Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Questions (213)

Cathal Crowe


213. Deputy Cathal Crowe asked the Minister for Transport the amount of state aid that has been granted to the Shannon Airport Authority since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. [12587/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Deputy will be aware, from early in the Covid crisis, the Government put in place a broad range of unprecedented supports to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic on business, including a wage subsidy scheme, grants, low-cost loans, a commercial rates waiver and deferred tax liabilities. Shannon Airport (as part of Shannon Group) has availed of many of these horizontal business supports, many of which have been extended into 2021.

In addition to these economy wide measures, €6.1 million in emergency funding was approved by Government in June 2020 to assist Shannon Airport complete a hold baggage screening project, which had been suspended due to the impacts of Covid. This funding was provided to ensure ongoing compliance with security requirements under EU Regulation 2015/1998.

In addition, in recognition of the very difficult circumstances being faced by airports and taking account of the recommendations of the Taskforce for Aviation Recovery, the Government announced an €80 million funding package specifically for Irish aviation in November 2020, which includes funding for State airports in 2021.

As part of that package, €32.1 million has been allocated to Shannon and Cork Airports under a new Programme for regional State airports. Capital funding requests from Shannon Airport under this Programme are currently being assessed by my Department.

In addition, supplementary support schemes have been developed to help address liquidity issues at our airports as a result of Covid-19. These new schemes were approved by the European Commission on 24 February and have a budget of €26m.

One of these schemes will help to compensate State airports, including Shannon, for damage caused by Covid-19 in 2020. This funding will provide airports with the flexibility to roll out route incentives/charge rebates, in consultation with airlines, with a view to supporting recovery and growth of connectivity when circumstances allow. Shannon Airport will shortly be invited to apply for funding under this new Scheme.