MEP wants change in airport policy

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Ireland South MEP Sean Kelly - Limerick Post Newspaper
Ireland South MEP Sean Kelly

AN influential Fine Gael MEP has come out strongly against the lack of support in the Government’s aviation policy for Shannon airport as a balance to the huge air passenger growth in Dublin.

Sean Kelly described the fact that Dublin has 95 per cent of all new passengers coming to the country as “almost immoral.”

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“Shannon has been a key airport for almost 70 years. It now needs an injection of investment for the whole region to develop,” he said in an interview with the Clare Champion.

“Shannon airport needs to be developed a lot more. Business people need connectivity. We must support Shannon for balanced regional development. It’s not easy but it has to be done as there is a huge push in Europe to develop connectivity.

‘I was appalled when I saw the figures for new passengers coming to Dublin compared to the rest of the country. There will have to be a push to address this,” he said.

Particularly with the success of promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way, there is no need for so many passengers to fly in via Dublin, he said.

He urged the Shannon Group to draft a development plan for the airport so MEPs can support it at European level.

However, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has described the aviation policy as “really positive…ultimately it is people booking flights who decide and airlines who decide what is commercially viable. There is no government policy that can change that.”