Dáil Éireann - Volume 567 - 21 May, 2003

Written Answers. - Regional Airports.

  143. Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Transport his policy on the future of regional airports; the level of funding allocated to date to each regional airport under the NDP; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13738/03]

  Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): The programme for Government provides for the continued support of our six regional airports and for regional air access. My Department provides three financial mechanisms in support of this objective, namely, subvention of the PSO services which facilitate air access to the regions concerned, the allocation of assistance towards marketing, safety and security related expenditure incurred by the regional airports and capital grant assistance towards infrastructural improvements [514] under the regional operational programmes of the NDP.

  Future policy will be guided by the need to ensure that the strategy adopted to facilitate regional air access is supported by sound economic rationale. An expenditure review of the PSO programme is currently being undertaken by my Department. The basic purpose of the review is to evaluate the degree to which the objectives of the PSO programme warrant the ongoing allocation of Exchequer support, on a route-by-route basis, and to examine the scope for alternative policy or new approaches to achieving the objectives on a more efficient and/or effective basis.

  Regarding the NDP, the “Round I” allocations covering the period 2002-2003, are as follows:

Donegal

  980,000

Sligo

  709,000

Galway

1,739,000

Knock

2,099,000

Kerry

1,739,000

Waterford

1,895,000

Total

9,161,000

A further round of allocations under the NDP is expected to be made following the mid-term evaluations of the two regional operational programmes, which are currently ongoing.

  Question No. 144 answered with Question No. 98.

  Question No. 145 answered with Question No. 112.