Written Answers. - Departmental Responsibilities.

Enda Kenny


247 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Transport the precise responsibilities of his new Department of Transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13657/02]

The main responsibilities of my Department are as follows:

Aviation: Formulation of aviation policy, particularly in response to developments in the EU, European Civil Aviation Conference, ECAC, and internationally. Airports policy in Ireland: representation of the State's shareholder interest in Aer Lingus, Aer Rianta and the Irish Aviation Authority. Administration of support measures for the regional airports. Administration of the Public Service Obligation, PSO, for regional air services. Development of Irish civil aviation security policy and the implementation and monitoring of the resultant aviation security measures. In conjunction with the IAA to continue to play a proactive role in the development of EU and pan-European proposals for the future management, regulation and technological development of air navigation services. Investigation of air accidents and serious incidents. Authorisation of commercial aviation flights to and from Ireland. Negotiation of bilateral Air Service Agreements with Third Countries, including Shannon stopover policy.

Public Transport: Formulation of a national transport policy and liaising with EU bodies in relation to international transport policy and legislation. Overseeing the shareholder interest in the CIE group of companies. Overseeing Exchequer and EU investment in the CIE capital programme under the national development plan. To establish effective structures, in liaison with the Railway Procurement Agency, to deliver and monitor the implementation of the public transport investment programme, light rail and Metro infrastructure, under the National Development Plan 2001-2006, and the DTO Platform for Change. To develop and promote the use of PPPs in the public transport sector. Responsibility, discharged through the railway inspectorate of the Department, for monitoring of railway safety and for certain designated statutory functions regarding accident notification, accident inquiry and investigation and the approval of new works. Policy formulation and implementation in relation to the licensing of bus operators. The issue and amendment of national and international road freight carrier licences and road passenger transport operators licences. The enforcement of haulage licensing and tachograph regulations and preparation for the implementation of digital tachograph.
Roads: Policy and legislation relating to national roads and road traffic. The promotion and oversight of the National Roads Authority's programme for the improvement and maintenance of national roads. Promotion of sustainable development considerations in road policy generally and for advancing good solutions to urban transport needs, including monitoring and overseeing implementation of the updated DTO strategy and the promotion of new institutional arrangements for this purpose. The discharge of the Department's role as managing authority for the economic and social infrastructure operational programme. Monitoring and overseeing implementation of the existing strategy for road safety, 1998-2002, and oversight of the National Safety Council and the Medical Bureau of Road Safety. Development of a new road safety strategy. The delivery of the driver testing service and the development of policy in relation to the regulatory and legislative framework for the licensing of drivers. Determining standards for motor vehicles, roadworthiness testing of vehicles and compulsory motor insurance on vehicles. Regulation of small public service vehicles.