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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 25 May, 2019

Shannon Airport to break away from DAA

Ryanair has criticised the government for not looking to sell Shannon Airport to the private sector.

Planes at Shannon Airport
Planes at Shannon Airport
Image: AP Photo/Peter Morrison

THE GOVERNMENT IS to separate Shannon Airport from the Dublin Airport Authority, the Minister for Transport has confirmed.

The Clare airport will be joined with Shannon Development to form a new publicly-owned entity.

The new entity will work with the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to develop the potential of the aviation sector and will explore other opportunities with those agencies for further investments in the region.

“This is a significant step in developing the aviation sector in Ireland and securing the future of Shannon Airport. It heralds a new era for the Shannon region,” said Minister Varadkar.

Shannon Development offered a cautious welcome to the announcement:

There is still a lot of detail to be worked out around the new structure and operation of the new entity, but today’s announcement is undoubtedly a major step towards creating a new entity which will act as a catalyst for growth in the wider region in the years to come.

Meanwhile Ryanair has criticised the government for not selling Shannon Airport to the private sector.

Stephen McNamara of Ryanair said the transfer of Shannon “from one semi-state quango to another” was a missed opportunity to introduce change.

“The government’s failure to sell Shannon Airport is also a missed opportunity to generate real proceeds with which to pay down either the DAA’s or the Irish government’s huge debts,” said McNamara.

The Dublin Airport Authority said it will work to implement the decision:

In accordance with its legislative mandate, DAA will work actively with the steering group that has been announced today so that the Government’s decision in relation to the seperation of Shannon can be implemented.

Minister Varadkar had warned Shannon Airport in March that it should not be reliant on State funding and should be aiming to break even or turn a profit. The Minister told the Dáil that the government is moving away from the model of subsidising airports.

Hands on: Shannon worker becomes unexpected Olympic torchbearer >

Previously: IAA reports increased profit for 2011 >

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