Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Aviation Sector

Photo of Billy KelleherBilly Kelleher (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans for aviation in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57203/12]

Photo of Alan KellyAlan Kelly (Tipperary North, Labour)
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My Department's Statement of Strategy 2011-2014 outlines the over-arching goal for the aviation sector, which is to ensure that it supports Ireland's economic and social goals in a safe, competitive, cost-effective and sustainable manner and to ensure maximum connectivity for Ireland with the rest of the world.

Within this context, one of my key priorities for next year is the development of a new civil aviation policy. To launch this initiative the Irish Aviation Authority organised a successful conference on 3 December 2012.

Building on that start both Minister Varadkar and I will, early next year, launch a six month consultation process which will include an online questionnaire to facilitate the widest possible range of inputs. This consultation process will run in parallel with Ireland’s EU Presidency during which time my Department will also progress various EU aviation legislative dossiers.

We intend publishing a draft policy in quarter four next year and to seek further comments on that by end 2013. Taking account of feedback received, the overall aim is to be in a position to publish a formal policy paper by the end of March 2014. A key priority in 2013 will be to establish Shannon NewCo and restore the airport to passenger growth.

Finally, we shall continue to act as a champion for improved air access to Ireland, be it increased capacity on existing routes or the development of new routes.


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