Aircraft Noise (Dublin Airport) Regulation Bill 2018: Report Stage

Members will be glad to know that there is a long list of amendments. Amendment No. 1 is in the name of------

I ask the Minister to clarify certain information given on Committee Stage. Members were told that clarity would be provided in regard to correspondence between his Department and other agencies put forward as potential competent authorities. Specific reference was made to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, on Committee Stage, but the same issue arose subsequently in respect of the Commission for Aviation Regulation, CAR. A local resident submitted a freedom of information, FOI, request and was told there was no correspondence between the EPA and the Department. However, the Minister said there was such correspondence. That issue was to be clarified. I received an email on the matter just before I entered the Chamber but it is important that it be dealt with publicly because of the uncertainty it raised in the minds of residents. It is important that it be addressed before amendments are dealt with.

If the Minister wishes to reply, he may so do, otherwise we will proceed to amendment No. 1.

I am happy to assist the Deputy on this issue if I can. The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has records of engagement with the EPA, which are being considered as part of a recent FOI request to my Department. In 2017, officials of my Department attended a meeting hosted by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. Officials of the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment and its agency, the EPA, participated in the noise regulation aspect of the meeting. There was further correspondence and engagement between my Department and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment throughout the development of the Bill in 2018, including further consideration of the EPA as the competent authority.

Amendment No. 1 arises out of committee proceedings. Amendments Nos. 1, 5, 6, 46 and 85 are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 6, between lines 8 and 9, to insert the following:

" "Balanced Approach" means both the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) agreed hierarchy of measures designated to reduce the adverse impact of aircraft noise on those living in the vicinity of an airport and the recommendations for aircraft noise published in the World Health Organisation’s report Night Noise Guidelines for Europe 2018;".

This amendment and the wider grouping relate to the level of noise that constitutes noise pollution. I welcome residents of Dublin Fingal to the Public Gallery. As the Minister can see, this is a significant issue for people who live near Dublin Airport. Some of the points addressed by the amendments were originally made on Second and Committee Stages. Residents had hoped that the Minister would incorporate some of our requests in the Bill. Many will find it strange to discover that he is not concerned with using the most up-to-date standards.

The amendments seek a balanced approach incorporating the World Health Organization, WHO, guidelines on noise pollution. It has emphasised the impact of noise pollution, particularly night flights, on the health of local residents. Although most residents want the airport to expand and be developed, they are unable to open their windows at night or in the early morning because of the increased usage of flight paths over their houses.

Noise pollution is the second most dangerous environmental hazard to people's health. This is not likely to be taken for granted. The health effects can put an intolerable strain on healthcare systems and lead to loss of productivity among workers whose sleep is disturbed and health affected. The amendment simply requests that a balanced approach taking account of the WHO guidelines be incorporated into the legislation.

I suspect that the Minister is putting the interests of commerce and businesses above people's health. The noise mapping carried out indicates that areas of my constituency of Dublin West such as Tyrrelstown, Hollystown, Hollywoodrath, Mulhuddart and The Ward are significantly impacted by this problem, as are parts of Dublin Fingal. The residents are asking the Minister to accept that their health is as important as the ability of planes to traverse the skies. I do not know why he is being so stubborn on this issue. One would think that he would want people's health to be taken into consideration but it seems that airline profits are to be put above the health of residents. Nobody is asking for flights to end but, rather, that the WHO guidelines be taken into account. One of the noise maps indicates that readings more than 10 dB above what WHO recommended levels are a regular feature for residents of Tyrrellstown and Hollywoodrath. Many Deputies pointed out on Committee Stage that it is not in the interests of travellers to have flights at all hours of the day and night. This issue can be managed. I ask the Minister to take on board the points I have made.

If no other Deputies are offering, I call the Minister.

I would like to hear what the Minister has to say before I address the amendments.

I wish to acknowledge the contributions aimed at improving the Bill made by Opposition Deputies, including Deputy Coppinger and others present, on and since Committee Stage. We did not agree on everything but we agreed on quite a lot. I am sure that will become clear on this Stage. It is a better Bill as a result of the robust debate and amendments made on Committee Stage. I hope that the amendments I have tabled on Report Stage, most of which are in direct response to issues raised by Deputies, will improve it further.

