Written answers

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Aviation Industry

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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27. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to a report (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23390/21]

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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I accept that the aviation sector will continue to face a range of challenges over the coming months as the country continues to combat COVID-19. Though a protracted recovery is likely, the progress of our national vaccination programme and those of our European and other international partners will be key to recovery. My Department is monitoring the financial impact of COVID-19 on the Irish aviation sector on an ongoing basis, in consultation with all key stakeholders and relevant Government Departments. Though we are not yet positioned to restart aviation, we are preparing the ground for when we can. Until then, Government will continue to provide support to the aviation sector. It is estimated that over €200 million in operational supports for Irish airlines and airports, have already been made available under the range of schemes provided by Goverment.

Getting international travel back up and running is vital for the continued economic well-being of this country and remains a priority for the Government. However, this can only be accomplished at a time that is safe to do so, and with public health advice fully considered.

The Government therefore welcomes the recent restart and recovery report produced by the aviation industry participants of the National Civil Aviation Development Forum (NCADF). The report contains many recommendations for consideration across Government and requires engagement across all relevant Government Departments and consultation with public health authorities, which is now underway. As part of the ongoing process, I have written to the NCADF seeking additional information and clarity on the operational readiness of the sector regarding a resumption of international travel, including detail on how passengers will travel through our airports in a safe and COVID-19 compliant manner.


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