SENATOR John O’Mahony can today confirm that the Cabinet has given lift off to designate Ireland West Airport, Knock (IWAK) as a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ). 

Senator O’Mahony announced the decision after the proposal from the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney TD to make an Order for the Ireland West Airport Knock Strategic Development Zone was agreed at the Cabinet’s weekly meeting this morning, Tuesday 30th May.

“This is great news for the west of Ireland, for the tourism industry and for the Mayo airport in particular,” Senator O’Mahony.

“The Ireland West Airport at Knock is an immense source of pride for all in that part of the country. It offers a vital connection for all businesses and the tourist industry and is a driving force for the economic vitality of the region,” Senator O’Mahony said.

An SDZ is an area of land that is proposed to contain developments of economic or social importance to the State. Consideration of the SDZ designation for IWAK is focused on maximizing certainty in planning for development related to air services and supporting the required infrastructure. 

In 2015, The National Aviation Policy reiterated the importance of Ireland West Airport and also acknowledged that the airport plays a more regional role in terms of access than other airports given its location in the North West. The proposed SDZ at Knock will secure the future of the airport as an all important hub for transport, business and employment in County Mayo and as the North West.Speaking following the Cabinet meeting, Senator O’Mahony’s colleague, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny stated, “I am delighted to confirm that a Strategic Development Zone for Knock Airport has been approved by Cabinet this morning. Today’s decision will secure the long-term development of Ireland West Airport Knock as well as attracting enterprise to the area and the provision of further employment possibilities for the people of Mayo.”


Conor Cresham