Written answers

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Dublin Airport Authority

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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105. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the total amount that the Dublin Airport Authority received in State funding or subsidies throughout the Covid-19 crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30617/22]

Photo of Matt ShanahanMatt Shanahan (Waterford, Independent)
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130. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if Government supports or the lack of suitable supports contributed in any way to the recent delays experienced at Dublin Airport due to staff shortages; if his attention has been drawn to any reason that the DAA did not avail of the Government-funded employment schemes which were expanded during the Covid-19 pandemic; if his Department engaged with the DAA in relation to its move to offer many redundancies which resulted in these staff shortages; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31008/22]

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Leader of the Opposition; Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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250. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the total monetary value of the Covid-19 business subsidies extended to the Dublin Airport Authority throughout the pandemic. [28853/22]

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 105, 130 and 250 together.

I wish to thank the Deputies for their questions.

During the Covid-19 crisis the aviation sector has benefited considerably from the suite of measures put in place by Government to support businesses across the economy, including but not limited to, a wage subsidy scheme, grants, low-cost loans, a commercial rates waiver, deferred tax liabilities and the COVID-19 Restrictions Support Scheme.

The total value of horizontal supports (EWSS, tax warehousing and commercial rates waiver) availed of by the daa since 2020 amounts to €241.1m.

In addition, in recognition of the very difficult circumstances being faced by our regional State airports due to the impact of Covid, funding of €16.67m was provided by Government to daa to support Cork Airport under a one year COVID-19 Regional State Airports Programme in 2021.

Furthermore, it was recognised in the National Economic Recovery Plan that additional support would be required to support the aviation sector’s recovery as European and international air transport resumed. Given this, a further €105.62m was allocated to daa during 2021 under an EU approved State aid Covid Supplementary Support Scheme. This funding to daa provided both Dublin and Cork airports with the flexibility to roll out route incentives/charge rebates, in consultation with airlines, which has successfully supported the recovery and growth of connectivity. at both Dublin and Cork airports.

In relation to redundancies at daa, there were no mandatory redundancies introduced by the daa. The daa did, however, introduce a Voluntary Severance Scheme (VSS) during the summer of 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 crisis as part of the cost-cutting measures deemed necessary to secure the continued financial viability of the company.

This was at a time when the daa was losing €1m per day, passenger traffic was substantially reduced, and there was uncertainty around the timing of a recovery with 2019 levels of passengers not envisaged until 2024/2025.

There was ongoing engagement between the Department of Transport, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and daa over a number of months before the terms and conditions of the VSS were finally approved. While the terms and conditions of the VSS were approved by the Minister and the Minister for Public Expenditure as required under the Code of Practice for the Governance of State bodies, the number of staff targeted under the VSS was a matter for the daa who have statutory responsibility to operate and manage the airport including ensuring the optimum staffing levels are in place.

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