PAYROLL costs at Shannon Airport are “on the high side”, CEO Neil Pakey has warned.
But the airport boss appeared to indicate efficiencies being sought by management might not affect core rates of pay.
When Shannon published its first annual report as an independent entity earlier in the month, Mr Pakey said management would focus on growing passenger numbers but also on “managing our cost base going forward”.
And at a press conference in King John’s Castle, Mr Pakey was asked to elaborate.
“We are looking at everything in the round. There is no doubt there are legacy issues from the old company (DAA). Some of those are easier to deal with than others but you have to respect contracts as well.
“We will need to look at the non-payroll costs and the payroll costs and it is our role to do that. If we want to grow the business in the interests of everybody here, we have to get our cost base sustainable as well. To say that we don’t have to address cost base issues would be wrong, We do have to in order to get the future secure for the airport and the region.”
On pay, Mr Pakey said: “the overall payroll amount is on the high side. Now that might be about cost efficiencies which might not affect the rates of pay that people get”.
Meanwhile, Mr Pakey believes that last week’s attempt by TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace to inspect a US military aircraft at Shannon - having climbed a security fence at the airport - went beyond peaceful protest.
“In terms of the breach, I have always been in favour of peaceful demonstrations. When you get beyond peaceful demonstration that is where you have to draw the line,” he said.
Pressed on the matter, he said: “I think crossing a national boundary is not in my book a peaceful demonstration”.
Deputy Daly and Deputy Wallace were arrested and released without charge from Shannon garda station last Tuesday with a file being prepared for the DPP.