During the Covid crisis the aviation sector, including Cork Airport, has benefited considerably from a suite of measures to support businesses across the economy, including but not limited to, the wage subsidy scheme, grants, a commercial rates waiver, deferred tax liabilities and the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme.
The Government recognises that aviation makes significant direct and indirect contributions in the regions, providing for high quality jobs within the aviation sector as well as through the various ancillary services that are provided to airports, the airlines, and in the local economy.
In addition to the horizontal supports, over €25 million in aviation sector-specific supports have been allocated to Cork Airport in 2021. €10 million of this funding was in the form of a capital grant towards the airport’s runway overlay project. €6.7 million was provided in operational supports, which will cover 100% of eligible operational costs at Cork Airport in 2021.
Following the acknowledgement in the National Economic Recovery Plan that additional support may be required to support the aviation sector’s recovery a further €8.4 million has been allocated to Cork Airport in 2021 under the Department's Covid Supplementary Support Scheme. This funding will provide Cork Airport with flexibility to roll out route incentives/charge rebates, in consultation with airlines, with a view to supporting recovery and growth of connectivity into 2022.
Next year, funding of €36 million will be provided under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025, supporting regional airports of Cork, Shannon, Ireland West, Donegal and Kerry. This budget allocation represents a significant increase in funding available under the Programme in 2022 which takes account of the broadening of the Programme to include both Cork and Shannon Airports.
The level of funding provided to Cork Airport is a clear indication of the importance Government attaches to Cork Airport being well positioned to weather the current crisis and for recovery and growth into the future. The Government is fully cognisant of the ongoing and deep impact of the pandemic on the aviation sector. As was the case in 2021, the Government will continue to keep Aviation Supports under review in 2022.