I wish to extend a welcome to the residents of Fingal who are in the Public Gallery. I very much enjoyed the many enlightening meetings I had with them, which gave me a full understanding of the difficulties in which they find themselves. I hope that, when enacted, the Bill will address many of their worries, problems and stresses. I hope that it will pass through the Dáil this evening or as soon as possible. I acknowledge that aircraft noise is an important issue for them, their families and their community. It has a direct impact on their daily lives and they are rightly here tonight seeking that the Dáil provides, through the Bill, for a fair and open system for regulating noise at Dublin Airport.

I hope that, as a result of the debate and the process in which we will engage tonight, Members will see that what is proposed in this Bill provides them with a robust, transparent and accessible regulatory system that will for the first time impose significant regulatory discipline on noise management at Dublin Airport.

As I outlined on Committee Stage, the purpose of the Bill is to make provision for the implementation of EU Regulation No. 598/2014. As Deputy Clare Daly pointed out in her amendment, and as Deputy Coppinger also pointed out, the EU Commission has outlined after Annex II of EU Regulation No. 598/2014 that, based on the work the WHO is currently undertaking regarding the methodology to assess the health implications of the noise impact, the Commission intends to review Annex III to the 2002 directive. EU Regulation No. 598/2014 requires the competent authority to carry out any noise assessment in line with the noise directive of 2002. Therefore, any such update to that directive to take into account WHO guidelines will directly impact the need for the competent authority to have regard to such updated requirements. It is at EU level that this change must be made to ensure a consistent approach to mitigating noise across member states. It would be inappropriate for Ireland to second-guess this work and pre-empt any decision at European level.

The approach to aircraft noise mitigation set out in EU Regulation No. 598/2014 is based entirely around the so-called balanced approach developed by the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization. These amendments have the effect of amending this approach, and it is not permissible to try to redefine the balanced approach or, indeed, include new criteria to which the competent authority should have regard. This would constitute the setting out of new targets outside what EU Regulation No. 598/2014 dictates. For that reason, these amendments are not workable and, regrettably, I cannot accept them. I have, however, listened to the concerns of all the Deputies who made proposals on this matter and who have rightly brought attention to the importance of taking into account the impact of noise on people's health. As stated on Committee Stage, we are all in agreement on this point. I understand that my Department followed up after Committee Stage to explain how and the extent to which health issues are embedded in EU Regulation No. 598/2014 and its associated EU directives and regulations. While I cannot accept the amendments, which are unworkable, I will later move on an amendment to ensure the importance of assessing health in the context of noise is more clearly reflected in the Bill.

We have put forward an amendment and we did so following extensive debate on Committee Stage and, subsequently, in consultation with the officials. The Minister made a commitment to my colleague Deputy Darragh O'Brien and to Deputy Clare Daly on Committee Stage that he would make explicit reference to the new guidelines of the WHO. Based on that, we were happy to withdraw our amendments on Committee Stage but we indicated we would be resubmitting them on Report Stage, which we have done. Having listened to the Minister's reply to Deputy Coppinger, however, I am none the wiser about how he intends, in his amendment, to deal with the concerns raised over the reference to the WHO's new guidelines. I am conscious that these guidelines were issued subsequent to the EU directive. Had they been out in advance, I have no doubt they would have been explicitly outlined. They are outlined in the statement of the Commission on the revision of Directive No. 2002/249/EC. Based on the work the WHO is currently undertaking regarding the methodology to assess the health implications of the noise impact, the Commission intends to revise Annex III to Directive No. 2002/249/EC. The Minister gave an indication that he would make a clear and explicit reference to the guidelines in the legislation. I hope he will honour his commitment.

This group of amendments is incredibly important. We have to restate what we are talking about, that is, the devastating impact of noise on human health. This is a serious problem around the globe. It is recognised by the European Union as one estimated to cause between 30,000 and 50,000 premature deaths every year across the Union. To deal with this and its chronic health implications, the key measure is the environmental noise directive.

