Major opportunities identified for Shannon Airport in new Irish Exporters Association Report

2012-12-14 — / — The Chairperson of the Shannon Airport Aviation Business Development Task Force, Rose Hynes, has welcomed a range of recommendations for Shannon Airport included in a major new airfreight study for the country.

Responding to the release today of the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) All-Island Airfreight Study, Ms Hynes said that the considerable focus on Shannon in the report is further recognition of the airport’s potential for developing cargo business. The study is the first major look at the airfreight industry in Ireland for ten years.

Said Ms Hynes, “We are very much encouraged by this All-Island report as it clearly identifies the potential there is to develop Shannon as an airfreight centre. We identified cargo as one of a number of significant opportunities for non-passenger growth at Shannon in the Aviation Business Development Task Force report published last week and this new report very much endorses what we had outlined.

“We are particularly encouraged by the recommendation that US Customs and FDA pre-clearance facilities for both Irish and European originating freight should be sought for Shannon.  Securing cargo preclearance would be a real game-changer for this area of our overall business as it would open up considerable opportunities for the airport and it is something we intend to pursue,” said Ms Hynes.

The report also recommends exploring funding sources to enable Shannon to develop a state-of-the-art cargo terminal, including cold chain facilities and identifies the opportunity for Shannon to be positioned as a European hub for US-bound Life Sciences cargo.

The recommendations also include leveraging existing tax provisions to attract European Life Science companies to base manufacturing and logistics centres in the region and developing new incentives to persuade express integrators to develop a specialist sectorial hub at the airport.

“Shannon Airport has significant opportunities in the wider cargo area and recent budgetary measures announced for the aviation industry in Ireland will help facilitate the development of the infrastructure required to create a world-class cargo centre at Shannon,” added Ms Hynes.

“Key elements of the jigsaw are falling into place for Shannon right now.   We have a December 31st date for separation which was followed up by the announcement of budgetary announced by Minister Noonan last week and, of course, we have had a number of very strong recent announcements for new routes to the US and Europe. The Irish Exporters’ Association validates the very real prospects that there are for cargo business at Shannon.”