Hildegarde Naughton, the Minister of State for Transport, has announced the payment of €3.4m in grant aid towards the operating costs of three regional airports - Donegal, Kerry and Ireland West Airport (Knock) - under the Government funded Regional Airports Programme.

Ms Naughton said she fully recognises the "devastating impact" that the coronavirus crisis has had on the country's regional airports, adding that it will go some way towards helping them remain financially sustainable as they plan for a time post Covid-19.  

The Government last month also agreed to a revised supports package of €80m for the Irish aviation sector. 

Minister Naughton said that as part of that announcement, Donegal, Kerry and Knock were eligible to receive up to €6m in supplementary supports next year to make good the impacts of Covid in 2020.

She said today's announcement is in addition to almost €2.5m in capital grants already allocated to these airports in July this year.

"That funding supported an airfield maintenance and upgrade project at Knock and the installation of Explosive Detection Systems (EDS) units at Kerry and Donegal," Hildegarde Naughton added.

Today's grant aid is targeted at vital safety and security operations at the airports such as air traffic control, fire services and security and will ensure the airports can continue to remain compliant with regulatory requirements in these areas.

Donegal Airport is to get over €580,000 in new grants, while Ireland West Airport (Knock) is due to get €1.35m and Kerry will receive €1.5m.