Despite the Government announcement of €5.9m in additional funding for regional airports for this year, next year Sligo and Galway airports will not receive Government funding.

But the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar has confirmed that from next year the Government will only be in a position to support the four regional airports at Donegal, Knock, Kerry and Waterford.

The Government will not be able to provide operational or capital funding to Galway or Sligo airports in 2012.

Galway Airport had sought a subsidy of €1.2m to help it meet in operational and capital costs in 2012.

Managing Director Joe Walsh has said that the cabinet decision would seriously threaten the future of the airport.

Joe Walsh has said that after weeks of negotiations with the Transport Minister Leo Varadkar it was now clear that the 'Government was now pulling away from Galway Airport.'

Galway Airport's managing director has said that the implications of the decision and have to try to find ways of dealing with the problems it was now faced with.

The airport in Galway has a staff of 62 people and 110,000 passengers annually.

Minister Leo Varadkar urged Galway and Sligo airports to use the opportunity provided by the additional funding to engage with various parties, including business interests, investors and local authorities, in order to secure their ongoing viability in some form.