MINISTER for Transport Leo Varadkar has said a target of up to 3,500 new jobs for an independent Shannon Airport over the next five years is a “realistic one”.
Shannon’s separation from the DAA was confirmed by the minister this Monday and will come into legal effect as soon as January 1, 2013.
He said that memorandums of understanding had already been signed with two existing aviation and aerospace companies at Shannon which would see 850 new jobs realised within three years, growing to 1000 by 2018. These growth commitments were contingent on Shannon separating from the DAA and would be announced in due course.
The task force on aviation business development - set up by government in May - has reported back that up to 3500 new jobs, exclusive of construction, could be created in a world-leading aviation business cluster within five years. These would be based on airport and Shannon Development lands which are to be merged into a new publicly-owned airport company.
“I think the plans are very realistic”, Minister Varadkar said in response to scepticism from political opponents over the potential employment figures.
Minister Varadkar said: “The decision taken today is an historic one and will free the board and management of Shannon airport, together with their employees, to bring a fresh approach to the future development of the airport. A key element of that future will be the development of an International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) in and around the airport, building on a range of aviation-related activities already undertaken in Shannon such as aircraft maintenance and leasing”.