Written answers

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Aviation Industry

Steven Matthews (Wicklow, Green Party)
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299. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has had the opportunity to meet with representative bodies for cabin crew, ground staff and airline cargo employees as part of the broader engagement of his Department with the airline industry regarding the recovery of the sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17123/21]

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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Departmental officials, the Minister and I have maintained regular contact with key stakeholders throughout this crisis, including the representative bodies for aircrew and other avaition workers. Following discussions with trade union and employer representatives, the Government has agreed to strengthen the Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF) which has played an important role throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The LEEF deals with economic and employment issues relevant to the labour market and a sub-group for aviation has been established under my chair.

On 5 March 2021, Minister Ryan chaired a special meeting of the Steering Committee of the the National Civil Aviation Development Forum . The NCADF, which was established through a recommendation of the National Aviation Policy in 2016, brings together senior stakeholders in the aviation industry, mostly at chief executive level. The meeting provided an opportunity for very constructive engagement with members of the Committee, together with some other senior leaders from Irish aviation. It is clear from from my engagement with the aviation sector that the priority issue for all those involved in the industry is for planning to progress, as a matter of urgency, the reopening of international travel as soon as circumstances allow.

To this end, a sub-group of the NCADF has been tasked with developing proposals for restart and recovery of the Irish aviation sector. It is anticipated that the sub-group will present its report to the Steering group of the NCADF in the coming weeks. The work of the NCADF will inform Government decisions on the restart and recovery of the Irish aviation sector, which will also have regard to developments at EU and international level, and public health advice.

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