Minister Donohoe hails new era as Shannon Airport Authority and Shannon Development transferred to Shannon Group

5th September, 2014

Independent Shannon Airport forecasting passenger growth of over 10% for 2014


Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, has today (Friday) announced the formal establishment of Shannon Group, along with the appointment of members to its Board.  This is in line with the recently enacted State Airports (Shannon Group) Act 2014. One of the central elements of the legislation is the establishment of Shannon Group and the subsequent transfer of both the Shannon Airport Authority and the re-structured Shannon Development to that Group, all of which have now been completed.


In accordance with its restructured remit, Shannon Development has now been renamed Shannon Commercial Enterprises Ltd., trading as Shannon Commercial Properties.


Minister Donohoe said: ‘These measures are the final critical steps in a process that was decided by Government in 2012 to establish Shannon Group, comprising an independent Shannon Airport and a restructured Shannon Development. This meant that Shannon Airport could be granted the freedom to determine its own future and an international aviation centre of excellence could be developed’.


“The aim of establishing the Group is to build on the range of aviation-related activities already undertaken in Shannon, such as aircraft maintenance and leasing. The Group can now focus on achieving these objectives for the benefit of Shannon and the wider region.


“This represents a new beginning for the Shannon region. Since 2012, when Shannon Airport was separated from the Dublin Airport Authority, it has managed to stem a five year decline in passenger numbers, significantly increase transatlantic passenger numbers, increase connectivity and improve its financial performance.  It is now forecasting passenger growth of over 10% for 2014. Similarly, a substantial review of operations at Shannon Development, which includes Shannon Heritage, has also been undertaken since the transfer of its enterprise and tourism functions to Enterprise Ireland, IDA and Fáilte Ireland. The company is now focused on developing its property portfolio to its maximum potential.


“In my capacity as Minister for Transport, I visited Shannon Airport just last week and I am firmly of the mind that the Shannon Group, as a new commercial State company, will provide the oversight and guidance necessary to ensure that its businesses will deliver for the entire region.


“I would like to acknowledge the contribution of all concerned, including Minister Varadkar, in the significant progress made over the last two years on the Shannon project.  I am confident that the ‘can do’ approach which has brought success to Shannon Airport will be continued by Shannon Group and will be the catalyst for future growth and job creation in the West of Ireland.”


Minister Donohoe has now appointed the first board of the company (details below), with Rose Hynes as Chair.  The members of the Board are those who have overseen the turn-around at Shannon Airport since its separation from the Dublin Airport Authority on 31st December, 2012. Neil Pakey, Chief Executive of Shannon Airport Authority and Shannon Development will also take on the role of Chief Executive of Shannon Group.


Shannon Group Board

Rose Hynes, Chairman

Neil Pakey, Chief Executive

Pat Dalton

Liam O’Shea

Kathryn O’Leary Higgins

Tom Coughlan

Tony Brazil

Joe Buckley

Kevin McCarthy

Michael Leydon