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Irish Government confirms Shannon Airport and Shannon Development will merge

4-Dec-2012 10:57 AM

Ireland's Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport stated (03-Dec-2012) the Irish Government has decided to grant Shannon Airport full independence from Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) on 31-Dec-2012 and merge the airport with a restructured Shannon Development to form a new, publicly-owned, commercial entity in 2013. This following a decision taken in principle in May-2012. Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said specific commitments for the creation of 850 jobs has been secured from two Shannon-based companies, as part of plans for an International Aviation Services Centre. These commitments depend on the separation of Shannon Airport from the DAA. A report from the Aviation Business Development Task Force, set up by the Shannon Steering Group, also states the Aviation Services Centre "is conservatively projected to create and maintain 3,000-3,500 new direct jobs within five years, not including construction jobs". The Government decision will grant Shannon Airport the long-awaited freedom to determine its own future in the best interests of the airport itself and of the Shannon region, and merge it with a restructured Shannon Development. The new entity will include Shannon Developmentā€™s extensive landbank and will be tasked with developing an international aviation centre of excellence. Based on the further detailed work that has been undertaken over the past six months, Minister Varadkar said he is satisfied Shannon Airport can perform to its full potential without the constraints of remote oversight and DAA control. Legislation will now be drafted to establish a new, publicly-owned commercial Shannon entity comprising the airport and the restructured Shannon Development. This legislation will also make an appropriate change to the name of the Dublin Airport Authority to take account of the new ownership structures. The Government plans to have this legislation enacted by the Oireachtas by mid-2013. It is now intended to make appointments to the boards of the Shannon Airport Authority and Shannon Development to ensure the necessary work is undertaken in relation to the establishment of the Shannon entity and the transition arrangements for Shannon Development. In addition, over the next six months, the Steering Group will continue to oversee the completion of that work in the agreed timeline. The move was separately welcomed (03-Dec-2012) by the Aviation Business Development Task Force and Clare County Council. [more - original PR - Transport Ministry] [more - original PR - Aviation Business Development Task Force] [more - original PR - Clare County Council]