Air Navigation and Transport Bill, 1987 [Seanad]: Committee Stage.

Section 1 agreed to.
SECTION 2.

Amendment No. 1 in the name of the Minister. As amendments Nos. 1 and 3 are related, is it agreed that we discuss them together? Agreed.

I move amendment No. 1.

In page 5, subsection (1), lines 4 to 7, to delete the definition of "aerodrome".

First of all, I would like to say that we have no objections to amendments Nos. 1 and 3 being discussed together. Can the Minister of State advise the House why the definition of "aerodrome" is being deleted from the Bill and indeed why the definition of "policy of insurance" is being deleted? Can the Minister of State tell us what the definition of "aerodrome" is now going to be? I am not too worried about the definition of "policy of insurance" as that stands for itself and we can find definitions elsewhere. Can the Minister of State tell us how the word "aerodrome" will be defined for the purposes of this legislation in the future?

This amendment is designed to correct a drafting flaw in the Bill. It deletes the special definition of "aerodrome" from section 2 because that definition conflicts with the definition of "aerodrome" in the Air Navigation and Transport Act, 1936, namely, any definite and limited area, including water, intended to be used wholly or in part for or in connection with the landing or departure of aircraft. That definition applies for the purposes of all Air Navigation and Transport Acts, 1936 to 1986, and of this Bill. This Bill and those Acts are to be construed together as one Act as provided for in section 1 (3) of the Bill. The intention behind the special definition of "aerodrome" in section 2 of the Bill was to confine the application or provisions of the Bill to Irish civil aerodromes and so exclude its application to Irish military aerodromes. The intention is best served by the new section 5 which is being proposed for insertion in Part II of the Bill by way of a separate Committee Stage amendment.

I thank the Minister of State for his reply. Perhaps at a later stage following consultation with his advisers he could come back and answer that query. Is the Minister of State satisfied that the definition of "aircraft" in the 1936 Act is sufficiently wide to cover helicopters? My understanding is that the definition in the 1936 Act is more restricted and narrower. Can the Minister of State tell us whether all forms of aeronautical craft are covered by the definition of "aircraft" as contained in the 1936 Act, such as gliders, hand gliders, helicopters and so on, and that the definition is not confined to "aeroplane"? That is one aspect of the definition contained in the 1936 Act which concerns me and I ask the Minister of State to tell us whether he has considered it.

The answer to that question is yes, it does include all of those.

Can the Minister of State tell us why he is using the antique term "aerodrome" rather than "airport"?

"Aerodrome" is the word used. The word "airport" covers buildings and ancillary areas not just the landing area. The distinction is that "aerodrome" is the description used to differentiate the landing area from the entire airport. The regulations we are dealing with apply to aircraft using the aerodrome. Is the Deputy satisfied with that definition?

That is not clear but perhaps my attention was diverted for a second. Is the Minister saying that "aerodrome" means the actual area on which planes land whereas "airport" means a wider area and includes——

It is a colloquial definition or term.

This may appear to be a rather niggling point but it is better to use colloquial terms if they can convey the same meaning rather than use terms such as this which would not necessarily do so. What would be the problem about substituting "airport" for "aerodrome" in this definition?

The first requirement would be that that definition would have to be included in all the Acts applying right down through the years. All of those Acts would have to be amended accordingly.

It would be a small matter in this Bill since that is what this Bill is doing, bringing all of that legislation up to date.

It is not envisaged that that intention would be included in this Bill.

That is what the purpose of the debate is, to change people's——

What we are talking about, I suppose, is the technical term, to designate areas for the purpose of international civil aviation. All of the definitions have been subject to the requirements of various conventions that are included and referred to in the Bill.

Is the Minister saying that he is using the term "aerodrome" because that is the term used in international conventions?

Yes, that is the term used.

That more or less answers my question.

Is the Deputy happy that he has answered his own question?

I did not answer my own question, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle. I elicited the answer.

Does that mean that a helicopter lands in a "helidrome" rather than a "heliport"?

In an "aerodrome".

That does not apply to helicopters.

It applies to all aircraft. I am sure a helicopter is considered to be an aircraft as well.

