Donegal Airport States In Its Accounts That Its Future Is A Growing Concern
Donegal Airport has stated in its accounts that its future is a growing concern because it is dependent on continuing financial support from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. As repor...
Donegal Airport has stated in its accounts that its future is a growing concern because it is dependent on continuing financial support from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
As reported by The Irish Independent, Donegal Airport is almost entirely reliant for its survival on grants and income from a government-funded public service obligation route operated between Donegal and Dublin.
Donegal Airport's single biggest shareholder is reportedly state agency Údarás na Gaeltachta, which reportedly controls approximately 40% of the business, and the remainder is reportedly owned by private Donegal-based individuals.
Donegal Airport reportedly employed 20 full-time staff, seven part-time permanent staff and two directors last year, and reportedly paid wages of €814,000 to its employees last year excluding payments to directors, which was reportedly down from €845,000 in 2019 when it reportedly had two additional full-time employees.
Former Donegal Airport director Anne Bonner, who retired last year, was reportedly paid a basic salary of €51,000 last year, as well as €12,000 in pension contributions, and reportedly received a €120,000 ex-gratia payment when she retired.
Donegal Airport reportedly said in a statement to The Irish Independent, "The ex-gratia payment was made in recognition of many years of diligent and loyal service to the company and stakeholders by the retiring CEO. The full ex-gratia payment was made subject to taxation as per the Finance Acts."
Donegal Airport reportedly said that the payment was approved by the company's board of directors, which include a representative of Donegal County Council, and the nomination and remuneration committee, "having taken professional advice".
Bonner reportedly worked with Donegal Airport since 2002 and was reportedly the airport's managing director for 14 years.
The accounts reportedly note that Donegal Airport received close to €184,000 in temporary COVID-19 wage subsidy supports in 2020, which reportedly meant that, despite Bonner’s €120,000 ex-gratia payment, the airport's overall staff costs were still lower than in 2019, when they reportedly amounted to a little more than €1 million.
Donegal Airport reportedly added, "There is no connection between COVID wage subsidies and the ex-gratia termination payment to the retiring CEO. The COVID subsidies and supports relate to company employees."
Additional Grant Funding
Apart from the supports it received under the COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme, Donegal Airport reportedly also received additional grant funding totalling hundreds of thousands of euro from the Department of Transport and Donegal County Council last year, which reportedly included €580,000 from the Department under its 2015-2020 Regional Airports Programme to cover operational expenditure.
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