Senator Lisa Chambers Urges Department to Raise Passenger Cap on Regional Airports Programme for Ireland West Airport Knock's Growth

Published on: 14 May 2024

Fianna Fáil European Election Candidate in the Midlands North West, Senator Lisa Chambers, has called on the Department of Transport to increase the current passenger cap on the Regional Airports Programme to facilitate further expansion and development at Ireland West Airport Knock. Presently, only airports with passenger figures under 1 million per annum qualify for financial assistance under this initiative, which provides vital capital and operational funding to bolster Ireland's smaller airports.

Senator Chambers highlighted the fact that at EU level, there is nothing stopping the Department raising the cap to 3 million passengers annually, which would enable ongoing financial backing for regional airports while adhering to state aid rules. "The airport's management team has outlined clear aspirations for passenger growth, which they are doing year on year and it is our responsibility to facilitate this expansion," she affirmed. "By advocating for the elimination of this restrictive cap, we can demonstrate our dedication to supporting Ireland West Airport Knock in realising its full potential."

Senator Chambers recently met with Minister of State at the Department of Transport Jack Chambers and discussed this matter. "I have engaged with Minister Chambers on this matter, and he has assured me that the Department is actively reassessing the passenger cap," she noted.”

"Constricting the growth potential of Ireland West Airport Knock impedes regional economic advancement," emphasised Senator Chambers. "We must dismantle barriers to growth and empower the airport to achieve its objective of boosting passenger numbers. It is essential that we advocate for the removal of the current passenger cap on the Regional Airports Programme to ensure Ireland West Airport Knock can flourish and contribute to the economic prosperity of the Midlands Northwest."

"Ireland West Airport is a cornerstone of economic growth and connectivity in our region, and we must take every measure to facilitate its expansion," Senator Chambers concluded.