In response to our raising the need to have the WHO guidelines in the legislation, the Minister's answer is that we should not worry about them because they are already covered. This is based on the view that because of the anchoring in the directive, updating will occur as the regulation is updated and we do not need to specify the guidelines. Indeed, points were made to the effect that there is a technical reason one cannot make a specification and that the directive has to be copied down. I do not buy that. We need to be more specific in respect of this matter. We had briefings subsequent to Committee Stage that a number of us attended. Not everybody attended so some people might not be fully up to speed. I thank the Department officials for organising the briefings. With regard to the point that we should not worry about this matter and that the health impact is already covered, the first reason given as to why we should be reassured was that it is covered in recital 11 of EU Regulation No. 598/2014. Recitals, however, do not have the same legal effect as the body of the regulation and the directive itself. Therefore, relying on a recital does not give any legal comfort at all.

Deputy Troy is correct that there was a general agreement on Committee Stage that some formula of words would be taken into account that would give effect to the WHO guidelines. In fairness, scientists, those with our understanding and anybody dealing with this area knows this is the direction in which we need to be going. Why would we adapt something that is outdated?

An issue was raised by residents. I am not sure whether the point is accurate but the Minister might want to address it also. Clarity needs to be reached. There is a belief that needs to be explained, that is, that the Minister's amendments, which include a reference to SI 549, are an attempt to water down or delay the application of any updating of the environmental noise directive of 2002. That point has been made and the Minister needs to address it.

The fact that we are relying on the Minister's word that the WHO criteria is there is not really good enough.

The Minister might also explain the excuse to the effect that when we are transcribing a directive, we have to go about it in two ways. It has to be done a certain way if the directive refers to a member state and we have a certain leeway if it refers to the competent authority. We had the debate on Committee Stage as to whether things can be included or excluded or whether the regulations have to be covered by the letter of the law. The Minister needs to deal with that because I believe that Ireland, as a member state, is absolutely entitled to specify the criteria that the competent authority will be operating. I have two amendments in this group, the second of which, No. 85, requires that the competent authority would be directed to ensure that average exposure is reduced below 45 decibels and night exposure is below 40 decibels, such levels to be revised in accordance with the guidelines of the WHO. I want the Minister to deal with this. According to my reading of the briefing we got from the Minister's officials, my insertion of this amendment at that part of the Bill is not in contradiction with anything we are entitled to do. The fact that it has not been ruled out of order verifies that is the case. We are all saying the WHO guidelines are the criteria and we should put them in the legislation. We can put them in. Why would we expect our citizens to endure anything less than best practice? Best practice is adhering to those levels.

It is interesting to note that it is not just us saying this. Correspondence between some senior planners in Fingal County Council from three years ago has been released. As part of the county council's deliberations of the inner and outer noise zones at Dublin Airport as far back as 2016, the correspondence refers to discussions that were ongoing at that time with the WHO which were expected to be published soon. That was three years ago. The correspondence refers to lots of evidence about how there can be adverse health impacts and, as such, the WHO should be considered and taken into account in the Bill when published. We just want to ensure that happens. Everybody wants to ensure that and, if it is definitely covered, why can we not specify it?

The technical drafting objections which were used on Committee Stage as to why we could not insert it in the area I then inserted it are overcome by where I am now inserting it with amendment No. 85. I deliberately specified that point. It is absolutely critical.

Is it not criminal that we are here in 2019 when we know that the noise directives at European level were revised and amended by the WHO in 2009? It talked about these levels ten years ago. There are people who have to go home tonight and who are being offered paltry buy-outs and inadequate insulation to endure levels way beyond those in the directive. It is not good enough. We need the WHO guidelines specified in the Bill. There is no contradiction and if the Minister is saying that it is already covered, then there is no harm in specifying it.

There was unanimity on Committee Stage that it is essential that the latest body of work that is carried out in the area of airport noise is captured in some way in this legislation that we are now passing in 2019. It would be scandalous if this legislation passed without incorporating that body of knowledge from the WHO in some way. We all talked about it on Committee Stage, not necessarily in the context of the balanced approach, but there needs to be reference in some way within the legislation to the competent authority taking on-board noise issues at the airport.

The Minister indicated that he will have an amendment later on that is somehow going to deal with health issues. Can he indicate the amendment to which he was referring?

The WHO has made it clear that the second most significant environmental cause of ill health is noise levels. It also says that there are 10,000 cases of premature deaths in Europe as a result and almost 20 million adults are affected. It also says that 8 million people suffer sleep disturbance. That, in itself, tells us the seriousness of the problem in dealing with noise.

