The recommendations support air services and balanced regional development, writes Shauna McCrudden
No one expected the Covid-19 pandemic and even fewer people expected the quarantine that followed. But it has affected our economy in a significant way, and now as the restrictions are slowly being lifted, it’s time to think of how to rebuild the economy. That is why the Shannon Group has welcomed the publication of the final Aviation Recovery
Taskforce report today, saying that its recommendations will kickstart this rebuilding.
Mary Considine, Shannon Group CEO and a member of the Aviation Recovery Taskforce, says, “The report clearly recognises the significant contribution that airports like Shannon make to the regional and national economy. It sets out clear recommendations to the Government to support the restoration of vital air services into Shannon Airport.”
Among its findings, the report recommends that a stimulus package be put in place for Shannon, Cork, Ireland West, and Donegal airports to allow them to reduce airport charges for airlines. This will help restore and grow passenger numbers into the regions.
It also calls for increased investment in international marketing funding for Tourism Ireland, with emphasis on regions in conjunction with regional airports like Shannon, to stimulate the recovery of inbound tourism into regions.
“We need to see the speedy implementation of the report to help rebuild our regional and national economy,” says Mary. “The Taskforce report recognises the importance of supporting balanced regional development.”
Another recommendation asks that funding for essential capital projects should be granted to airports like Shannon. This would be in line with current European Commission rules on State Supports, which allows for airports with under three million passengers to receive capital expenditure support. There are also calls for the extension of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme until March 2021 and liquidity supports for the aviation sector. Not to mention, a review of the National Aviation Policy.
This report clearly outlines the guidelines which could help the economy, and the hope is that the Government will take these recommendations into policy.
The full Taskforce report can be viewed at Gov.ie
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