Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, has published an Issues Paper for consultation on the development of Ireland’s next Regional Airports Program.
Ross described the publication as an important step in the process to replace the current program, which will expire at the end of 2019.
“The paper provides the framework to enable us to invite views on the effectiveness of current support measures, but we are also asking for respondents to consider the need for something different,” he said.
The Issues Paper describes the structure of existing program supports and grant schemes and provides a brief outline of the state aid framework that is currently in force in respect of airports and airlines. A short questionnaire is also provided at the end of the Issues Paper to help guide responses.
The Minister hopes the consultation will contribute to the design of optimal, cost-effective measures in support of regional airports, but that it will also align to policy objectives in other areas, such as regional development, connectivity, sustainability, and climate impacts.
Key stakeholders and interested parties are invited to share their views on the Issues Paper through a public consultation process which will run until September 30. Ross will consider all submissions, before reverting to the government later in 2019 with a draft Regional Airports Program to cover the period 2020 to 2024.