Friday 22 September 2017

Shannon to draw up masterplan to help secure future of airport

Shannon Airport
Shannon Airport
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Shannon Airport is to draw up a new masterplan with the aid of a major research project that will start next month which aims to provide the foundation for a stronger commercial offering.

It also wants to develop a strong brand proposition for the airport, which handled 1.74 million passengers last year, a figure that was virtually unchanged on 2015.

The State-owned facility, which was separated in 2012 from the Dublin and Cork Airports owner - the DAA - is part of the Shannon Group, which also includes Shannon Heritage.

The airport wants insight into passengers' "current perceptions of Shannon Airport and reveal their needs and requirements in the future".

"Insights from this study will provide a fuller understanding of our passenger base, the regional dynamics of our catchment area and must have a particular emphasis on developing a strong brand position for the airport that has sensitivity to our local cultural identity," it says.

"This extensive research programme will provide the foundation for a stronger commercial offering and inform the development of an overall 'Sense of Place' masterplan for Shannon Airport.

"This masterplan will integrate the disciplines of design, architecture, branding and operations to maximise the commerciality of Shannon Airport and develop a sense of place strategy for any future development/improvement works."

A blueprint prepared for the Government in 2012 when Shannon Airport split from the DAA, envisaged that up to 3,000 jobs would have been created by now in aviation services and finance. That target has not been met. Shannon Group established the International Aviation Services Centre in an effort to expand its existing aviation industry cluster. However, the group said last year that "a great deal more work" remains to be done to achieve its aims.

In 2012, the then Transport Minister, Leo Varadkar, said that unless Shannon Airport could grow its passenger numbers to 2.5 million by 2021, it had "no future".

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