Friday 20 April 2018

Seven local authorities to invest in Knock Airport

Ireland West Airport, Knock, Co Mayo.
Ireland West Airport, Knock, Co Mayo.

Brian McDonald

The seven local authorities along the western seaboard are to buy a stake in Knock Airport.

Under a deal hammered out between the airport and the local authorities, the councils will take a 17.5pc stake in the airport for a total investment of €7.3m.

The latest local authority to rubber-stamp the deal, Galway County Council, has agreed to pay an annual contribution of €50,000 for the next 30 years.

The other local authorities committed to the deal are Galway City Council, and the county councils of Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, and Donegal.

More than 700,000 passengers used Ireland West Airport Knock in 2014 - a record in its 29-year history.

The number of passengers hit a total of 703,000 last year, up 5.7pc on 2013, as Knock benefited from increased services to Britain. Knock also experienced its busiest ever month, when nearly 103,000 passengers used the airport in August. That was the first time over 100,000 passengers used Knock in a single month.

Services to Britain are the biggest component of Knock's business, with traffic numbers to and from our nearest neighbour up 9.4pc in 2014 on 2013.

The airport, a private development, is owned by a statutory trust, and run on behalf of the trust by a private limited company, Connaught Airport Development Company.

The company directors include Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam, the parish priest of Knock Fr Richard Gibbons, hotelier Brian McEniff and estate agent and Mayo native Arthur French.

Galway County Councillors were told at their monthly meeting that half of all overseas tourists who come to Ireland via Knock visit Galway.

Irish Independent

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