Belfast Telegraph

Government funding for Kerry, Knock, Donegal and Waterford airports

Four regional airports have been handed a lifeline after Europe rubber-stamped their State aid over the next four years.

Kerry, Knock, Donegal and Waterford airports will all be allowed a slice of a 42.5 million euro government investment under the move.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said the EU Commission approval paves the way for each airport to apply for the critical funding.

"Approval of the 2015-2019 programme will greatly assist the regional airports in working towards a position of viability over the course of the programme," he said.

However, he warned that, under European guidelines, the regional airports will have until April 2024 to become self-sufficient as financial support will be axed.

"The level of funding provided in each year of the programme will be determined on the basis of submissions from the airports, including five year business plans, and the availability of exchequer resources in any one year," he added.

"In addition to the financial supports in accordance with EU State aid rules, the exchequer will also provide financial assistance to the regional airports for those costs associated with public policy remit requirements."

Negotiations to allow for the State aid of Irish regional airports had been ongoing since July last year.

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