Written Answers. - EU Directive.

Seamus Brennan

Question:

658 Mr. S. Brennan asked the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications the current status of the EU Directive on ground handling facilities; and the timing and likely effect of this Directive on employment at Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airports. [16423/96]

I expect the terms of this Directive to be approved by Council during the current Irish Presidency.

Member states will be required to bring into force, the laws, regulations and administrative procedures necessary to comply with the Directive not later than one year from the date of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

From January 1998, airlines will be free to do their own groundhandling at all airports in the Community.

However, the number of users permitted to self handle particular categories of service may be limited at certain airports, depending on traffic levels and capacity constraints.
Only Dublin Airport will be affected by the requirement under the Directive to provide access to the market for suppliers of groundhandling services to third parties. This provision will come into effect as from 1 January 1999. There is already an element of competition for the supply of such services at Dublin Airport. Pending consideration of the arrangements to apply under the Directive, it is not possible to say what the likely effect of the introduction of competition on the provision of groundhandling services will be on employment at the airport.