Limerick Chamber event hears Dublin Airport dominance is ‘hurting Shannon’

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

 Economist: Dr Stephen Kinsella spoke at the event

Economist: Dr Stephen Kinsella spoke at the event

THE dominant position of Dublin Airport is harming Shannon Airport, the Limerick Chamber has heard.

Speaking at the first Chamber economic outlook of 2019, Chamber economist Dr Catriona Cahill, and the associate professor of economics at the University of Limerick, Dr Stephen Kinsella have both called for a dedicated fund for Limerick’s local airport.

Addressing almost 200 business people at the Castletroy Park Hotel, Dr Cahill said Limerick Chamber’s Economic Breakfast Briefing at the Castletroy Park Hotel, Dr. Cahill said connectivity remains a key area of concern.

Shannon, she said, is under pressure on two fronts – principally from Dublin Airport as it mops up 96% of all new passengers coming into Ireland, but also from regional airports such as Knock and Kerry which can avail of grants in that Shannon can’t because of its status as a state airport.

“Air access is critical for economic growth and airports play a pivotal role in attracting foreign direct investment. The importance of airports is recognised In Project Ireland 2040 but despite this, there is a very worrying trend of Dublin’s increasing dominance. Shannon last year achieved 1.86m passengers but has the capacity to serve many more and act as a counterbalance to the DAA monolith,” she said.

Meanwhile, a top international economist has warned that even in a hard Brexit scenario, Ireland can avail of greater opportunity.

Carl Tennenbaum of Northern Trust said: “It's not just an opportunity, it's happening already because ever since Brexit was enacted, the fact is that companies have had to make contingency plans to be able to serve their European clients no matter what the final form of the resolution is.  And that has led some business to the continent. Ireland is always a natural destination especially for English speaking countries.”