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Details of new airport authority still sketchy

THE new Shannon authority doesn't even have a name yet, so details on how it will all work in practice are still thin on the ground.

The Government has confirmed that Shannon Airport will be free from the Dublin- dominated Dublin Airport Authority, and that the change will happen alongside a "restructuring" of much of Shannon Development's mini empire of regional roles.

That's what we know. The betting is that the top brass at Shannon Development will take control of the new body -- probably reporting to a locally dominated board of directors who will ultimately be appointed and accountable to the Transport Minister -- who, as owner, still gets to call the important shots.

Yesterday's statement said that an as yet unformed "Steering Group" will be set up to come up with a plan for the most effective structure for the new entity, and give it a strategic blueprint for action.

In addition to a greater emphasis on local control, Shannon Airport is to be amalgamated with the Shannon Freezone -- a major industrial zone that has surrounded the airport for five decades -- for the first time.

Irish Independent