Transport Minister must follow-up decision of deferring Airport Separation by ensuring that Shannon Airport is given the resources steer the Airport through these turbelent times – BREEN.

December 29th, 2008 - Pat Breen
Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen reacting to the news today (Monday) that the separation of the three Airports has been deferred until 2011 has called on the Transport and Marine Minister Noel Demspey to follow-up now by ensuring that the DAA divests the financial resources to the Management of Shannon Airport so that they can steer the Airport through these turbelent times.

"As late as last week I sought clarity from Minister Dempsey when I raised this matter on the Adjournment following media reports that the separation of the Airports was to be deferred because of the current economic environment and on that occasion the Minister promised that he would announce his decision shortly."

"In this changed economic environment, it is sensible to re-examine the entire separation of our three airports and now that the Minister has deferred the break-up of the three Airports he must follow-up by ensuring that the DAA divests the financial resources to the Management of Shannon Airport so that they can steer the Airport through these turbelent times."

"The return of the Shannon/Heathrow Service is a first step in the addressing this region’s declining competitiveness. Recently an Agreement was signed between Ireland and the United States which allows for full clearance facilities to be available from Shannon Airport from next June. The Minister must also now ensure that adequate resources are made available to local management so that the Airport can fully exploit the opportunities that will arise when the full pre clearance facilities are in place."

"I would also reiterate my call on the Transport Minister to review the DAA’s name to reflect this decision. I believe that a change in name would help to foster greater cooperation and good will between all three Airports."

"There is no doubt that the Aviation Sector is facing into a period of uncertaintly like every other Sector in this economy. The challenge for Government is to ensure that Airports like Shannon Airport are given the resources they require to weather the storm."

ENDS.