There is now developing in the vicinity of the city, along the Liffey bank, a small area designated for the purpose of helicopter landings. This follows from the debate on the definition of "aerodrome". We are now aware that helicopters are more prolific and their usage more frequent around the city. They are capable of landing often within the perimeters of factory premises, at some people's homes, on their lands but, more particularly, in public areas such as those along the banks of the Liffey. Is the Minister happy that the definition of "aircraft" in the 1936 Act is sufficiently wide to include helicopters? If so, then by definition would an "aerodrome" include public areas — I know there is one if not two — along the banks of the Liffey? I know it is envisaged that in time there will be a heliport facility at the Custom House Docks site. Will such areas be covered by the legislation and its requirements? Will the Minister have control over the regulation of their safety? Furthermore, will the provisions of the legislation have any control over the facilities available on privately-owned lands? Such facilities are not confined to helicopters. I understand that many land or factory owners have private airstrips to facilitate the landing of aircraft, be they aeroplanes or helicopters. I am interested to ascertain whether under the provisions of this Bill the Minister would have authority to control and regulate traffic to and from such areas and to stipulate the safety regulations to be complied with?

That is the intention embodied in this Bill.

Section 25.

The Minister ultimately would have that responsibility.

Is section 25 not the answer to that?

Yes, that covers it to some extent.

Will non-State aerodromes include aerodromes for use solely by private individuals themselves?

As I see it, there are two definitions of usage or status that can be applied to airstrips, aerodromes, heliports or whatever, ones to which the public would have access. For example, Weston is one that immediately springs to mind — an aerodrome that is busiervis-à-vis its daily traffic than is Cork Airport. For that reason the provisions of this Bill are welcome. It is quite clear that the provisions of this Bill are designed primarily to deal with the development of the commercial-type aerodrome, airport or heliport. I am interested to ascertain the position vis-à-vis the increasing number of exclusively privately-owned facilities. It is a matter of public knowledge, for example, that many of our better equipped stud farms incorporate an airstrip or heliport facilities. Ostensibly they are used exclusively by their private owners. I want to ascertain whether they will be subject to the provisions of the law and regulations as defined by the Minister.

The provisions of this Bill cover, first, the State aerodromes at Dublin, Cork and Shannon, those owned by the State. The Air Navigation and Transport Acts and their provisions apply to all aerodromes, public and private.

Do they apply to offshore installations when helicopters go out to service oil/drilling rigs and the like? Are they covered by the provisions of this Bill also?

The answer is "yes"; they cover all public and private facilities.

I am somewhat worried about the definition of "aerodrome" used here in the sense that it is almost a circular definition. For example, an "aerodrome" means something to which this Act applies. One then asks: what does this Act apply to? The answer is: it applies to an "aerodrome". What is an "aerodrome"? The answer is: whatever this Act applies to. In fact, there is no definition of an "aerodrome", as far as I can ascertain, in the Bill except that it says in section 2:

"aerodrome" means any aerodrome to which the licensing or authorisation requirements of the Air Navigation and Transport Acts, 1936 to 1986, apply...

It appears to me that if one wants a proper definition one should say: an "aerodrome" means a place where aeroplanes or other forms of transportation by air land and take off, as are specified under this Act from time to time, or whatever. There is no actual definition at all of "aerodrome" in the Bill because the reference, in lines 4 to 7, inclusive, on page 5 does not really constitute a definition of "aerodrome". That merely refers one to the relevant Acts.

I said at the outset that the intention behind the special definition of "aerodrome" in section 2 was to confine the application of the provisions of the Bill to Irish civil aerodromes and to exclude their application to Irish military aerodromes.

Why is that not said in the definition?

I do not understand where the difficulty arises.

Perhaps Deputy McCartan might be able to advise us on this matter. It appears to me that, from the point of view of law, it is better to have a definition that says in generic terms what one is talking about.

It is defined in the 1936 Act. In other words, the definition of the 1936 Act is being used.

I was just about to say that. It is defined in the 1936 Act.

Would it not be better to repeat that definition in this Bill?

That is what is being done. The word "aerodrome" from the 1936 Act is still included in this Bill.

It is defined in generic terms in the 1936 Act.

Perhaps the Minister should read his reply again for Deputy Bruton.

The Chair might not like repetition but I will read it if I am required to do so. The special definition of "aerodrome" in section 2 is to be deleted because that definition conflicts with the definition of "aerodrome" in the Air Navigation and Transport Act, 1936, namely, any definite and limited area, including water, intended to be used either wholly or in part for or in connection with the landing or departure of aircraft. That definition applies for the purposes of all Air Navigation and Transport Acts, 1936 to 1986, and of this Bill because this Bill and those Acts are to be construed together as one Act as provided for in section 1 (3) of the Bill.

