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€21M in Operational Funding for Irish Airports Announced

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton, announced the provision of over €21 million in operational funding to the Irish airports of Shannon, Cork, Ireland West (Knock), Kerry and Donegal.

This funding is being administered under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025, which provides targeted support for vital safety and security operations at the airports such as air traffic control, fire services and security, ensuring airports can continue to remain compliant with regulatory requirements in these areas.

The funding that is the subject of the announcement is set out as follows:

Airport2022 operational allocation
Ireland West€1,787,797
Total allocations€21,100,051

Announcing these allocations, Minister of State Naughton said, “I am delighted to be announcing operational allocations of over €21 million today to Shannon, Cork, Donegal, Ireland West Airport Knock and Kerry airports under the Regional Airports Programme. It is anticipated that this level of funding, which is 41% higher than last year’s operational funding allocation, will meet 100% of all eligible salary costs in the areas of safety, security and air traffic control at these airports in 2022.”

“This funding, which is in addition to the €16.4 million in capital supports which I announced to these airports during April, demonstrates Government’s commitment to our regional airports.”

Ireland’s aviation industry has recovered well following the lifting of travel restrictions in March 2022. Funding this year to airports will total over €37 million, which has helped to support strong recovery and growth of passenger traffic through Irish airports. This funding builds on the €161 million provided in unprecedented aviation supports during 2021.

Commenting on this growth in connectivity, Minister Naughton said, “exchequer funding provided during the COVID-19 crisis and to date in 2022 has enabled the strong recovery of traffic through our airports and in particular our regional airports. This is evidenced by Kerry, Ireland West Airport Knock, Cork and Shannon airports each currently outperforming Dublin Airport in terms of a faster recovery towards the pre-COVID passenger numbers achieved in 2019. As we look forward to a strong 2023, these regional airports are currently forecasting a return of passenger numbers above 2019 levels.”

The Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025 provides for a mid-term review of the Programme to be completed by end 2023. This mid-term review will consider how the Programme is currently delivering on its objectives, primarily in the context of supporting balanced regional development. It will also explore how international connectivity and services, to and from the regions can be maintained and enhanced.

In preparation for the opening of a Public Consultation in Q1 2023 to inform this mid-term review, Minister Naughton recently announced that she is currently welcoming views from interested parties on the range of issues that might be addressed in an Issues Paper which will be published as part of the Public Consultation process in Q1 2023. Interested parties have the opportunity, until 31 January 2023, to put forward any issues they wish to be considered for inclusion in the upcoming Issues Paper. Responses to this call should be made via email to by this date.


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