– Ross returns to drawing board 12 months on –
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Robert Troy TD has criticised Minister Shane Ross for his failure to commit to delivering a second runway at Dublin Airport by the first quarter of 2020.
Deputy Troy made the comments after raising the issue with Minister Ross in the Dáil. Minister Ross was unable to confirm that the Irish Aviation Authority would be designated as the competent agency to deal with noise regulation.
Deputy Troy said, “The aviation sector is key for supporting a small open economy such as Ireland. Securing connectivity is vital for attracting inward investment and ensuring continued job creation. In order to achieve this we need to have sufficient infrastructure in place and ensure our airports have room to expand their operations in the years ahead.
“It has been well flagged that Dublin Airport is experiencing capacity issues at peak travel times due to the congested nature of its runway. The single runway at the airport is expected to shortly reach full capacity and a second runway is needed to allow the airport to expand in the years ahead. Minister Ross previously committed to delivering a second runway by the first quarter of 2020, but his progress on this issue to date has been woeful.
“The construction of a second runway cannot get underway until Minister Ross designates a competent authority to deal with noise regulation at Dublin Airport. Minister Ross has known about this requirement since taking office but to date he has failed to deal with the issue.
“I raised this issue with the Minister in the Dáil in November 2016. At the time I asked him to set a timeframe for putting the IAA on a statutory basis. At the time Minister Ross specifically stated that “if this is done by way of a statutory instrument, it will all be over by Christmas. If primary legislation is by any chance necessary, it will be done very early in the new year.”
“It’s nearly a year since Minister Ross made this statement in the Dáil yet we are still waiting for him to deal with this issue. The delay is inexcusable and is bordering on incompetence. The failure to deal with this issue is putting the timeline for the delivery of a second runway at risk. This in turn is putting the economic development of the entire country at risk. It’s time for Minister Ross to get his act together and designate a competent authority to deal with noise regulation,” concluded Deputy Troy.