I think that should have clarified the position and I suggest we proceed with the amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 5, subsection (1), line 10, to delete the definition of "policy of insurance".

This is simply a drafting amendment. It removes the unnecessary definition of "policy of insurance" in section 2.

It is already defined in section 10.

We will deal with that later.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 2, as amended, agreed to.
Section 3 agreed to.
SECTION 4.
Question proposed: "That section 4 stand part of the Bill."

Would considerable expenses arise under this section?

What sort of expenses would arise?

This is a standard provision in Acts. It means the Minister for Tourism and Transport will be funded by the Exchequer, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, for the cost of the administration of the Bill when it is enacted.

What sort of expenses does the Minister expect will occur in pound terms next year over and above this year?

It is not possible to indicate what the expenses are likely to be but it is not expected that additional staffing or Exchequer expenditure will be required to implement the Bill when it is enacted. This expectation is based on the fact that the Bill clarifies and strengthens ministerial powers to regulate civil aviation in the State and provides for substantially increased penalties to deter breaches of statutory requirements.

Question put and agreed to.
NEW SECTION.

I move amendment No. 3:

In page 5, before section 5, but in Part II, to insert the following new section:

"5.—This Part applies to aerodromes other than aerodromes under the control of the Minister for Defence.".

We are dealing with amendment No. 3 in the Minister's name which proposes to insert a new section in the Bill. The amendment states:

This Part applies to aerodromes other than aerodromes under the control of the Minister for Defence.

I should like to hear the views of the Minister and the other Deputies in the House on this amendment. Amendments Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 9 are in some ways related to amendment No. 3. The potential strategic importance of many of our civil aerodromes must be considered by us when we are passing legislation to regulate their future control. Because we are a neutral nation we must be in a position if it is ever necessary to actively defend that neutrality by ensuring that none of our airports or other facilities are made available or usable by an alien invading force. One may think this is all very much by the way but if one looks at the position of active neutral nations in Europe such as Switzerland one can see that they take an active consideration and interest in ensuring that all of their ports, airports and other facilities are defendable or can be made unusable at very short notice.

In this Bill the Minister is taking a step away from having any say or control over aerodromes which are currently used by the Department of Defence. I anticipate that the answer to this is that there would be a conflict of interest and that those aerodromes in the control of the military are the property and responsibility of the Minister for Defence. I should like to hear from the Minister why he thinks his Department should not have a say in the regulations on the safety, control and security of these facilities.

The Workers' Party take the view that in regulating our civil facilities a dimension of defence must be included. For example, it might be security in terms of erecting a perimeter fence to keep out wandering cattle so that aircraft or humans are not interfered with or endangered. We must look at the regulation of these facilities on a national basis and towards a specific end. I believe that the end is one of active neutrality and being in a position to defend that. The most effective way we, as a small nation, can defend that neutrality against incursion is to make our facilities, including military facilities, unusable.

I am not happy that the Department and the Minister in promoting this Bill are standing away from regulating or having any say or involvement in the facilities that are under military control and authority. I should like the Minister to tell us why that decision is being adopted.

The other point I wish to make in relation to the definition of "State" has been referred to briefly. The Minister referred to the legislation covering "State aerodromes" and I understand he was talking about State civil aerodromes. Further on the Bill refers to "State aircraft" and here I believe the Bill is addressing State military aircraft. I would be concerned about that because other craft do not fall into the category of either State military aircraft or State civil aircraft. I am anxious to know how they are to be regulated and what functions the Minister envisages he and his Department will have in regard to them. I mention those now because they will tie into later remarks. I am not entirely happy about this comprehensive useful legislation not being made applicable to militarily-run or owned aerodrome facilities. I would like to have the Minister's reasons.

Acting Chairman

We discussed this in section 2 and it is only a matter of having this new section inserted.

The reason for the inclusion of this new section arose during Second Stage debate here and in the Seanad. The purpose is to specifically exclude aerodromes under the control of the Minister for Defence, because the Minister for Defence has responsibilities in relation to defence matters, including military facilities. There is no justification for involving the Minister for Tourism and Transport in defence and security. Deputy McCartan at the beginning of his contribution anticipated some of the sections and amendments further on.

This new section is to differentiate between the responsibilities of the Minister for Defence relating to security and defence and the responsibilities of the Minister for Transport and Tourism.

