Shannon Group plc, a commercial State company, was incorporated following enactment of the State Airports (Shannon Group) Act 2014. Shannon Airport Authority (SAA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shannon Group plc, has statutory responsibility for the management and operation of Shannon Airport. In line with Government policy, Shannon Airport, which operates under a clear commercial mandate, is entirely funded from its own internal resources.
The Regional Airports Programme provides support to Donegal, Ireland West Airport Knock, Kerry and Waterford through a number of capital and operational schemes in compliance with EU Guidelines on State Aid. Passenger numbers at these airports are less than 1 million per year (three have less than 400,000) . It is recognised that, without State support, these smaller airports would struggle to comply with international regulatory obligations in these areas.
Supporting Ireland’s smallest airports through the Regional Airports Programme is a very clear policy objective in the National Aviation Policy. The policy does not provide for direct Exchequer funding of Shannon Airport, or any of the State owned airports, as part of the Programme.