Dáil Work: Transport Questions

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Dáil Issues, Transport Tourism and Sport

Dáil Question
No: 23

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide for the involvement of a community representative (details supplied) in relation to the implementation of EU Regulation 598/2014, in advance of its implementation; and if he has had discussions on this matter or on the actions by the DAA to lift the An Bord Pleanála restrictions on night flights, in recent months..
– Clare Daly.
For PRIORITY answer on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017.
FORUM (Cross Community Residents groups operating in the communities affected by airport noise in St Margarets, Swords, Portmarnock, Malahide, Kinsealy)
Ref No:   14445/17     Lottery:   5
Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Shane Ross

REPLY

I thank the Deputy for her question on behalf of the residents of the Forum Group.
As I have indicated previously, I wish to ensure that there are robust consultation requirements with all key stakeholders, including local residents.  As I mentioned in my response to Priority Question 1, officials in my Department are currently finalising the legislation to give full effect to Regulation 598/2014.
Before any decisions are made about aircraft noise management, there will be an opportunity for all stakeholders to have their views taken into consideration by the Competent Authority to be appointed in accordance with the Regulation.  It is proposed that the Statutory Instrument will outline requirements concerning the collaborative working arrangements to apply between the Competent Authority and the various statutory bodies that have roles and expertise in relation to noise management.  Insofar as public consultation arrangements are concerned, the Competent Authority will also be required to organise consultation processes to secure the views of all concerned stakeholders, including from local residents and businesses.
While I have not had discussions on these issues in recent months other than with my officials, the Deputy will be aware that I held a number of meetings with local resident groups late last year.  Dublin Airport Authority also continues to provide information on noise to local communities. Most recently, it arranged a presentation by experts Bickerdike Allen Partners to the Dublin Airport Environmental Working Group on 15th March regarding noise data from the permanent Noise Monitoring Terminals in the vicinity of the airport. The longitudinal noise data analysis requested at the St. Margaret’s Community Liaison Group is currently being finalised and will be presented at the next meeting of that forum which is scheduled for 30th March.
On foot of Deputy Daly’s request, I will happily arrange a meeting with a community representative from FORUM and the IAA in the coming weeks so as to discuss the upcoming implementation of EU Regulation 598/2014.

Dáil Question
No: 28

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the decision of Fáilte Ireland to close its Dublin airport information desk. in view of the fact that this is a facility which is widely used and is of important benefit to tourists and the tourism industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Clare Daly.
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017.
Ref No:   14255/17     Lottery:   5
Answered by the Minister of State for Sports and Tourism
Patrick ODonovan

REPLY
I am aware that Fáilte Ireland plans to close its tourist information office in Terminal 2 in Dublin airport and  I understand, from Fáilte Ireland, that this decision follows a review of the engagement levels there and nature of the queries.
The management of the Tourist Information Office network is an operational matter for the Board and Management of Fáilte Ireland, in line with its functions as set out in legislation, and is not something in which I have any role.  Accordingly, I have asked Failte Ireland to reply directly to the Deputy.  Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Dáil Question
No: 39

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to parliamentary question number 593 of 21 February 2017, notwithstanding the fact that call signs are a matter for the airline concerned, his views on any difficulties in terms of data gathering or otherwise caused by aircraft going to and from Shannon regularly switching from military to civilian call signs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Clare Daly.
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017.
Ref No:   14251/17     Lottery:   17
Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Shane Ross

REPLY

​International civil aviation is governed by the Chicago Convention. Annex 10 of the Convention deals with aeronautical telecommunication and contains detailed regulations in relation to all radio communication matters, including the use of call signs by aircraft. Call signs are unique identifiers used by an aircraft in radio communications, in compliance with international and national rules. It is not unusual for an aircraft to use different call signs for different flights.
The aircraft referred to by the Deputy in parliamentary question number 593 of 21 February 2017 was operated by Miami Air International. The aircraft arrived in Shannon using the BSK call sign used by Miami Air and departed Shannon using the CMB call sign for the next leg of its journey. The CMB call sign is used by civil aircraft on charter to the US military.
Such changes of call sign are not unusual and are permisable under international rules. I am not aware that such changes cause any difficulties.

Dáil Question
No: 42

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the timeframe for the delivery of primary legislation and a statutory instrument in relation to Regulation 598/2014.
– Clare Daly.
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017.
Ref No:   14253/17     Lottery:   20
Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Shane Ross

REPLY

I refer the Deputy to my response to Priority Question No 1.
As I stated, officials in my Department are currently engaged with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel in order to finalise the details relating to the statutory instrument which will transpose EU Regulation 598/2014. While I fully recognise and regret that the legislative requirements to give full effect to Regulation 598 have been delayed, I want to re-assure the Deputy that the reason for the delay is to ensure that the introduction of the new noise regulatory regime is robust and fit for purpose.  The timing and extent of the primary legislation required will be guided by the advice received from the Attorney General’s Office.
However, my current priority is to appoint the IAA as Competent Authority for noise management at Dublin Airport by way of the Statutory Instrument.  In that context, I can assure the Deputy that the draft Statutory Instrument is nearing completion and I expect to be in a position to sign off on this important piece of legislation in the coming weeks.

Dáil Question
No: 58

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the details of the instructions issued by his department regarding the regular testing and safety checks to be performed on helicopters used by the Irish Coast Guard..
– Clare Daly.
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017.
Ref No:   14252/17     Lottery:   36
Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Shane Ross

REPLY
​​Following a competitive tender process on 22nd July 2010 a contract agreement for search and rescue helicopters was signed between the then Minister for Transport and CHC Ireland Ltd. These Helicopters respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains. The helicopters are operated by CHC Ireland ltd and the fully qualified crews are employees of CHC Ireland Ltd. The helicopter service contract commenced on 1st July 2012 for a period of 10 years.
The contract requires that CHC Ireland Ltd comply with all applicable Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), European Safety Agency (EASA), and international Civil Aviation organisation (ICAO) guidance, regulation, standards and recommended practises.

Dáil Question
No: 95

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the serious dissatisfaction of homeowners whose properties are subject to a buyout to facilitate the development of the new runway, regarding the lack of meaningful engagement by the DAA on these matters; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Clare Daly.
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017.
Ref No:   14254/17     Lottery:   76
Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Shane Ross

REPLY

As the Deputy is aware, the daa has statutory responsibility to manage, operate and develop Dublin Airport, including the North Runway project.
I have personally met with a number of the homeowners involved and i have ensured that these concerns were brought to the attention ofv the daa.
I have since been advised by daa that there has been extensive engagement with local residents groups, the most recent of which included a full day session on 2 February 2017 where the approach to the Voluntary Dwelling Purchase Scheme was discussed in detail with the residents and their advisers. Following this, a meeting between daa’s and the residents’ advisers was held on 22 February and further engagement is planned to take place shortly.
I have been assured by daa that they are fully committed to meaningful engagement with all local residents groups in relation to the project.