This amendment relates to aerodromes that come under the control of the Minister for Defence. As I understand it, the only other Minister who has control over aerodromes and flights to and from aerodromes, is the Minister for Tourism and Transport. Is that correct?

The reason I raised this is because this relates to helicopter services to offshore installations, and the State agency Eolas are required under section 2 of the Irish offshore installation licensing terms on behalf of the Department of Energy to inform operators who come into this country of the services available for servicing offshore installations. In a letter to me they have confirmed that the Department of Communications confirmed to them that two helicopter companies had licences with class C unrestricted authorisation to service offshore installations. Will the Minister comment on that? The letter from Eolas confirmed to me that the two helicopter companies are Irish Helicopters and Celtic Helicopters and that Celtic Helicopters were given authorisation to service offshore installations, as far as Eolas are concerned, on 29 February last. On the other hand, a reply from the Minister for Tourism and Transport in March, which is a month after the Eolas letter, confirms specifically that the holder, meaning Celtic Helicopters, were not permitted to perform offshore services to offshore installations.

The Minister can see the degree of confusion there. I would like clarification as to whether the Department of Communications have any involvement in issuing licences. Why is it that Eolas are representing Celtic Helicopters as having class C unrestricted authorisation to service offshore installations, and a month after confirming that in writing to me, the Minister in reply to a question confirmed that they were specifically not licensed to service offshore installations?

I will give the Deputy a reply to that on Report Stage of this Bill.

Provided you give me a reply to it I will be happy.

Acting Chairman

I would point out that is not relevant to this section and that we should proceed.

With respect, it is relevant. The amendment we are dealing with here relates to the responsibilities of the Minister for Defence and of the Minister for Transport and Tourism. I have a letter which seems to indicate that the Minister for Communications also has an input into this area. I am looking for clarification of that.

Acting Chairman

The Minister has conveyed that he will look at it and that it can be dealt with later in the Bill. That should be acceptable.

I look forward to that.

Amendment put and declared carried.
SECTION 5.
Question proposed: "That section 5 stand part of the Bill."

This section enables the Minister to force someone running an aerodrome to comply with requirements with regard to public order and security and also with regard to the security and safety of the aerodrome and the security and safety of persons using that aerodrome, and the Minister may give directions. I take it that these directions would have to be complied with at the expense of the person running the aerodrome and that there would be no question of the State contributing to the cost of the requirements laid down.

I recognise that in the final analysis there must be power for the State to prevent aerodromes being places of public disorder or places where there is a potential threat to order and to the defence of the State. These are necessarily subjective terms. What constitutes public order is not defined in any way in the Bill and I do not expect that it should be but given that the Minister is taking power to set requirements for those running private aerodromes by imposing excessive requirements which have to be complied with at the expense of the person running the aerodrome, he could essentially close them down if he wanted to. There is no requirement that the Minister be consistent in the requirements he imposes on one aerodrome as against another. If the Minister wished or was malicious enough, he could apply more severe requirements on one aerodrome than on another. This could have the effect of closing it down.

While I accept that the Minister must have powers with regard to the security and safety of the aerodrome and the security and safety of persons and aircraft using that aerodrome, I question whether he should also have power to impose requirements with regard to public order and security which are separate and in addition to the security and safety of the aerodrome itself, or the security and safety of persons and aircraft using that aerodrome. General public order and security is a separate ground on which the Minister can impose requirements, quite apart from the safety of the aerodrome itself and of those using it. The question arises, why is that necessary? In what circumstances does the Minister envisage that would be used? What does it mean? Does it mean for the purpose of defence that the Minister would wish to require people to have methods quickly available to blow up the runway at short notice if there was a danger of somebody using it for a hostile purpose? Does it mean simply putting wire fencing around the aerodrome to prevent people getting in and having unauthorised parties in the vicinity where the aircraft are landing? What does the Minister envisage?

The Minister has excluded the aerodromes which are being used by the Defence Forces on the grounds that, as he said, he is the Minister for Tourism and Transport and they would involve the Minister for Defence. If that is the case, he is not the Minister responsible for public order and security and yet he is taking powers to close down aerodromes on grounds of public order and security. There should be some system whereby the Minister for Justice, who is responsible for public order and security, should be involved. If that is the ground that is being used to certify in some fashion that such a requirement is necessary, then it should not be a matter for one Minister to make such an order.

