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Doherty welcomes Airport moves

4 September, 2003

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty reacting to today's announcement by British Direct Rule Minister Ian Pearson that he is setting up a special fund to encourage the development of direct new air routes has welcomed the move but has called for the development to have a degree of an All Ireland focus.

Mr Doherty said:

"This move which will see reduced landing charges for carriers on selected and targeted new routes will greatly benefit both the tourist economy and the business economy throughout Ireland and must be welcomed in this light.

"I would, however, hope that there will be an All-Ireland dimension to all of this. Given that in recent months we have seen air carriers cut back on a number of internal flights in Ireland I would hope that these moves, coupled with the ever developing All Ireland economy, would offer an opportunity to re-establish, and indeed build greater All-Ireland air transport links. It is also vital that regional airports outside of Belfast are also supported given the weakness in road and rail transport infrastructure, particularly West of the Bann." ENDS

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