Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
85. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when his Department will begin preparing a new national aviation policy; and if he will provide an indicative timeframe for the completion of same. [62250/21]
The National Aviation Policy (NAP) was published in August 2015. It was followed by two progress reports published in 2016 and 2019. The principal goals of the policy are to enhance Ireland's connectivity, to foster the growth of aviation enterprise and to maximise the contribution of aviation to Ireland's sustainable economic growth and development.
These objectives remain valid but clearly much has changed since 2015 in terms of the overall challenges for the aviation sector in Ireland with a heightened focus on environmental sustainability and of course the Covid-19 pandemic.
Before the Covid-19 crisis, officials at the Department of Transport had commenced scoping work on a revised version of the National Aviation Policy. This work was paused during 2020 to focus on the resilience of the aviation sector to survive the crisis. Regrettably this crisis has persisted far longer than had been anticipated and the effects on the aviation industry have been profound. Work on a new National Aviation Policy will begin in 2022. A key part of the policy development will be a comprehensive public consultation process as well as close engagement with the aviation industry through the structures of the National Civil Aviation Development Forum.