THE future of Shannon Airport will be discussed at Leinster House later today by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications.
The chairman of the Shannon Airport Authority, Rose Hynes, is expected to outline to members the authority’s strategy to reverse the decline in passenger numbers at the airport, which was separated from the Dublin Airport Authority on January 1.
Before her appointment as chairman last month, Ms Hynes chaired the task force on aviation business development at Shannon which argued that “an opportunity exists…to create a truly globally significant international aviation services centre, which will be an economic driver for the Midwest region and the country as a whole”.
Deputy Tom Hayes, chairman of the Transport and Communications committee, has welcomed the fact she will meet with the committee to discuss the plans for Shannon.
“With Shannon airport now an independent entity, this is a timely opportunity to hear from Rose Hynes on the airport’s strategy into the future. Shannon Airports traffic has declined considerably since 2007 and Ms Hynes has made immediate passenger growth a priority for Shannon Airport,” he said.
The most recent figures show that 1.4m passengers passed through Shannon Airport last year compared to more than 3.5m in 2007.
With the new Authority to be merged with Shannon Development in July, committee members are expected to seek more detail on ambitious plans to transform Shannon Airport by creating an international aviation services centre.
It is estimated that between 3,000 and 3,500 jobs could be created over the next five years through the development of such a centre.
The meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications can be viewed online from 9.3am.