I am not sure what the Minister is saying he will introduce to address this. It is important that he spells out clearly to us what he intends to do because there are many things that residents are affected by. I pass by the protest in St. Margaret's and I go through Swords a couple of times a week. The residents in those areas are badly affected and we have to spell out to them what we are going to do to lessen the noise. We have to show them how we are going to deal with it.

The Minister stated that he will not accept any of these amendments but he should clearly spell out what he is going to do. He should not just say that he is going to do something. It is not clear to us and it is important that he spells out what he is going to do.

I fully understand the Deputies' anxiety about references to health. There is no disagreement about this at all. The Deputies are right that we did state that we would make a reference to health in the Bill. There may be some misunderstanding here. I am providing specific reference to health later in the Bill. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked which amendments that is in and it is amendments Nos. 59, 78 and 79. They refer specifically to health, as promised.

On the specific amendments under discussion now, I have a strong legal opinion on this and I have to regard to it. This Bill has to work properly. This is a legal point and there is absolutely no sound legal basis for specifically referencing the WHO guidelines. That is why I cannot accept the amendments but the Deputies will be aware of those other amendments we will come to later in the Bill, or if they are not, I refer them to those now.

Can the Minister repeat the numbers of the amendments to which he is referring?

They are amendments Nos. 59, 78 and 79.

It is extremely frustrating for residents that the Minister does not even seem to bother offering a good reason as to why he will not include this in the legislation. He has not even tried to formulate a reason, he has just said that he will incorporate it later.

A number of the residents who are in the Public Gallery have done a lot of research on the topic because they have to. Their lives are extremely impacted upon by the airport. One of the residents monitored early morning flights, and these amendments are really getting at night and early morning flights and the impact on health. There were 71 departures from Dublin Airport between 4.45 a.m. and 6.50 a.m. on Monday. That is a time when people are trying to sleep, and need to sleep. That number will only increase if a new runway is introduced. That is the point and that is why people want health to be a consideration in the enhancement and development of the airport and this legislation.

The impact on business travellers if too many restrictions are applied is one of the matters that has been mentioned.

However, it has been ascertained that most of these flights are for ordinary holiday travel and not business. Accordingly, it is an erroneous reason.

All of the statistics about the WHO have been given. The Minister, however, does not seem to be in any way interested. He is putting the unrestricted profit-making of airlines above the interests of residents. Nobody has said flights should stop. However, residents want the basic health impact to be recognised as a key component in legislation. The Dublin Airport Authority, DAA, has made it clear that it will increase these early morning and night flights. Residents just want a simple recognition that health has to be a factor in this legislation. The arrogant way the Minister does not even bother coming up with answers is incredible.

There is space for any Member who wishes to make a two-minute intervention at this stage. The Minister will have one opportunity to reply and then Deputy Coppinger will have an option for a two-minute response.

Can we hear the Minister respond before making a further intervention?

I allowed a facility for Deputy Clare Daly to raise a question at the beginning. It is up to the Members.

I had asked a specific question and it would have been helpful if the Minister had answered it.

The Minister can note the question and reply to it.

I have asked it. If I ask it again, then we are eating up time.

There is no problem. Those are the rules and I cannot change them. If we break that, then we go off on another tangent, that will be out of order. I am not going to encourage that.

We have to be honest and balanced. I do not believe any Member here does not care about health. This regulation is built on a framework designed to protect human health. I agree with that. I accept that the supporting background to this directive is based on noise protective measures which have a benefit for health.

If that is correct, why are we not specifying that in a tighter format? That is all that is being asked for in these amendments. The Minister has said this has to be seen in tandem with EU Regulation No. 598/2014, the 2002 environmental noise directive and the European noise regulations implementing that directive, including the updated reference. If they are in place and the latter makes reference to the WHO findings, what is wrong with putting that in the legislation? I have not heard a reason for this.

The Minister did not answer the question I asked earlier. There is a belief among residents that his alternative to referencing health and the amendments he quoted to Deputy Troy are a tactic to delay the implementation of any updating of the environmental noise directive. By referencing SI 549/2018, the Minister is allowing a delay in the implementation of the updating of the directive, which would take account of the WHO findings. Will the Minister clarify this? Will he explain the legal impediments to our amendments? If there were, we would have heard the Attorney General has ruled them out of order, which he has not.