Under section 3, I take it that that order would apply straightaway without there being any discussion in the Dáil. It could be imposed straightaway by a Minister. If you close down an aerodrome for 21 sitting days you may as well close it down forever because the losses that would be incurred in that period would be such as to stop the aerodrome being a commercial enterprise. Those who presumably want to see private money involved in the building and operation of aerodromes — that seems to be the policy of the present and previous Governments — should be given some assurances that this section regarding public order will be used in a predictable fashion and not capriciously.

In reply to Deputy Bruton's query, I should point out that in these matters the Minister is always guided by the national civil aviation security committee. He is right when he says the Department of Tourism and Transport are not responsible for security. The Minister has available to him the national civil aviation security committee whose advice he would seek in such matters as those raised by Deputy Bruton.

That is not an answer to my question. I thought I had explained it but I will try again. There are two grounds under this section whereby duties are imposed on those running aerodromes: first, to comply with the requirements for the security and the safety of the aerodrome itself and those using it and, secondly, requirements of public order and security in general; in other words, separate from the running of the aerodrome. That opens a very wide field which would be outside the remit even of the committee to which the Minister has referred. They are only concerned with the second part of the clause which is the safety of the aerodrome and those using it. The other issue of more general public order and security is a matter for the Minister for Justice.

I would have thought it might be more appropriate to redraft the section to read: "requirements of (a) public order and security after consultation with the Minister for Justice and (b) of the security and safety of the aerodrome and the security and safety of persons and aircraft using that aerodrome". The latter is one in which the Minister is the competent Minister without any doubt but the former, relating to the public order and security in the general sense, as distinct from that relating solely to aerodromes and aircraft and users thereof, is a matter for the Minister for Justice. This is to provide a greater degree of clarity that this section would not be used other than in a proper fashion.

The Minister for Transport and Tourism authorises licences. He has the responsibility to ensure that aerodromes operate properly at all times, particularly as regards security and safety. I would like to point out — and I mentioned this in my earlier reply — that the national civil aviation security committee which advises the Government on civil aviation security is chaired by a senior official of the Department of Tourism and Transport. The committee's terms of reference are to advise the Government and the civil aviation industry on security policy for civil aviation, to recommend and review the effectiveness of security measures and to provide for co-ordination of the various interests involved. Representation on the committee include as well as other representatives from the Department of Tourism and Transport, representatives of the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Defence, the Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces, Aer Lingus, Aer Rianta and the Irish Airline Pilots Association. That committee is very wide in its membership and the terms of reference are sufficiently broad to advise the Minister on the security and safety of aerodromes. On that account I do not consider it necessary to include any more in section 6 than what is already there.

This is a case of the Minister taking more powers than he needs. It seems to me that it would be sufficient to impose requirements on these aerodromes in respect of the safety and security of the aerodrome itself and of those using it. Why is he taking powers in regard to general public order? What guarantee is there that these powers cannot be abused in a discriminatory fashion, given that the Minister might like one operator more or less than he likes another and he could impose more requirements on the one he did not like than on the other?

There should be a reference in the section to say that these requirements shall be imposed in a uniform way as between different categories or types or individual aerodromes rather than in a discriminatory fashion. I think also the committee to which the Minister refers, if it is to take those type of decisions should contain representation from the operators of the aerodromes. Why have the Irish Airline Pilots Association, which is a private body, been represented on this committee and involved in these decisions if the people on whom the requirements will be imposed, that is, those running the aerodromes, are not represented on the committee?

I do not accept that section 6 should have anything more in it than what is already there. If it was required we would have had an amendment down. I had hoped my elaboration of the security committee, and those represented on that committee, would allay any fears that there would be more favourable consideration shown to any one operator more than the other. The committee that advise on the national civil aviation security are sufficiently broad to ensure that the same criteria would be used for each operator and I do not see any need——

The committee is not mentioned in the Bill. It is the Minister who has the powers.

