Thursday, 15 October 2020
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Today's news from Ryanair that it intends to close its bases at Shannon and Cork is deeply disappointing. It is a huge blow for workers, for the airports themselves and for the mid-west and southern regions. It is a massive blow for business and for tourism connectivity. The Government has signed up to the EU traffic light system for a safe return to air travel but we must now formally adopt this policy and, more importantly, implement it in full. It is abundantly clear we need to introduce pre-departure testing and rapid testing at our airports and ports. After all, we are an island nation and 140,000 people work in the aviation sector. Therefore, we must follow the lead of other European countries and introduce a pre-departure testing regime. Representatives of Shannon Airport and the Dublin Airport Authority, DAA, told the Joint Committee on Transport and Communications Networks last week that they are in a position to bring about these testing facilities at our airports and it will be done with a private contractor.