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Government confirms plans for independent Shannon Airport

Hewson

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The government has big plans for Shannon. Press statement below:

New drive to develop world-class aviation industry in Shannon – Varadkar, Bruton

Government confirms plans for independent Shannon Airport and restructuring of enterprise support agencies in Shannon region

The Government has decided to separate Shannon Airport from the Dublin Airport Authority and bring it together with Shannon Development to form a new entity with a commercial mandate in public ownership.

This decision represents a new beginning for the Shannon region, involving a drive to develop a world-class aviation industry in Shannon, and a restructuring of tourism and enterprise support agencies in the region to support this goal. The announcement was made by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, following a series of Government decisions yesterday.

The new entity will have a clear mandate, working closely with the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to develop the potential of the aviation sector, and will explore other opportunities with those agencies for further prospective investments in the region.

The changes will mean that indigenous and foreign businesses in the region will have direct access to the comprehensive range of supports from the State enterprise agencies, as well as to a dynamic international Airport with extensive property holdings.

Shannon Development’s functions in relation to indigenous enterprise and foreign direct investment will transfer to Enterprise Ireland and IDA respectively, and a plan for delivery of enterprise supports in the region by those agencies will be developed.

As part of the reorganisation of State agencies - and with a view to the delivery of coherent and integrated services to the region - the tourism functions of Shannon Development, including Regional Tourism Offices, will transfer to Fáilte Ireland. This new entity will continue to support the property needs of IDA/EI clients in the area.

The Ministers will establish a Steering Group to determine the most effective organisational structure of the new entity, develop an implementation strategy for the new body and a plan setting out how the entity will help to achieve strong regional development, while ensuring the highest standard of support for enterprises in the region. The Group’s guiding principle will be the future development of the Shannon area.

The Steering Group will in particular assess the feasibility of creating an international aviation centre of excellence centred on Shannon Airport. The Steering Group may establish expert sub groups to assist in this work. The best positioning of the successful Shannon Heritage operation within the State sector will also be considered as part of the deliberations in the months ahead.

Minister Varadkar said: ‘This is a significant step in developing the aviation sector in Ireland and securing the future of Shannon Airport. It heralds a new era for the Shannon region’.

“I firmly believe that this is the best way forward for both Shannon Airport, Shannon Development and the Mid- West region. We want to recapture the pioneering spirit of the people who gave us the airport and the Shannon Free Zone concept, so that we can provide exciting and innovative opportunities which benefit business, tourism, and job creation in the region, and across the country. Our task now to develop these proposals in more detail.''

Minister Bruton stated: “This announcement represents a new start for jobs and enterprise in the Shannon region. In developing our proposals, we were always focused on delivering the best possible outcomes for enterprise development and job-creation in the region. By combining, into a new entity, a strong, independent Shannon airport authority with the extensive property holdings, expertise and experience of Shannon Development, we can focus the State’s resources on developing a strong aviation industry in the area.

“Today’s announcement is an important start, but more work remains to be done to deliver on the potential of this proposal and we will press forward immediately with the necessary work. I am convinced that with the right commitment from Government and hard work from all stakeholders, we can create new businesses, new jobs and a new future for the Shannon region”.

Today’s statement comes not long after the announcement in the Action Plan for Jobs of a new ‘one-stop shop’ micro-enterprise support structure through the dissolution of the CEBs and the creation of a new Micro Enterprise and Small Business Unit in Enterprise Ireland that will work with new Local Enterprise Offices in each Local Authority.

Local authorities will also be asked to play a key role in the future development of the region, and of the fulfilment of the vision set out today.

In relation to Cork Airport, the Government has decided that the existing ownership of the Airport by the DAA will be maintained for the present. To take account of this decision, the DAA will be renamed to reflect the fact that there are now two airports and international businesses in the group structure. The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport will be making an announcement in the near future on this issue.

Both Ministers look forward to working with the key stakeholders in progressing the many issues that now have to be dealt with and the output of this work will form part of detailed proposals to be submitted to Government later this year.
 


Clanrickard

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Great news. Shannon Development is a waste of space and has not been in recent years a success. Getting rid of it as a Tourism and Industry development body is the way to go. Good move on the airport as well. It's now time to put up or shut up. Either it is made a go of or the airport should be privatized as it cannot continue to eat up public funds. .
 

damus

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So in announcing this plan all Varadkar has to work out is where the debt is suppose to go :roll:!
 

cuiseogach

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Wonder by how much the coffers in FG will benefit from this?
 

Social Conscience

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Putting Shannon Airport under the umbrella of Shannon Development I feel may not prove to be a wise move in the long run, however getting out from under the DAA debt free is certainly very much welcomed.
 

damus

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I can't understand how they can say on the one hand that Shannon is suppose to be independent while on the otherhand they haven't yet worked out another key element of where the current debt is suppose to go....I would have thought that should have been considered as part of a feasibility study ffs.
 