The Deputy's contention was that the Minister, and he alone, decides on aspects in relation to the security and safety of aerodromes. I am pointing out that the Minister has available to him the civil aviation committee who advise him on matters of security at aerodromes. The Deputy mentioned in his last contribution the question of local security committees. Of course local security committees work at all airports through which international, regular air services operate, namely, the airports of Dublin, Shannon, Connacht, Waterford and Carrickfin. The local security committees report to the national committee on their deliberations and the standards they wish to ensure. Is the Deputy still not satisfied that he is adequately empowered——

I do not want to prolong the agony. I would prefer if public order and security matters were done after consultation with the Minister for Justice who should be mentioned in this and that the other aspects of security and safety of the aerodrome itself should be clearly the responsibility of the Minister himself or the Minister of State. Some reference should be made here to the requirements being as uniform as may be reasonable in their application to different aerodromes. Obviously, the Minister must have a final degree of freedom, if he feels one aerodrome is more prone to public order problems than another, to impose greater requirements there, but some reference to uniformity of treatment in the section with a sort of let-out phrase for exceptional cases would be useful in removing any cause for concern that the section might be used in a discriminatory way. Would the Minister be prepared to look at that between now and Report Stage?

I have to reject the implication that the Minister would act in the manner the Deputy suggests. There is no experience as far as I am aware, and hope the Deputy has no such experience, of the Minister acting in the manner he is suggesting.

I am sorry. The Minister must recognise that the function of the Oireachtas is to frame legislation which removes any temptation or opportunity from the Minister to act in such a fashion. That is not to suggest that the present Minister or any other previous Minister might have been so tempted. That is not the point. We try to draft legislation so as not to create any such opportunity in future for other Ministers. The Minister should not bring that into it. It is a question of getting legislation here that is waterproof. Would the Minister agree that I am not making any implications about himself or his colleague, the Minister, Deputy Wilson? Accepting that, would he be prepared to look at the points I have made on what I would regard as improvements to the section between now and Report Stage?

I will make another observation on the point. I accept that the Deputy is not speaking about the present Minister or previous Ministers and he is suggesting that we should have safeguards for the future in this matter. I have no evidence, and I am sure the Deputy has no evidence either, of the present or previous Ministers abusing the responsibility they have. I suggest that if in the future abuse of the function by the Minister is seen——

It will be too late then.

Just a minute. I am sure any person who would feel aggrieved would have recourse to the courts.

He could hardly go to the Ombudsman anyway.

He is the last lap.

The Minister might bear in mind that private aerodromes are a relatively new phenomenon. They have not been in operation for very long in this country, at least on a commercial scale. Therefore, the need for legislation of this kind is relatively new in regard to private aerodromes. I could envisage, for instance, Aer Rianta in competition with a private aerodrome for business. Aer Rianta are owned by the Minister and they might make representations to the Minister that they want to keep these competitors of theirs under control and they feel the Minister should require them to have four fire tenders and 17 layers of security fence or whatever, and all sorts of things they would have to pay for themselves which could have the effect of closing down that competitor. Therefore, we have the inherent conflict of interest with the owner of the shares in one set of aerodromes, that is those operated by Aer Rianta, making the regulations that will govern the rest of them not owned by Aer Rianta.

I am concerned that there should be provision in the section which would ensure within reason that the Minister would not abuse his powers in this regard. I am not suggesting he would do so out of any bad motive. Aer Rianta could be in financial trouble and say to the Minister they were going to have to look to him for money from the Exchequer to bail them out and he would have to go to the Minister for Finance unless he could do something to channel more business their way. They could say they were getting terrible trouble from this private aerodrome in Knock — let us say — and they felt that unless they could divert some of Knock's business to some of their aerodromes they would be in trouble and would have to look for even more money from the Minister and surely the Minister does not want to go to the Minister for Finance looking for more money. They would give him a package of things that should be done and say they were looking for fair play. They would require all sorts of things to be done to these private aerodromes, some of which might be necessary but others might not be necessary. The Minister can use these powers for that purpose.

All I am suggesting is that there should be (1) a requirement of uniformity of treatment; (2) a requirement, where general public order is being used as a criterion as distinct from public order at the aerodrome, that the Minister for Justice should be involved in it. I do not see what is wrong with that or why the Minister is rejecting it. It seems to be entirely consistent with what I imagine are the Minister's objectives in this matter. I feel the Minister is interested in seeing privately operated aerodromes prospering. Indeed, some members of his party have been quite prominent in being photo-graphed at private aerodromes such as the one at Knock. Therefore, I cannot see why the Minister is worried.

Save him, a Cheann Comhairle, save him.

All operators of aerodromes must operate on equal standards and they must operate to meet international obligations where international travel is concerned. I see no need whatever, despite the points made by Deputy Bruton, to amend section 6 of the Bill.

I feel there is a need for amendments to this Bill for the reasons I have given. I propose to pursue the matter further.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.