I concur with the Deputy on this. The impression before he became Minister was that he would go through brick walls to resolve issues, be tough taking on the Department and be on the side of the residents in getting the optimum resolution. His responses to these amendments, however, seem wimpish. It seems the Department told him he could not accept them and that was it. Will he give us chapter and verse as to why he cannot accept these amendments? What is the impediment to accepting them?

It is not a question of insulating people’s houses against aircraft noise. People have back gardens and other recreational spaces. I live besides Weston Airport and in the summer we have small aircraft zooming over our heads every two minutes. Large aircraft taking off and landing late at night and early in the morning at Dublin Airport will make it pretty much impossible for people to enjoy their homes, gardens and so forth. The optimum protection should apply in this case.

Why is there is such resistance to it? I would appreciate if the Minister could explain what efforts he has made and fights he has had, if any, to see if these amendments can be accepted. It is not obvious that this is a good way to go with this legislation.

When the Minister replies, no other Member can come in expect Deputy Coppinger who moved the amendment. As Deputy Clare Daly will move the next amendment, she will have the right to speak three times to it as Deputy Coppinger has to the first amendment.

We have to acknowledge that EU Regulation No 598/2014 states "sustainable development of air transport requires the introduction of measures aimed at reducing the noise impact from aircraft at Union airports". It also states: "The importance of health aspects needs to be recognised in relation to noise problems, and it is therefore important that those aspects be taken into consideration in a consistent manner at all airports when a decision is taken on noise abatement objectives". We acknowledge this is a critical part of the EU regulation.

We want to ensure that we do not compromise the Bill, ensure it is robust and not subject to legal challenge. I would appreciate if the Minister would clearly outline why he cannot accept these amendments. The regulation itself states: "Based on work the WHO is currently undertaking regarding the methodology to assess health implications of the noise impact, the Commission intends to revise Annex III to Directive 2002/49/ EC." The only reason in my mind that it is not clearly outlined in these regulations is because the work has not been completed.

We have been more than co-operative in terms of scheduling and working with the Minister on Committee Stage to bring forward amendments which will improve this legislation. While I accept the Minister has taken on board amendments and referred to environmental noise regulations, will he clarify that this is not a delaying measure? Will he accept these amendments will give effect to what Members across the political divide are seeking to achieve?

I am not sure if I did not get this through the first time.

I cannot introduce this amendment because on legal advice it is impossible and it would negate the Bill. This is introducing an EU regulation which cannot be changed in this way. Were I to do this, the Bill just would not work.

I have tried to meet - which I think we have done - what Deputies Troy, Pottinger and Clare Daly referred to-----

----- the need to protect the health-----

My name is Coppinger.

I am sorry; I have said that before. I apologise.

It has taken the Minister a while.

I apologise.

I am trying to meet the health needs of the residents as far as I can. The Deputies should not ask me to introduce something that takes away the meaning or text of EU Regulation 598/2014, because if I do not implement the directive in full and as it stands, I would not be fulfilling the requirements of our obligations to the EU. That has to happen; that is the way it has to be.

I have moved as far as I possibly can within the legal context in which I am allowed to have wriggle room to meet the requirements of the residents and indeed of the Opposition. That is done in good faith. As the Deputies know, there has been considerable toing and froing to accommodate people. We cannot accommodate them by actually breaking the regulation and we will not do that, but we have gone as far as we can in amendments Nos. 59, 78 and 79, I think, to meet those requirements.

I do not accept somehow I have taken the commercial role rather than the role of the residents; that is not the case at all. I have gone a long way - Deputy Coppinger should acknowledge this - in meeting the residents to understand what they have to say and to accommodate them. Every residents' association - perhaps bar one, but I am not sure if that is true - that has requested a meeting has been given a hearing by me. Their views have been conveyed to the DAA and anybody else involved specifically because I value their lifestyle. I value their right to have as little noise as possible and I respect what they stand for, their feelings and the stress this causes them.

We must also, however, implement the EU directive. There must not be an assumption that just because we are implementing an EU directive on noise we are somehow trying to be on one side or the other. We are trying to introduce a balanced regime and take a balanced approach. That includes the requirements of health.

On a point of order, the Minister has talked about illegality. That is patent nonsense. If our amendments were illegal, they would have been ruled out of order.

We are entitled to table these amendments.

The Minister, himself, is amending the directive. To say it is not lawful for us to amend it is patently wrong and should not be allowed to stand.

