Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
45. Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Transport the action he has taken in view of the technical difficulties experienced by the radar system at Dublin Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32660/08]
54. Deputy Joe Costello asked the Minister for Transport if he has reviewed the Irish Airport Authority’s new report on the serious radar malfunctions at Dublin Airport during the summer 2008 period; if he will bring forward measures to prevent a recurrence of the double fault failure; if he will instigate a review of the radar systems at all major airports here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32517/08]
I said in my reply to the Private Notice Questions on Thursday the 10th of July 2008 that I intended to ask the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) for a full report on the radar malfunction at Dublin airport which led to traffic disruption on 9 July. On the 11th of July, my Department issued a letter to the IAA setting out the issues that should be covered. I received the Authority’s report on the 19th of September and it has been made publicly available on the Authority’s website www.iaa.ie. As set out in the report, the measures being implemented by the IAA and THALES ATM are intended to minimise the effect of a recurrence of like or similar failures of the ATM system in the future. The report also describes the contingency arrangements in place and states that these arrangements are consistent with the best arrangements available worldwide. In the circumstances I am satisfied that no further action is necessary.
47. Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Transport if he will bring forward measures to enhance the regulatory powers of the Commission for Aviation Regulation which includes an early warning mechanism for airline companies and operators that are experiencing difficulties; if he will introduce legislation specifically aimed at enhancing the rights and protection of airline travellers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32520/08]
Minister for Transport (Deputy Noel Dempsey): Under European Regulations, all Community air carriers must have an operating licence in order to operate air services in the European Community. The conditions for the grant and continued validity of such licences are currently set down in Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2407/92. The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) is the licensing authority for carriers whose principal place of business is in the State and it performs this function in accordance with the rules set down in the Regulation which, inter alia, provide that the licensing authority may assess the financial performance of a carrier and may suspend or revoke its operating licence if there are indications that the carrier is experiencing financial problems.
In May this year I asked the Commissioner Mr. Cathal Guiomard to undertake a comprehensive review of the travel trade legislation which has been in existence since 1982. The purpose of the review is to assess the operation of the current regulatory arrangements and to recommend any reforms that may be warranted. Following an initial request for proposals in relation to the review CAR has published a consultation document on its website seeking views from interested parties by the 31 October 2008. CAR has indicated that it expects to be in a position to submit its report to me at the end of the year.
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