Written Answers. - Semi-State Sector.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

122 Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Transport the Government's proposals for the future of Aer Rianta; the steps he intends to take to address the concerns of Aer Rianta workers who are balloting on strike action as a result of their concerns; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2739/03]

Liz McManus

Question:

127 Ms McManus asked the Minister for Transport if he has received a report from the panel of experts appointed to consider proposals for a second terminal at Dublin Airport; when it is expected that a decision will be made on this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2746/03]

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

150 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Transport if he has finalised his proposals to give greater autonomy and independence to Shannon Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2614/03]

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

160 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Transport his future plans for the State airports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2645/03]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 122, 127, 150 and 160 together.

I would like to refer the Deputies to the replies which I gave in the Dáil on 26 November 2002 in response to previous questions on these issues tabled by Deputies Richard and John Bruton, Liz McManus, Ruairi Quinn, Jim O'Keeffe and Jimmy Deenihan. The position outlined in those replies remains essentially unchanged. The debate which has been initiated by me in relation to the issue of greater autonomy and independence for Shannon and Cork airports is ongoing and I remain open to receive and listen to the views of all interested parties.

I hope to receive, by the end of this week, the report of the panel of experts, appointed by me to consider the expressions of interest received in relation to the question of a second independent terminal at Dublin airport. I am conscious of the desirability of taking both these issues to the point of Government decisions in the shortest practicable timeframe. While they are separate issues, they both have very considerable significance for the future of the State airports and it is my intention to bring my recommendations to the Government within the next two months.

Question No. 123 answered with Question No. 89.