Fine Gael Cork South Central TD, Jerry Buttimer, has said that the initial restructuring of the State’s airports is the first step for increased autonomy at Cork Airport.  Deputy Buttimer was commenting after the announcement of the restructuring of the State’s airports by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD, and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD.
“I have consistently said that it is important that Cork Airport has increased autonomy and is given the ability to develop its own business without being constrained by Dublin.  Today’s announcement brings us closer to that point and to increased autonomy for Cork Airport.
“Minister Varadkar and Minister Bruton confirmed this morning that the Government has decided to restructure the ownership of Shannon Airport, separating it from the Dublin Airport authority (DAA). The Ministers also confirmed that the DAA will be renamed to acknowledge its responsibility for more than just Dublin Airport.
“The Government has decided that, for the present, Cork Airport will remain in State ownership in a restructured DAA.  This is in keeping with the recommendations of the consultants’ report commissioned by the Minister.
“For almost a decade, indecision has plagued Cork Airport, hampering its expansion and development.  Now the Minister is putting in place a clear plan for the future of the Airport, which enable it to grow and benefit Cork and the wider region.
“The development and expansion of services at the Airport is just one element of what is needed to drive business and tourism in Cork.  There remains a heavy responsibility on the local authorities, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland to promote and market Cork as a destination of choice for both business and tourism.
“Promoting Cork requires all stakeholders working together, developing strategies to deliver for local businesses and communities. One development which will significantly drive the development and promotion of Cork is the development of a world class conference centre.  There needs to be a partnership between State agencies and private investment to ensure that this essential amenity is delivered.”