I allowed a certain latitude for both the questions and the response-----

The Minister did not answer the questions which would have helped.

----- because of the sensitivity of the issue. The only person who may speak a third time is the Member who moved the amendment, Deputy Coppinger, in reply to the debate.

If we look at this practically, it seems that every party has indicated it will support this group of amendments. I will be calling a vote on my amendment and I am sure others may do so on theirs. That is the best way to sort out this because we will not change the Minister's mind. Hopefully if Fianna Fáil mobilises its forces, along with other parties we will win the vote.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 33; Níl, 44; Staon, 10.

  • Barry, Mick.
  • Brady, John.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon

  • Brassil, John.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Troy, Robert.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Ruth Coppinger and Thomas P. Broughan; Níl, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin.
Amendment declared lost.

Amendments Nos. 2 to 4 inclusive, Nos. 7 to 40 inclusive and Nos 49, 50 and 100 are related and will be discussed together, by agreement of the House.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 6, between lines 9 and 10, to insert the following:

“ “CAR” means the Commission for Aviation Regulation;”.

This is the heart of the debate for many people. This is the section that deals with the organisation that will assume the task of competent authority to regulate aircraft noise and all of the impacts of it and so it is critically important. The Government has decided to award that task to Fingal County Council, a decision which has been universally objected to by every residents' group impacted by aircraft noise and was not campaigned for by Fingal County Council. The DAA, on paper at least, has said that it does not care who does the job as long as somebody does it.

The most obvious point made by so many citizens is that Fingal County Council could not undertake this task. The fact that it is being given this task flies in the face of what has been done by other EU jurisdictions in this regard. Let us recap: eight member states do not need a regulator; eight others have designated the Irish Aviation Authority, IAA, equivalent as their regulator; five have designated a government Department; two have designated multiple bodies; two have not yet made a decision; and three, according to the Minister, Deputy Ross, have designated one or more local, regional or federal authority as the competent authority. Ireland is lumped in with Germany and the UK, but the devil is in the detail because no member state, including the UK and Germany, has designated to one local authority. Ireland as the only country to do so is an outlier.

There is good reason other member states have not done this but there is a particularly good reason in the Irish context, namely, the over-reliance of Fingal County Council on the rate base of the DAA, not to mention the fact that the council has no expertise in regard to noise. In saying that Fingal County Council is not appropriate, we are proposing an alternative. That alternative, supported by most of the Opposition - hopefully, all of the Opposition when it comes to a vote - is the Commission for Aviation Regulation, CAR. I put it to the Minister that his assessment in the briefings we got that the Commission for Aviation Regulation is not suitable because it does not have any expertise, capacity or an organisational framework, was not a correct assessment of the Commission for Aviation Regulation. It is an assessment in the present and does not take into account the decision made by Government in 2017 which will result in the break up of the IAA such that we will have one regulator in this State for the aviation sector, as we should. The CAR will become that regulator. It is utterly ridiculous that we would set up a regulatory body and not give over to that body one of the biggest functions of regulation. That is utter lunacy.

I agree there are serious problems with the IAA. It is true that it has a high level of expertise and employee engagement that would be suitable to this task but its current format in terms of its commercial and regulatory remit makes it unsuitable. Somebody said to me last week that it is like asking the Hutchs and Kinahans to take responsibility for Garda overtime. This is the oversight we have currently in terms of aviation.

I support the Minister's call to break up the IAA and to remove its regulatory function. Yesterday, in a reply to a question the Minister told me that work in regard to the IAA is well under way and that there is a high level team working on it. It is true that new legislation would be necessary to give the CAR a more enhanced basis but that would not delay this function moving to it. This function is an occupation of this piece of legislation. We can designate this regulatory function in advance to the CAR on the basis that, as the Minister told me yesterday, the high level group will have the assessment on the break up of the IAA and the transfer of its functions to the CAR done by the summer. The takes away from the argument being put forward by Fianna Fáil that Fingal County Council should be the fall-back position. A fall-back position is the position one takes when one loses one's main goal. I take it from that that Fianna Fáil will be supporting the CAR as the competent authority. If not, then Fingal County Council is not the fall-back position and it is putting forward the council with a caveat. To me, that is not what residents want.

