Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Robert Troy TD has called on Minister Ross to explain the reasoning behind his decision to appoint Fingal County Council as the new independent Noise Regulator for Dublin Airport, having previous indicated that three other entities would take on the role.
An independent Noise Regulator is required following an EU Directive to allow for progress to be made on constructing a second runway at Dublin Airport.
Deputy Troy said, “Minister Ross has made a mess of preparing for a second runway at Dublin Airport. He first indicated that the Environmental Protection Agency would undertake the role of Noise Regulator for the airport. He then had to abandon that plan and instead attempted to get the Irish Aviation Authority to take on the role, promising that this would be in place by December 2016.
“I pressed him on how he would achieve this and he conceded last summer that he could not deliver on his plan. He then indicated that the Commission for Energy Regulation would do the job.
“Minister Ross has now abandoned that effort and has announced that he intends on asking Fingal County Council to take on the role. He really has made an absolute mess of the situation and the end result is that we have been running around in circles which has set back the construction of a second runway by 18 months.
“Minister Ross has acknowledged that Dublin Airport is already operating at capacity. The failure to construct a second airport in a timely manner is having a negative impact on the national economy. We can’t tolerate any further delays on this vital piece of national infrastructure.
“A competent Noise Regulator is needed to ensure that the concerns of local residents living near Dublin Airport are taken on board and addressed. I’m calling on Minister Ross to set out in detail his rationale for designating Fingal County Council as the noise regulator. We must ensure that Fingal County Council has the capability and expertise to carry out this role effectively.
“It’s imperative that a second runway at Dublin Airport is brought into operation by 2021. In order to achieve this we need to ensure that the designated Noise Regulator can carry out its task. The last thing we want is for the entire project to be delayed in a couple of years’ time after it’s discovered the designated Noise Regulator needs additional resources to carry out its role.
“This needs to be sorted once and for all before it’s too late. I have serious concerns that, based on his record to date, Minister Ross will make a mess of his latest proposal.”