Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton T.D., has today announced the allocation of almost €1.6 million in Exchequer funding to regional airports under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025.
Announcing these allocations, Minister of State Naughton said: ‘Building on my announcement of €4.87m in capital funds to the airports of Ireland West (Knock), Kerry and Donegal on 19 April earlier this year, and €16.33m in capital funds to the airports of Cork and Shannon, I am delighted to approve these additional capital allocations. Today’s investment represents an important step in the process towards the ‘greening’ of Irish Airports.’
Minister Naughton added ‘I am pleased to say that this funding will support a Master Plan for Carbon Reduction at Knock Airport, an External Lighting Project to replace high energy consuming lighting at Kerry Airport and an extensive vehicle replacement programme at both Knock and Kerry Airports. This will see 20 vehicles being replaced by electric models. This funding represents a strong commitment by Government to help Ireland’s regional airports move towards carbon neutrality.’
Replacement vehicles include electric aircraft tugs, baggage conveyors, special assistance passenger transport vehicles, an incident support vehicle, an airfield patrol vehicle, a runway maintenance vehicle, a rescue vehicle, and hybrid ground power units. Funding towards an electric aircraft refueler is also being provided.
Over the past decade, the Regional Airports Programme has targeted Exchequer support towards safety and security related projects/operational activities at Ireland’s smallest regional airports (those with scheduled flights and fewer than 1 million annual passengers). The scope of the new Programme published earlier this year has been broadened to include sustainability objectives.
The following funding is now being provided for capital projects with a sustainability focus to help expedite airports’ efforts to reduce emissions in line with the Programme’s goal to move towards carbon neutrality.
Regional Airports were invited by Minister Naughton to submit sustainability projects for consideration and the Minister has approved almost €1.6m in funding for these. Any request for funding has been awarded by the Minister today.
Regional airports, including Donegal Airport, were given the opportunity to consider whether any sustainability projects proposed by airports for 2022 could be brought forward for consideration this year. Donegal Airport advised that while they are planning sustainability projects in 2022, they were not in a position to bring these forward for funding in 2021. However, they will be given the opportunity to submit these projects for funding under the Regional Airports Programme in 2022.
Airports eligible for funding under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025 (Donegal, Ireland West (Knock) and Kerry) and the COVID-19 Regional State Airports Programme 2021 (Cork and Shannon) are also eligible for operational grant-aid, targeted at vital safety and security related operational expenses this year. Almost €20 million will shortly be allocated for air traffic control, fire services and security related expenses which will help ensure that airports can continue to remain compliant with regulatory requirements in these areas. Invitations for operational support are currently being assessed by the Department with funding allocations to airports due to be announced in the coming weeks.
Notes to Editors
Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025
Additional Capital Allocations 2021
Grant Allocation €
Ireland West (Knock)
Capital Allocations to date 2021