Plans to develop Dublin Airport before Shannon ‘beggars belief’, says Chamber

Limerick Chamber chief economist Seán Golden and Chamber CEO Dee Ryan.

LIMERICK Chamber have called on the Government to fully utilise capacity at Shannon Airport before more investment is given to Dublin Airport.

The representative organisation questioned the Government’s plans to extend terminal one at Dublin Airport, while regional airports such as Shannon and Cork Airports are currently not operating to full capacity.

The Chamber are calling on the Government to add Shannon and Cork Airports to its Regional Airports Programme to increase investment and support the introduction of new routes to Northern Europe.

Chamber CEO Dee Ryan said: “It beggars belief that in 2023, when faced with stark regional disparities and housing pressures, the Government has not taken National Aviation Policy by the scruff of the neck and reworked it to support delivery of jobs and housing in Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Clare, and Galway.”

“There are obvious consequences to the over development and oversized market dominance of the capital city airport, it is time for the Government to take the matter in hand and deal with it.

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“Yes route connectivity is essential to the national economy and to sustain the businesses that we have.  No, it does not all need to come through one airport.”

The Chamber have asked why the Government doesn’t have a plan to utilise capacity at Cork and Shannon airports.

Seán Golden, Chief Economist and Director of Policy with Limerick Chamber, said: “Limerick Chamber has long been an advocate for using aviation policy as a tool for encouraging more balanced regional development.”

“In 2019, we contracted Copenhagen Economics to undertake an aviation study of the Mid West and West. Many of their recommendations and observations remain valid to this day.

“There is an over reliance on Dublin, there is large, underutilised capacity in regional airports, the need for an updated National Aviation Policy and, of course, that state-owned regional airports, such as Shannon and Cork, should be included in the plan long-term,” he concluded.