General Industry

€26m In Aid Approved For ROI's Airports; Separate Support Packages Announced For NI's Airports

By Dave Simpson
€26m In Aid Approved For ROI's Airports; Separate Support Packages Announced For NI's Airports

The European Commission has approved proposals to pay €26 million in compensation to Irish airports for the COVID-19-related lockdown period from April to June of 2020.

As reported by The Irish Times, the aid includes compensation for damage to airports' business during the period, up to €1.8 million in grants to each airport and cash to cover fixed costs.

The Irish Times quotes the European Commission as saying, "Under this measure, these operators can be compensated for the net losses suffered during the period between April 1st and June 30th, 2020, as a result of the restrictive measures implemented by the Irish authorities in order to contain the spread of coronavirus."

According to the Department of Transport, the cash will be allocated by the government on the basis of applications from individual airports, and state-owned Cork, Dublin and Shannon airports will share €20 million from the scheme in light of the "devastating impact" that COVID-19-related restrictions have had on their businesses.

Transport minister Eamon Ryan said that the aid will allow Cork, Dublin and Shannon airports to offer incentives and charge rebates to airlines to support air travel recovery, and minister of state Hildegarde Naughton stated that the government will make up to €6 million available to Donegal, Kerry and Knock airports under the scheme.


NI Airports Support Packages

Meanwhile, Belfast International Airport, Belfast City Airport and City of Derry Airport will receive separate support packages.

As reported by The Irish News, Stormont finance minister Conor Murphy has said that his department is in the process of implementing a £10 million support package for the two Belfast airports, while infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon is providing £1.2 million for City of Derry Airport.

The Irish News quotes Murphy as saying, "Keeping the airports open is the first step to supporting the businesses that work with them."

Murphy also said that his department is holding £150 million aside for potential additional business rate relief in the next financial year, and stated, "Regional airports will be considered as part of that."

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