Shannon Airport and regional policy

 

Sir, – I read with interest your feature in the Magazine supplement “60 great places to holiday this winter” (October 12th) which so eloquently articulated the merits of 60 destinations around the world (50 of which are outside Ireland) during winter months, as well as suggesting places to stay and how to “get there”.

The “get there” element offered information on what airlines and airports would be most appropriate to facilitate access to the various suggested destinations.

While Dublin was suggested as the most appropriate departure airport in almost all cases – with Cork and Belfast coming into the picture occasionally – it was becoming apparent to me as I read that Shannon wasn’t getting a look in, and, sure enough, by the time I got to the end of it, Shannon, apparently, wasn’t an option in relation to any of the 50 overseas destinations mooted.

In spite of the fact that Government policy objectives are supposedly shaped to facilitate development of a balanced economy (geographically and otherwise), the foregoing clearly demonstrates that there is little substance in evidence to match or support this line of thinking.

Notwithstanding the fact that Shannon Airport is the second-largest airport in the country, with a runway which can comfortably accommodate the largest commercial aircraft on the planet, it hasn’t come into the mindset in the preparation of the feature referred to above in spite of the fact that a number of the destinations suggested in the feature are directly accessible through the airport.

What a pity there isn’t any active incentivisation to put some flesh on the bones of the aforementioned balanced economic development concept – particularly when there’s a fabulous, accessible international airport in the midwest which has capacity to treble its current throughput, as against an overburdened facility on the northern fringe of Dublin needing further mega-investment so that it can accommodate the ever-increasing demands perpetrated by the lack of the said “active incentives”. – Yours, etc,

TOM TIERNAN,

Ennis,

Co Clare.