these services to include services to Boston, Washington and Chicago. Indeed, Declan Collier confirmed at the Transport Committee that they are currently in negotiations with the Airline with a view to open new routes, this would be a big boost for the Shannon facility.”

“Finally, it is very important that the outstanding issues which are curtailing the expansion of the service to include Part 135 Private Aircraft from using the facility at Shannon. Shannon Airport beat off stiff opposition from other European Airports to become the only Airport in the World where private aircraft can pre clear ahead of departing to the US. If Shannon is to consolidate this business it is important that this matter is resolved as soon as possible and I would urge Minister Dempsey to redouble his efforts in this regard.”