Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Air Accident Investigations
305. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason the accident report into Rescue 116 has been delayed and the response issued now is identical to the response issued a year ago regarding this report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12597/19]
The Deputy will recall in my response to her previous PQ 754319, that I advised, inter-alia, that a second Interim Report will be issued by the AAIU just prior to the second anniversary of the accident (14 March2017) outlining the current status of the investigation and progress made to date. In that regard, I refer you to the AAIU website www.AAIU.ie where you can find the Interim Statement that was released by the AAIU on the 1 March 2019. In addition, I can confirm that the points of contact for each of the four affected families were made aware of the AAIU position prior to public release of the Interim Statement.
As previously stated, the AAIU is the national Safety Investigation Authority for aviation accidents and incidents and while it is located within my Department, it functions independently of me and my Department. Regulations provide for investigations to be held in private, and are confidential. The sole purpose of such Investigations is the prevention of future accidents and incidents and not to apportion blame or liability.
Whilst I understand the on-going public interest in this matter, it is vital that the AAIU is given the time and space to follow due process, complete its work and report on its findings. As the AAIU is independent in the conduct of its investigations, it would be inappropriate for me to become involved in individual investigations. As such, I am not in a position to directly comment further on the AAIU investigation of R116.