Shannon’s Business Jet Traffic set for major boost if Taoiseach acts to allow Shannon Airport avail of unique opportunity – BREEN.

August 21st, 2008 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has today called on the Taoiseach to act to allow Shannon Airport avail of an unique opportunity by fast tracking the legislation which will give affect to the extension to the US Customs and Border Protection facility at the Airport. Deputy Breen said that “Shannon Airport’s Business Jet Traffic is set for a major boost with a potentially 600 jets per week set to land at the Mid-West Airport if the extension to facility at Shannon is given the green light; it is an opportunity which must not be squandered”.

Welcoming the news that British Airways are set to stop off twice daily en route from London City Airport to New York on their first ever long-haul service from the Airport commencing in October 2009, Deputy Breen added “I congratulate Martin Moroney and his management team for their success in winning this contract and it is a welcome boost to the Airport and to the surrounding area in terms of those companies supplying auxiliaries services to the Airport, however, I believe that a key factor in Willie Walsh’s decision to stop-off at Shannon is the availability of US Customs and Border Protection facilities at the Airport. “We could have up to 600 business jet aircraft landings at Shannon per week in the near future if this Government put their shoulder to the wheel and fast track the necessary legislation..”

Over the past eighteen months Deputy Breen has made several attempts to spring the Minister for Transport and Marine Noel Dempsey and the Taoiseach Brian Cowen in to action. He raised the matter by way of Parliamentary Question and on the Dail Adjournment Debate and has expressed his annoyance that the Air Navigation Transport Pre Clearance Bill was not included in the Governments Legislation Programme prior to the summer recess.”

In recent weeks in an effort to have this matter clarified Deputy Breen together with his Frontbench Colleague Deputy Bill Timmons held discussions with the US Ambassador to Ireland Thomas Foley.

“We were heartened by the Ambassadors support for this project and my understanding from this meeting is that negotiations are near conclusion on extending the Shannon facility and the only remaining piece of the jigsaw to be completed is the passage of the Air Navigation Transport Pre Clearance Bill. I have today written to the Taoiseach Brian Cowen urging him to bring this Bill before the House for consideration immediately after the summer recess.”

“The potential for Shannon is huge and we are talking in terms of having anything up to 600 business jets per week landing in Shannon. Private jet travel is taking off in Europe and the market is growing at over 25 percent per year, according to Euro control the number of business jets registered in Europe between 2005 and 2007 rose from around 1,100 to nearly 1,900, an increase of 70% and this could rise to around 4,000 by 2017.”

 

“The US Government are very supportive of this project and this support must be matched by our own Government. Having failed to act to secure our Heathrow Slots in this Region it would be absolutely catastrophic if they allow this huge opportunity for Shannon Airport to be squandered.”