The only excuse I have heard in terms of what I have proposed is that it would delay the process. I have heard no argument that validates that position. Why would it delay the process? The dogs in the street know that Fingal County Council does not have the expertise to carry out this function. Everybody knows that that expertise will have to be bought in in the short term regardless of what body is designated the competent authority. The idea that that expertise can be contained within Fingal County Council based on the salary scales and staff breakdown which the Minister's office gave us in committee is utterly ludicrous. This is not a format that will suit a regulatory function of this character given the substantial interests at stake.

I appeal to Fianna Fáil to stand with the rest of the Opposition and support the CAR as the best alternative because Fingal County Council does not wash with anybody in the area. I say that with no disrespect to anybody in Fingal County Council. A local authority is a different type of body with a different set up. There is a reason no other country in Europe has done this. A local authority is not suitable. This is being done for political expediency. This is not good enough when it comes to legislation that will have to operate into the future. If there was a slight delay in terms of what I am proposing - I do not accept there would be - it would be a price worth paying given that the Department delayed and dragged its heels for years on this issue. This is completely unacceptable. I strongly recommend the CAR as the competent authority.

I am very sympathetic to the viewpoint expressed by my colleague, Deputy Clare Daly, in regard to the designation of the CAR as the competent authority. When I first reviewed this Bill I felt that a truly independent regulator would be the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA. As the Minister knows, the EPA already has a very strong role in regard to noise regulation and powers in regard to the licensing of organisations in regard to noise.

I reminded the Minister on Second Stage that when he was in Seanad Éireann, and in opposition in this House, he fulminated against weak regulators, against regulators that had been captured by companies that they were supposed to regulate, and against regulators who could not be independent in their function. However, the Minister comes to us here again tonight with this Bill on Report Stage, and is going to follow a course of action that will produce exactly that same impact. I live in Fingal and represent constituents in that area. I have a high regard for officials in Fingal County Council but the reality is that the organisation would simply be too heavily compromised. There is a very intense conflict of interest here which has to be recognised. The Minister reminded me, again on Second Stage, that 8% of Fingal County Council's total income comes directly from the DAA.

We have put a figure to the Minister, where residents of St. Margaret's and north County Dublin generally, said that the companies and ancillary businesses, logistics companies, hotels and all of the other businesses in the airport region who are such a fundamental part of the area amount to at least 20% of the area's business. If Fingal was a country rather than a county, a huge portion of its GDP would be provided by the airport.

A fundamental principle is being violated here. It goes against what the Minister said throughout most of his own political career regarding regulation, particularly financial regulation. Regulators have to be vigorously independent and not be totally captured by the companies they regulate.

There was also concern that Fingal County Council would have to raise the funding. Residents and constituents brought this to our attention. At present the resources of Fingal County Council, as revealed by a freedom of information request, are such that only three staff are involved in noise regulation: a principal health officer and two environmental health officers. However, they would be given a massive additional task. The Minister will say that the Bill proposes a series of levies which Fingal County Council would impose on the DAA in order to provide this function. That makes the point once more that the county council is too dependent on this organisation. Given the intertwined and dependent relationship between Fingal County Council and the DAA, it is impossible that the Minister should be embarking on this course of action.

I also mentioned in my Second Stage speech that a reasonable case had been made for the Commission for Aviation Regulation. I will support that proposal with colleagues with regard to the role of the CAR since the passing of the Aviation Regulation Act 2001. When one looks at Directive 598, it states that the competent authority responsible for adopting noise-related operating restrictions should be independent of any organisation involved in the airport's operation, air transport and air navigation services. There are a wide range of tasks that the CAR would have an interest in, and to which this responsibility would be added. I agree with colleagues in this regard.

When I first looked at this legislation I felt we needed a truly independent organisation. I felt that the Environmental Protection Agency, properly beefed up, would be able to fulfil that function. The key problem in this area is the fragmented nature of noise regulation. Deputy Clare Daly reminded us earlier of the 40 and 45 decibel levels which are in the World Health Organization guidelines, which I fully support and voted for with Deputy Coppinger. One of our problems is that we have this fragmentation of noise regulation. County councils like Fingal County Council, often with very small staff numbers, are asked to carry out a significant range of functions regarding noise, including noise from construction, commercial bodies, neighbourhood noise, barking dogs and so on. We have long-needed a consolidated Bill. In a previous Dáil, the former Deputy Cuffe of the Green Party brought forward such a Bill. The idea of such a Bill would ultimately have been to have a truly independent noise regulator. SI 178/1994 gave the EPA powers, linking it through the District Court process, in the whole area of noise. If one looks across other jurisdictions, like the United States or Sweden, it tends to be a broadly-based environmental agency that has this power.

