I would like to thank the Deputy for his question in relation to Cork Airport and to also refer him to my detailed reply to his question on Cork Airport on 29 September last.
As previously outlined the Government has already put in place a suite of measures to assist businesses in facing the challenges of Covid-19. Airports and airlines have been able to avail of some of those measures, in particular employment supports, rates waivers and deferred taxes. Cork Airport, an autonomous business unit within the daa, is availing of these supports.
In addition to these measures the Government made a specific provision of €10m for Cork and Shannon airports in Budget 2021.
Most significantly however, in recent days the Government has agreed a revised €80m funding package for Irish aviation. In recognition of the very difficult winter season being faced by the aviation sector the Government has decided to provide more supports, in addition to those announced in Budget 2021.
The funding package will include an Airport Charges Rebate Scheme for January to March 2021, subject to State Aid approval from the EU Commission. This is one of the recommendations made by the Task Force for Aviation Recovery and, at an estimated cost of €20m, will support the retention of core connectivity through the Winter season.
The Government has also decided to provide further operational and capital funding supports of €22m for Cork and Shannon Airports, which is in addition to the €10m in capital funding announced in Budget 2021. Airports generally as well as the airlines will of course continue will to benefit from the economy-wide support measures that are open to all sectors.
The forthcoming National Economic Plan will provide for any further appropriate measures to safeguard strategic regional connectivity and the resilience of the aviation sector.
This level of unprecedented supports for Cork and our other airports is a clear manifestation of this Government’s commitment to ensuring the aviation sector can maintain the necessary core capability to retain strategic connectivity and to quickly rebound when circumstances allow.