Need to secure Airline on the Shannon Heathrow route

April 29th, 2008 - Pat Breen

Speaking following the announcement by the Dublin Airport Authority that a €4 Billion New Economic Zone is to be build around Dublin Airport, Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has warned that the West of Ireland needs to awake to reality that there will be a significant shift in Tourism and Business from the West to the East unless radical national policies are put in place by this Government to stem the tide.   He is also stressing the importance of re-doubling the efforts to secure an Airline to operate on the Shannon Heathrow route.

 “The DAA has been discussing this project for a considerable period of time with Government while at the same time they have been squabbling with both Cork and Shannon Airport on the level of debt to be imposed on those Airports prior to the break-up.   I have consistently warned that they should not be judge and jury of the future destiny of these Airports, now their future plans have been outlined it is clear that both the Shannon and Cork regions are to lose out significantly.”

 “The warning bells have been ringing in this Region now for a considerable period of time.   The situation was exacerbated by the departure of the Aer Lingus service to Heathrow, Open Skies was introduced without any lead in period;  the trend in the Live Register figures is up wards; meanwhile the Government has either ignored or being slow to react to the situation.”

 “Efforts must be redoubled to secure an alternative airline onto the Shannon Heathrow service as a matter of urgency.   This Region is losing out, we are being ignored for conferences because of our lack of connectivity to Heathrow and those industries considering setting up in Ireland are now focusing on the Eastern side of the country.”

“The introduction of Open Skies has been met with a lack lustre response by the Government, the deadline of the 1st May for the introduction of full US Pre Clearance has passed and €20m was written off the Tourism and Economic Plan by Department Officials.”

“During the recent Heathrow Debacle there was a coming together of all sectors in the West of Ireland from Donegal to Kerry.    This energy must now be harnessed to review the needs of Region and to demand that the policymakers live up to their promises of balanced regional development.”

“Generations of innovation have placed Shannon Airport as the key driver for economic development in the West of Ireland.  It is time now for the West of Ireland to awake to the reality that a serious threat is posed to this Region’s future development if urgent action is not taken.  It is time to sit up and take note.”