Written Answers. - Regional Airports.

John Perry

Question:

220 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Transport if he has satisfied himself with the level of inquiry and assessment reports at Sligo Airport; the steps he has taken to allay the fears of commuters, which is vital for the future of the airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22039/02]

The air accident investigation unit, AAIU, of my Department commenced an immediate investigation into the accident on 2 November 2002 at Sligo Airport in accordance with the Air Navigation (Notification and Investigation of Accidents and Incidents) Regulations, SI No. 205 of 1997. The accident involved a Fokker F27 which overran the end of the runway. Fortunately, nobody was injured. The AAIU will make appropriate safety recommendations in its report of this accident.

The aircraft and the operator are registered in the UK and the UK authorities have appointed an accredited representative to the investigation in accordance with international convention in such cases and the UK authorities are assisting in the analyses of the cockpit voice recorder, CVR, and flight data recorder, FDR, commonly referred to as the black box.

As the Deputy will be aware, Sligo Airport is regulated by the Irish Aviation Authority, IAA, and any recommendations which may arise from the investigation with regard to the airport will be made to the IAA and to the airport itself.
The Deputy can be assured that the safety of passengers and aircraft is of paramount importance and that the outcome of the investigations which are currently ongoing into this accident will serve to maintain Ireland's excellent record in this area.