Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (107)

Pádraic McCormack


176 Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for Transport his plans for the development of regional airports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6604/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

The programme for Government provides for the continued support of our six regional airports. My Department provides a range of financial mechanisms in support of this objective.

With regard to capital funding, grant-aid of approximately €9.2 million has already been approved under first round allocations under the regional airports measure of the NDP. The primary objective of this measure is to facilitate continued safe and viable operations at the regional airports. A further round of projects will be considered for funding under the measure later this year.

My Department also administers a grant scheme to assist the regional airports with marketing, safety and security related current expenditure. The total amount provisionally allocated in the Estimates for 2004 is €2.24 million and the individual amounts for each airport will be determined shortly.

The Government's commitment to regional airports will continue. However, the scale of Exchequer assistance to the regional airports will have to be carefully assessed in line with general airport and aviation policy and the availability of Exchequer funds.