Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary says the €1.3m funding allocation announced by the Minister for Transport Shane Ross for Ireland West Airport Knock falls well short of what is needed.  The money will be used for safety and security upgrades, but will not provide for any long term projects at the airport.

Deputy Calleary commented, “While any investment in Ireland West Airport Knock is welcome, this announcement is nowhere near what’s needed to secure its long term future.  The €1.3m will allow for some upgrade works to be carried out but it is nowhere near the investment that is envisaged in its capital plan.

“Over the past five years, Fine Gael has completely neglected the long term future of the airport. Successive Ministers for Transport have ignored the importance of the airport, not only to the local economy, but to the greater Western region, particularly in the advent of the Wild Atlantic Way.  The number of visits made by Transport Ministers since 2011 could be counted on one hand.

“Ireland West Airport Knock is a valuable asset and should be at the heart of all Government plans for transport and tourism.  It is a significant employer and provides important transport links to the UK and Europe bolstering the local and national economy.  Instead of sporadic announcements, the Government must commit to a long-term, independent strategy for Knock with specific investment commitments”.