Edo

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So in announcing this plan all Varadkar has to work out is where the debt is suppose to go :roll:!
Minister Varadkar said Shannon Airport will not have to carry the €100m debt into the new entity.
The debt will remain with the Dublin Airport Authority because the debt would not affect the DAA's credit rating and because the DAA would benefit from no longer carrying the cost of subsidising Shannon.
Govt to separate Shannon Airport from DAA - RT News

Schubart will have to be put under sedation when he reads this.................
 

darkhorse

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I dont understand why they didnt simply sell it off to the private sector - and let the normal commercial pressures apply
Then we would have real competition with DAA
The State are still keeping an interest in the running of the airport by not privatising it
 

Hewson

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Great news. Shannon Development is a waste of space and has not been in recent years a success. Getting rid of it as a Tourism and Industry development body is the way to go. Good move on the airport as well. It's now time to put up or shut up. Either it is made a go of or the airport should be privatized as it cannot continue to eat up public funds. .
This is what the airport management have wanted for a long time. Free of the shackles of the DAA it can now set out its own independent marketing plan and set its own charges. I'd imagine that Michael O'Leary will be getting a call in the near future.

Shannon Development can also focus on a narrower agenda now that it no longer has the tourism and industry portfolios. It was directionless in recent years, but there are still talented people working there. Their job will be to turn around the decline in Shannon Airport's fortunes. I used the airport recently and it was depressing to see such a terrific facility so hopelessly under-utilised.

I wish it all the best for the future.
 

Analyzer

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A real body blow to Shannon Airport.

They will now have to manage to run themselves without the management expertise and leadership of Bill Cullen.

I just hope that everybody in Clare is still able to get up at 05:00 in the morning, run 10k, eat a spoon of muesli, and then get a 16 hour work day done (no lunch breaks), without Bill Cullen there to tell them how to become (formerly) loaded selling Renn-allts....
 

brughahaha

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Rearranging deck chairs .... Rebranding , reorganising , new names , lots of spin waffle and "new era" "growth" and "centres of excellence" .

Unil they actually tackle waste, incompetence, political Interference, the massive cost base and security of tenure in the bloated public service and quango sectors ..... Seriously reducing both ........ They are pissing into the breeze
 

Edo

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I dont understand why they didnt simply sell it off to the private sector - and let the normal commercial pressures apply
Then we would have real competition with DAA
The State are still keeping an interest in the running of the airport by not privatising it
I'd sat thats the long term plan for Vlad...............but the reality of coalition with Labour, the populist FFers and SFers have to be taken into account.........political realities and all that......

As somebody currently working in the area - its good news - its a start..............
 

Edo

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I don't understand how saddling DAA with Shannon's debt of €100m won't affect its credit rating.....it already has!
well if it hasn't so far - and the fact that loss making entity is being taken away - thats 8 million a year less being added to the total - its a no brainer.
 

brughahaha

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I'd sat thats the long term plan for Vlad...............but the reality of coalition with Labour, the populist FFers and SFers have to be taken into account.........political realities and all that......

As somebody currently working in the area - its good news - its a start..............
Wow, populist FFers , coalition partners , SF, the troika, the bond markets etc etc ......... Are FG responsible for any of the choices and decisions they make
 

Kazza

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I don't understand how saddling DAA with Shannon's debt of €100m won't affect its credit rating.....it already has!
The €100m debt is already on the DAAs books so has as you said already affected the credit rating. Cutting off future Shannon losses I guess improves things for DAA.
 

mido

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Shannon better hope the USA find another enemy soon in the middle east. first task for the new board will have to be aggravating the iranians to boost passenger throughput.
 

Edo

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Wow, populist FFers , coalition partners , SF, the troika, the bond markets etc etc ......... Are FG responsible for any of the choices and decisions they make
ah cmon Brug - you know im not the current governments biggest fan here

I was trying to explain the reasoning behind why they are doing what they are doing - privatization is still a dirty word in this country - or should I say - everybody is in favour of it until it affects them.

Im living on the Limerick/clare border now - and I have leaflets in the door all time from FF,ULA and SF saying they will fight the privatisation of Shannon the whole way - the FF and SF ones is funniest yet - that privatization will drive airlines away - cos ye know like, the first thing anybody who buys the airport as a going concern will want to do will be to get rid of all them pesky aeroplanes...............but people believe this sh^te.............

its a start - its not ideal - but its a start - the state sector is one of those sacred cows in our country - you have to move very cleverly...........
 

darkhorse

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I'd sat thats the long term plan for Vlad...............but the reality of coalition with Labour, the populist FFers and SFers have to be taken into account.........political realities and all that......

As somebody currently working in the area - its good news - its a start..............
Perhaps true but those days are supposed to be over
The Troika are telling us to sell off some of the strategic State resources to raise much needed cash
And here they are shuffeling public servants around again
They could have raise a serious amount of cash by selling off Shannon Airport
 


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