Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 30 March 2021
Select Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport
Estimates for Public Services 2021
Vote 29 - Environment, Climate and Communications (Revised)
Vote 31 - Transport (Revised)
I would love to have a crystal ball in front of me so that I could answer the Deputy's question but unfortunately I do not. I would love for them to return tomorrow. As he will be aware, we are in putting in place mandatory hotel quarantine. The Taoiseach will announce the Cabinet decision as to the new level of restrictions within the country at 6 p.m.
With regard to engagement with the sector, the national civil aviation development forum includes the CEOs of the main airlines. I have met them. The CEO of Shannon Group is also a member and our airports are represented. This roadmap will be developed by those who work within the industry itself and who know how it works. They will be able to shape the exit plan. Of course, wider stakeholder engagement is absolutely critical. The Deputy should be assured of my engagement with that sector and of that of my Department. As regards the excellent work of this committee in respect of the task force, many of the recommendations the committee has made have been implemented by Government. We are coming into a new phase now and a number of measures are being implemented immediately, in the medium term and during the longer-term recovery to ensure that we can move passengers safely through our airports. An example of this is the digital green pass being considered at European level. Each member state will now have to consider that. The Government will have to do that and is doing so at the level of a senior officials group. That engagement with industry will be key. We cannot make decision on our own. We have to engage with stakeholders and with the aviation industry, which we are doing.