Once known as the Shannon Free Zone, this vital business region is about to get an injection of 850 new jobs through the Irish State’s decision to grant full independents to Shannon Airport from Dublin Airport Authority and merge it with a restructured Shannon Development.
Shannon Development is to form a new publicly-owned commercial entity in 2013.
Shannon Airport’s separation from the Dublin Airport Authority will take effect on 31 December.
Jobs and Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton, TD, and Transport Minister Leo Varadkar, TD, confirmed this afternoon that specific commitments for the creation of 850 jobs have been secured from the two new entities as part of plans for an International Aviation Services Centre.
International Aviation Services Centre
A report from the Aviation Business Development Task Force, set up by the Shannon Steering Group, also states that the Aviation Services Centre ‘is conservatively projected to create and maintain 3,000-3,500 new direct jobs within five years, not including construction jobs’.
The new combined entity will include Shannon Development’s extensive landbank and will be tasked with developing an international aviation centre of excellence.
“By restructuring the enterprise agencies in the Shannon region, we can ensure that indigenous and multinational industry already in the region or considering locating there have access to a comprehensive range of supports,” Bruton said.
“By merging a strong independent Shannon Airport with the extensive property holdings, experience and expertise of Shannon Development we will create a strong new State company which will work with the IDA and Enterprise Ireland on developing an International Aviation Services Centre in the region. The implementation of these decisions represents a new start for enterprise and jobs in the Shannon region,” Bruton added.
Varadkar described the decision today as an historic one that will free the board of management and employees of the airport to take a fresh approach to the future of the airport and the region.
“A key element of that future will be the development of an International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) in and around the airport, building on a range of aviation-related activities already undertaken in Shannon, such as aircraft maintenance and leasing.”
“I am particularly struck by the degree of support for an independent airport across a wide spectrum of interested parties, including business interests, chambers of commerce, and local authorities. Airport users, service providers, and prospective new airport customers, including airlines and companies, have expressed an overwhelming desire to deal directly with Shannon on a separated basis,” Varadkar said.