Cork Airport is set to receive over €10m in funding from the Department of Transport, to support vital safety and security operations at the airport such as air traffic control, fire services and security.
A total of just over €21.1m in funding has been allocated to Shannon, Cork, Ireland West (Knock), Kerry and Donegal airports through the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025.
Cork Airport has received almost half the total funding, being allocated over €10.4m.
The funding will go towards providing targeted supports such as air traffic control, fire services and security, ensuring Cork Airport can continue to remain compliant with regulatory requirements in these areas.
Announcing the operational funding allocations, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton said that that the funding is 41% higher than last year’s, when Cork Airport received €6.6m.
“It is anticipated that this level of funding, which is 41% higher than last year’s operational funding allocation, will meet 100% of all eligible salary costs in the areas of safety, security and air traffic control at these airports in 2022,” she said.
This funding is in addition to almost €5.5m in capital supports for Cork Airport announced in April.
A statement from the Department of Transport says that Ireland’s aviation industry has “recovered well” following the lifting of travel restrictions in March 2022.
Funding this year to airports will total over €37 million, and builds on the €161 million provided in unprecedented aviation supports during 2021.
“Exchequer funding provided during the COVID crisis and to date in 2022 has enabled the strong recovery of traffic through our airports and in particular our regional airports,” said Minister Naughton.
“This is evidenced by Kerry, Ireland West Airport Knock, Cork and Shannon airports each currently outperforming Dublin Airport in terms of a faster recovery towards the pre-Covid passenger numbers achieved in 2019,” she added.
The Minister said the Department looks forward to a “strong 2023”, with forecasts for regional airports like Cork predicting passenger numbers above 2019 levels.
As part of the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2015, the government must also complete a mid-term review of the programme by the end of next year.
This review will consider how the Programme is supporting balanced regional development in Ireland’s airports, and explore how international connectivity and services can be maintained and enhanced.
Minister Naughton is currently welcoming views from interested parties for inclusion in an upcoming Issues Paper. The Issues Paper will be published as part of the Public Consultation process in Q1 2023, which will ultimately inform the mid-term review of the Regional Airports Programme.
Interested parties can make submissions via email to email@example.com by 31 January 2023.