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Government should not pit Western Airports against each other

12 December, 2012


Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has stated that it is his opinion that there is room for two strong international airports in the West of Ireland.

The Galway West Senator was speaking during a debate on a motion which had the effect of granting Shannon Airport independence from the Dublin Airport Authority.

Speaking today in the Seanad, Senator Ó Clochartaigh stated that while he welcomed this move, he had concerns as regards the future plans for Shannon Airport.

“We believe it is positive that Shannon is to be given more independence, and it was never likely to be given the appropriate priority under the Dublin Airport Authority, and this decision has been welcomed by the local community.

“However, while it is clear Shannon needs more independence it also needs a secure revenue stream to put its new model into practice and to make a real drive for achieving a more sustainable setup. This should not and cannot be achieved at the expense of Ireland West Airport in Knock, however this is a substantial part of the current plan.

“Knock is a well-run airport, community run airport, and is deserving of Government support.

“It has 28 scheduled International destinations across Ireland the UK and Europe and over 65 weekly flights with passenger numbers for 2012 set to reach almost 700,000.”

“It has a turnover of €12.5m and a net loss of only €0.39m, employing 101 people directly in the local economy and supporting an additional 900 jobs.

“We should not seek to undermine their good work, by pitting Shannon against Knock.

“We should seek to strike a balance, where the airports can complement each other, and the west of Ireland can support two significant airports.”

“If the Minister had not separated Aer Rianta from Shannon Airport, it would have a much more reliable and sustainable revenue stream upon which to rely. Aer Rianta has a long history in Shannon, and makes a profit in excess of 30 million euro a year.”

“To remove this connection is short sighted, and endangers the ability of the Airport to live up to its plans. The Government should maintain the link between Aer Rianta and Shannon Airport, and use that as the means to create a thriving Shannon Airport, rather than seeking to take business away from, and undermine, the Airport in Knock.”

“We also believe that the Government needs to consider in greater depth aviation policy on the whole, and to put in place a cohesive National Aviation Strategy. The example of Knock and Shannon is only one example of how there can be conflict between one airport and another without a joined up approach. The Government needs to consider where each airport, on an All-Ireland basis, fits within a wider Aviation policy.” ENDS

Ní chóir don Rialtas Aerphoirt an Iarthar a chur in iomaíocht le chéile

Tá an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh tar éis a rá gur chóir go mbeadh dhá aerphort láidir in Iarthar na tíre.

Bhí Seanadóir Ghaillimh Thiar ag labhairt le linn díospóireacht sa Seanad faoin tionchar a bheidh ag an gcinneadh Rialtais go bhfaighfidh Aerphort na Sionnaine neamhspleáchas ó Údarás Aerphort Átha Cliath.

“Is rud dearfach é go bhfuil níos mó neamhspleáchas dhá thabhairt d'Aerphort na Sionnaine mar ba léir nach bhfaighfeadh an Aerphort an phríoracht cuí faoi scáth an DAA agus tá tacaíocht an phobal áitiúil ag an gcinneadh seo chomh maith”

“É sin ráite, cé go bhfuil sé soiléir go bhfuil níos mó neamhspleáchais de dhíth ar Aerphort na Sionnaine, tá sruth ioncaim reatha buan ag teastáil chomh maith, go mbeadh an Aerphort in ann a múnla nua gnó a chur i bhfeidhm agus chun an aerphort a chur ar bonn níos seasta. Ach, ní chóir go mbeadh Aerphort Iarthar na hÉireann, i Cnoc Mhuire thios leis seo, ach faoi láthair seo cuid mór den phlean atá luaite leis an Sionann.”

“Is Aerphort éifeachtach í Aerphort Cnoc Mhuire atá á rith ag an bphobal agus teastaíonn tacaíocht an Rialtas uathu.”

“Tá 65 eitilt sa tseachtain ón Aerphort go dtí 28 ceann scríbe ar an sceidil acu agus tá an cuma air go sroichfidh líon na bpaisinéir do 2012 beagnach 700,000 duine.”

“Tá sreabhadh airgid de €12.5m aige agus níl ach glan-chailliúint de thart ar €0.39m. Fostaíonn sé 101 daoine go díreach sa phobal áitiúil agus tacaíonn go hindíreach le 900 post eile.”

“Ní chóir dúinn an bonn a bhaint dá dea-oibre, trí iad a chur in iomaíocht leis an tSionnain.”

“Ba chóir dúinn chomthromaíocht a lorg, go mbeadh an dá Aerphort in ann maireachtáil i gcomhair lena chéíle agus go mbeadh Iarthar na hÉireann in ann dhá aerphort rathúil idirnáisiúnta a bheith acu.”

“Bheadh sruth ioncam níos inbhuanaithe agus níos neamhspleáigh ar fáil don Aerphort munar bhris an tAire an ceangal idir Aerphort na Sionainne agus Aer Rianta Idirnáísiúnta. Tá stair fada ag Aer Rianta sa tSionnainn agus cruthaíonn siad brabús de thart ar €30m sa bhliain.”

“Is cinneadh gearr-radharcach é an ceangail seo a bhriseadh agus cuireann sé an seans go bhféadfadh an Aerphort an plean forbartha atá acu a chuir i gcrích, i mbaol. Ba chóir don Rialtas an ceangal idir Aer Rianta agus Aerphort na Sionnaine a chaomhnú agus é sin a úsáid chun tacú le Aerphort láidir sa tSionainn a bhuanú, in ionad a bheith ag iarraidh gnó a bhaint ó Aerphort Chnoc Mhuire.”

“Sa bhreis ar sin, ní mór don Rialtas a bheith ag smaoineamh go doimhin ar pholasaí eitlíocht níos leithne agus Straitéis Náisiúnta Eitlíocht chomhtháite a chur le chéile. Níl i gceist le cás na Sionainne agus Cnoc Mhuire ach sampla amháin den bhealach gur féidir coimhlint mífholláín a chothú idir dhá aerphoirt nuair atá easpa cur chuige chomhtháite ann. Bá chóir don Rialtas measúnú a dhéanamh ar an ról atá le n-imirt ag gach Aerphort, ar bhonn uile Éireannach, mar chuid de polasaí eitlíocht níos leithne.”

“Sa bhreis ar sin, ní mór don Rialtas a bheith ag smaoineamh go doimhin ar pholasaí eitlíocht níos leithne agus Straitéis Náisiúnta Eitlíocht chomhtháite a chur le chéile. Níl i gceist le cás na Sionainne agus Cnoc Mhuire ach sampla amháin den bhealach gur féidir coimhlint mífholláín a chothú idir dhá aerphoirt nuair atá easpa cur chuige chomhtháite ann. Bá chóir don Rialtas measúnú a dhéanamh ar an ról atá le n-imirt ag gach Aerphort, ar bhonn uile Éireannach, mar chuid de polasaí eitlíocht níos leithne.”

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