Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Questions (156)

Bernard J. Durkan


273 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport the extent to which he expects the various airports throughout the country to be profitable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2456/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

Aer Rianta's current statutory obligations require the company to manage and develop the State airports on a fully commercial basis. Under the Government's proposed restructuring of the airport sector as announced by me in July 2003, it is intended that the three independent State airport authorities will also operate to a commercial mandate. However, an important advantage of the new structure is that it will encourage a greater focus on enhancing operations in keeping with each airport's catchment area and potential tourism, trade and industry development in the regions they serve.

I also favour a strong commercial approach to the development of the six regional airports, which are in private ownership. The range of financial support mechanisms for the regional air services will continue to encourage maximum commercial autonomy and initiative by the boards of management of the airports concerned.

Question No. 274 answered with QuestionNo. 131.