The area around Ireland West Airport Knock will have its long awaited SDZ status in place by next month (October).

SDZ is a special development zone that has been created on a huge area of land around the airport to encourage development and to attract new enterprise and jobs to the region.

It is the only SDZ zone in rural Ireland, and has been created in conjunction with the airport.

Effectively it speeds up the planning process for investors, as any developer interested in developing an enterprise in the zone only needs to look to Mayo county council for planning permission, and that decision cannot go before An Bord Pleanala.

Yesterday Mayo county councillors gave the green light for the draft development plan of the extensive area of land, and that means after a protracted process the new status becomes effective in four weeks time.

Foxford based Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise told Midwest News today that it is an historic development for Knock Airport.