Written Answers. - Air Services.

Bernard Allen

Question:

293 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if she is in favour of a single EU-US air traffic agreement; and if Cork Airport will be included in such an agreement. [19251/00]

In regard to EU-US aviation relations, the issue of a common aviation area has been under discussion in the Transport Council since 1996. The European Commission has been seeking a full mandate from the council to negotiate an EU-US traffic agreement. In these council discussions I have been and will continue to be opposed to the concept of such an agreement, because I believe it would restrict our ability to negotiate regulatory arrangements with the US to suit Ireland's needs specifically. I do not anticipate that the Transport Council will agree during this presidency or the next to give the commission the mandate it seeks.