Raise financial assistance passenger cap to facilitate growth at Mayo airport

THE Department of Transport has been urged to increase the current passenger cap on the Regional Airports Programme to facilitate further expansion and development at Ireland West Airport Knock.

Presently, only airports with passenger figures under one million per annum qualify for financial assistance under this initiative, which provides vital capital and operational funding to bolster Ireland's smaller airports.

Making the call, Fianna Fáil European election candidate Senator Lisa Chambers highlighted the fact that at EU level, there is nothing stopping the department raising the cap to three million passengers annually, which would enable ongoing financial backing for regional airports while adhering to state aid rules.

“The airport's management team has outlined clear aspirations for passenger growth, which they are doing year on year, and it is our responsibility to facilitate this expansion,” said Senator Chambers.

“By advocating for the elimination of this restrictive cap, we can demonstrate our dedication to supporting Ireland West Airport Knock in realising its full potential.”

Senator Chambers recently met with Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Jack Chambers and he assured her that the department is actively reassessing the passenger cap.

“Constricting the growth potential of Ireland West Airport Knock impedes regional economic advancement. We must dismantle barriers to growth and empower the airport to achieve its objective of boosting passenger numbers.

“It is essential that we advocate for the removal of the current passenger cap on the Regional Airports Programme to ensure Ireland West Airport Knock can flourish and contribute to the economic prosperity of the midlands northwest.

“Ireland West Airport is a cornerstone of economic growth and connectivity in our region, and we must take every measure to facilitate its expansion,” she said.