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Focus on Limerick

Shannon. “We are starting as we mean to go on. We have got a considerable uplift in transatlantic services already confirmed for 2013. Having five different destinations in the US with outstanding onward connections offers an excellent range of options for both business and leisure travelers. Aside from our own direct services, there’s pretty much nowhere in the US that passengers through Shannon cannot get to with one-stop connectivity. That’s hugely important not just to us from a passenger throughput point of view but for the wider region. “ Considine continues, “We have always talked about Shannon being an economic driver for the Mid-West region but when it comes to transatlantic traffic, our importance stretches right down to Cork and even up as far as the north-west, as there is no other airport on this side of the island with services to the US. We recognise the importance of these services. In short, they underpin much of the US investment in this region and having stood firm in the downturn, we now see a real opportunity for growth both in services and investment in the Region.”

International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) Shannon has its eye on much more than strengthening its services as the plan for the new airport, which has been robustly tested and validated by KPMG on behalf of the Department of Transport, also anticipates the creation of up to 3,000 jobs outside the traditional airport business. This will be over a three to five year period across a cluster of diverse international, primarily aviationrelated businesses centered on the airport and building on the existing cluster of 40 aviation related companies working at Shannon. Some 1,000 of the planned 3,000 posts have already been committed by two existing Shannon based companies, one of which involves 800 plus jobs within three years. A key piece for this jigsaw has already fallen into place with the Government unveiling a range of measures for the aviation industry in Ireland that will support the establishment of IASC. Among the measures are initiatives to facilitate the construction of hangers and ancillary facilities, as well as exploring funding opportunities for financing 144 | Silicon Valley Global

and leasing companies. The separation of Shannon is part one of a two-phase of the process that will see the airport merged with the activities of a restructured Shannon Development, including the aforementioned Shannon Free Zone. “This is the beginning of a new era for Shannon Airport,” said the newly appointed Shannon Airport Authority Chairman Rose Hynes, “The immediate focus will be the growth of passenger numbers but the

future for Shannon will also involve the development of innovative new business streams, with strong job creation potential. The International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) – the name given to this initiative – expects to do for aviation what the IFSC in Dublin did for financial services; become a world class hub of aviation related activity. www.shannonairport.com

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