The Minister for Transport, Mr Seamus Brennan, T.D., announced today, (14th March 2003) that he has published the report of the Assessment Panel, chaired by Mr Paddy Mullarkey, which he established in November last to examine the expressions of interest received in relation to the question of an independent terminal at Dublin Airport.
The Minister said that he would now proceed to consult with relevant interested parties and stakeholders including the Board of Aer Rianta, the unions representing employees in the Company and the Commission for Aviation Regulation on the Panels report.
Minister Brennan said: This consultation process will also deal with the other major initiative relating to airports policy in the Programme for Government, namely the transformation of Aer Rianta to give greater autonomy and independence to Shannon and Cork airports. Following this process of consultation, it would be my intention to bring proposals to the Government in relation to these two major issues in April.
Minister Brennan said he had met yesterday with the members of the Assessment Panel to discuss all aspects of their report.
On the issue of landing charges at Dublin Airport, Minister Brennan said: With or without an independent terminal it was the view of the members of the Panel that, given that Dublin has a relatively low level of charges by international standards and given the substantial investment required at the airport to cater for forecasted increases in passenger numbers to 42 million by 2030, there would most likely be a requirement for an increase in landing charges. Of course, any increase in the level of airport charges will be matter for consideration by the independent Commission for Aviation Regulation.
However, the report also points to a significant increase in activity at the Airport over the coming years which, in normal circumstances, should have the effect of bringing down charges in the longer term.
The report of the Assessment Panel can be accessed on the Department of Transports website at http://www.transport.ie/aviation/reports/index.asp?lang=ENG&loc=432
The Minister expressed his appreciation to the members of the Assessment Panel for the efficiency and promptness with which they had carried out their task within a very challenging timeframe. The members of the Assessment Panel were: Mr. Paddy Mullarkey, former Secretary General of the Department of Finance (Chairman), Sir Gilbert Thompson, OBE, who has wide experience of the international airline industry, and Mr. Paul Gaines, a US expert and strategic adviser to the aviation industry on airport affairs.
Further information: Tom Rowley, Press Advisor (01) 6041089 087 8124723