We Need to Know What's Happened to Shannon Airport - Senator Paul Gavan
Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has called for an urgent review of regional airports, with a particular focus on Shannon Airport following its recent downgrading from category nine to seven.
The Limerick Based Senator was speaking following confirmation that Shannon Airport is set to introduce a range of cost-cutting measures that will see job losses, a limit on large airlines, and the re-categorisation of an airport similar to that of Knock and Kerry.
Senator Gavan said:
“The news which we are hearing from Shannon Airport has come as a complete shock to all of the staff. There is a real fear that Shannon Airport will no longer be able to survive on its own and significant cuts are going to be made.
“These changes are going to have a significant impact not just on the families of the workers, but also upon the economy of the Mid-West – there needs to be a review of regional airports in order to understand why Shannon has failed so badly.
“Management have completely missed their targets. The growth rate of Shannon is well below that of comparable airports, and is still 2 million travellers down on 2007 levels; and instead of increasing jobs as planned, jobs will be potentially lost here.
“Shannon has a unique brand to offer Atlantic flights; it is a well-known airport for a diversion destination. Management have failed to promote this brand and they now want to abandon that brand and cut costs. It is evident from what we are hearing that management simply have no vision for this airport and the region itself.
“There needs to be a State review here and across all other regional airports. Will the government do that? What is the government’s plan for Shannon and other regional airports? There is a responsibility upon the state to ensure that the people of Clare, Limerick and all of the Mid-West are not abandoned and isolated once again by this State.”