I am aware of the Copenhagen Economics report which was commissioned by Limerick Chamber to which the Deputy referred. I must, first, point out that aviation policy, as the Deputy knows, falls within the mandate of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. She will also be aware that A National Aviation Policy for Ireland is a key policy document for both national and regional airports.
I agree that it is critical for regional development that Shannon Airport continue to exploit opportunities that support both the local economy and that of the State. It is also vital that the stakeholders in the region support the airport in order to optimise the opportunities to grow services and ensure their viability by using them.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has engaged in detail during the development and roll-out of Project Ireland 2040. More recently, it engaged with the Southern Regional Assembly in drafting its regional spatial and economic strategy, which includes the mid-west. Project Ireland 2040 sets out our national strategy to achieve the Government's regional development objectives. It states clearly that international air connectivity through our main airports, including Shannon Airport, as well as our smaller regional airports, is key to our national development plan, NDP. The plan highlights specifically the critically important role that Shannon Airport plays in the mid-west. Enterprise policy has a key role to play in the development of Limerick and the mid-west as an attractive and vibrant location in which to live, work, invest and set up business. In February this year, the Minister, Deputy Humphreys, launched the mid-west regional enterprise plan, which covers the period up to 2020. The development of the region's capacity to deliver economic growth is one of the core strategic objectives of the plan, which includes a collaborative regional focus on exploring opportunities for greater utilisation of capacity at Shannon Airport.