Regional airports in Donegal, Kerry and Ireland West (Knock) will share more than €5.6m of government funding 

The funding was announced by Jack Chambers, Minister of State at Ireland’s Department of Transport, during a visit to Donegal Airport as part of his ministerial responsibility for aviation. Donegal Airport plays a crucial travel role in the Northwest, supporting vital connectivity, economic development and tourism across the region.

Consistent with the Programme for Government pledge to deliver capital programmes required to support services and ensure safety at Ireland’s regional airports, Minister Chambers took the opportunity to announce the capital funding allocations for 2024. These come under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025.

The funding has been allocated as follows: €1.299m to Donegal, €0.681m to Kerry, and €3.666m to Ireland West.

The funds will contribute towards capital investment in safety and security at airports, while also supporting projects with a sustainability focus. This will assist airports in meeting their carbon reduction targets as well as building resilience against climate change.

Speaking at Donegal Airport, Minister Chambers said: “This funding represents significant investment in our regional airports. Among the 32 projects being supported this year are an aerodrome ground lighting project here at Donegal.

“Other significant investments include runway facilities remediation works and new security equipment at Kerry Airport and a new fire tender, as well as the establishment of an Aerodrome Fire Training Centre at Ireland West Airport.”


Sustainability focus

While many of the projects being supported have environmental aspects to them, ten of those approved for funding, amounting to €1.2m, have a fundamental sustainability focus. These include carbon reduction plans at Donegal and Ireland West airports. Other projects include the upgrade to electric vehicles at Kerry and Ireland West.

Positioned for growth

Minister Chambers said of the funding: “This level of targeted support is an indication of the importance Government attaches to our regional airports being well positioned for growth. Ireland has established good connectivity with the UK, Europe and America via our five regional airports.

“Exchequer funding provided to regional airports and supporting PSO [public service obligations] air services to date has enabled this connectivity and strong recovery, with passenger traffic across these regional airports last year up 9% when compared with 2019 passenger levels (the last comparable period prior to COVID-19). I was pleased to witness further growth across our regional airports this year with passenger traffic in Q1 16% higher when compared with the same period last year.”

The Dublin-Donegal route connects to Aer Lingus’ extensive network, offering through fares to 14 US airports
The Dublin-Donegal route connects to Aer Lingus’ extensive network, offering through fares to 14 US airports Donegal Airport