National Aviation Policy highlights Shannon’s strategic importance – Breen

August 21st, 2015 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael TD for Clare and Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, Pat Breen has welcomed the new National Aviation Policy published by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe.

“I very much welcome the publication of a specific policy, in particular for Shannon Airport which is so vital to the local economy. The absence of an explicit National Aviation Strategy has resulted in fragmented policy making over the past two decades, and now a clearer plan is in place.

“The new National Aviation policy outlines that Shannon, as well as Cork and Dublin Airports will remain in State ownership.

“The policy proposes the development of Shannon Airport as an air cargo hub. The airport is ideally positioned to become a centre for air cargo as it is uncongested, has a long runway, and has a cluster of pharma, medtech and ICT manufacturing companies located in the region.

“The plan is to increase and extend Ireland’s bilateral agreements with other countries such as the granting of fifth freedom rights with Turkey which happened earlier this year. These agreements will make Shannon a more attractive destination for air and cargo services.

“Shannon Airport is to be designated as a centre of excellence for business aviation traffic, this will further enhance the airports global reputation as a destination of choice for general aviation traffic.

“The new policy also focuses on developing Shannon as an International aviation services centre and supports the continued development of aircraft maintenance in Shannon.

“Within the policy, there is also a plan to create a national aviation development forum to coordinate the promotion of the aviation industry in Ireland and its key focus is on job creation. The creation of this forum is a real opportunity for all the relevant stakeholders, including the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the main airports and airlines and the leasing maintenance sector to shape the future of our airports.

“This policy further secures Shannon’s position of strategic importance in the mid-west. This Government established the Shannon Group Plc which has resulted in increased routes and increased tourism. The National Aviation Policy is a further commitment to Shannon.