MEP voices concerns over cut in state aid

Kerry airport organised a meeting of tourism interests
Kerry airport organised a meeting of tourism interests

IRELAND South MEP Sean Kelly has voiced concerns over a European Commission proposal which suggests reducing state aid to regional airports and could affect Kerry Airport.

The European Commission's recently published report on state aid for airports and airlines contains a proposal to significantly restrict the ability of the government and local authorities to finance regional airports, citing fair competition and fiscal discipline as its main reasons.

The Fine Gael MEP said the proposal would be particularly damaging for Irish regional airports, such as Kerry, which have already suffered a dramatic decline in passengers numbers over the past six years because of the recession.

"The EU proposal threatens to reverse the progress made in regional development in Ireland by cutting off vital air-transport routes for business, export markets and tourism," said Mr Kelly.

"Kerry Airport provides our young people and small businesses with an affordable gateway to key markets in the UK and across Europe, enabling them to sustain a living at home while building new business opportunities in Europe," he said.