Fianna Fáil TD, John Brassil has called on Minister for Transport, Shane Ross to explore the possibility of seeking EU Commission approval to establish an International Public Service Obligation (PSO) to make Kerry Airport more attractive to airlines.

Deputy Brassil made the call after it was reported that the EU Commission has relaxed its State Aid rules with regard to state investment in regional airports to fund infrastructure developments.

“The relaxation regarding capital investment rules is welcome, and is something that Kerry Airport should consider as part of its future development plans.

“However, I feel that this is an opportunity for a wider discussion to be had on how government’s support regional airports.

“At present, Kerry Airport, and airlines using the airport, can avail of a domestic PSO. However, it’s limited to internal flights in Ireland.

“I feel that it would make good policy, and sense, to extend this to international flights to make the airport at Farranfore more attractive to airlines.

“I am calling on the Minister to start negotiations with the EU Commission, and to seek support from his colleagues at EU Ministerial Council level, for permission for the Irish Government to establish and fund an international PSO.

“Currently many airlines will not consider adding international flights and services to Kerry Airport due to the uncertainty over demand. An international PSO would reduce those concerns by providing a steady stream of income to fund the route.

“Kerry’s amazing tourism offering is being limited by a lack of international flights into the region. The potential benefits of an international PSO are immense, and this is something Minister Ross should investigate at the earliest possible opportunity,” concluded Brassil.