I believe the Minister is on the wrong course in this regard. He is putting a duty on the county council which will leave it hopelessly compromised between discharging its duties to its own future financial and economic viability and its duties to the population, the 300,000 people of Fingal, especially the thousands who live on the flight paths, including in my own constituency in Dublin Bay North. The county council is being put into a hopelessly conflicted position. I urge the Minister to look again at this issue and to accept what most colleagues, and many of the airport's immediate neighbours, would like, namely, that the Commission for Aviation Regulation would be the regulator.

I wish to point out that amendment No. 100 concerns a three-year review of the Act. Other colleagues may have tabled amendments in that regard. We are used to three-year reviews. During discussion on the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill, we had a debate as to whether it would be five years or three years. On the Mental Health Act we had the same debate as to whether it was ten or five years. I urge the Minister that we could do this in order to do justice to the immediate neighbours of the airport and to us all. We could place the invigilation of Fingal County Council, if it gets through this process, under a review process after a maximum of three years.

I call Deputies Ellis, Brendan Ryan and Catherine Murphy in that order.

Gabhaim buíochas leis an gCathaoirleach Gníomhach. Amendment No. 12, tabled by Deputy Munster, is similar to the amendment tabled by Deputy Clare Daly and others. This is an amendment replacing Fingal County Council with the Commission for Aviation Regulation. Fingal County Council is not an appropriate authority to carry out this function. It was chosen in a hurry because the Minister left it too late to bring in a competent authority for noise regulation. The deadline was therefore missed when the Minister realised that the Irish Aviation Authority was not going to be permitted to carry out the function because it failed the independence tests. It is a little surprising that Fingal County Council passed the independence tests, as it is paid rates by the airport. We should be moving away from the practice of having bodies regulate entities they rely upon for their income.

It is the same with the Irish Aviation Authority and safety regulation, although apparently legislation is due which will break up the IAA for that very reason. If it is not appropriate in the case of the IAA and civil aviation regulation, why should it be allowed in the case of Fingal County Council and the regulation of noise? Neither the CAR nor Fingal County Council have the relevant experience as of now. The CAR is going to be taking up an additional function in the regulation of civil aviation. It makes perfect sense that it would also regulate noise. It does not inspire confidence that Fingal County Council would be the regulator. It is not transparent or appropriate. It is clear that this was a rushed job because the Minister missed the deadline set by the EU. I am urging Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael members of the committee to reconsider this and to vote with myself and others who have submitted amendments calling for the CAR to be the competent authority. Local residents have expressed opposition to Fingal County Council becoming the regulator. These people's lives will be affected by the decisions taken. It is important that the regulator has the confidence of all stakeholders. Local residents feel that they have been left out of this entire process. We need to ensure that their very valid concerns are listened to.

There is also the matter of the conditions attached to planning permission for the new runway at the airport. Residents are concerned that Fingal County Council might remove current flight restrictions. Fingal County Council is paid by the airport and is the local authority also, which means that there are concerns around independence.

I urge the Minister, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to seriously consider changing the regulator. If we are to do this, we should do it properly.

We are here late on a Wednesday evening and there are people in the Gallery who have made the journey in from St. Margaret's, Portmarnock, Swords and Malahide to listen to a debate on very important legislation. I have no problem whatsoever with Members coming in here to argue their point and make a serious argument in the direction in which they are intending to vote. However, what we have seen already tonight, and I hope we will not be wasting our time for the whole debate, is Members stand up and argue a particular position and then, at the vote, they sit on their hands. We might as well fold up our tents and go home if that is what we are going to witness for the rest of this debate tonight.

I have four amendments in this grouping, Nos. 2, 10, 14 and 49, which all propose to replace Fingal County Council with "CAR" - the Commission for Aviation Regulation. I am disappointed with the Minister. From parliamentary questions before the legislation was introduced, to Second Stage, to Committee Stage and on to Report Stage tonight, I had hoped the Minister would be listening. The Minister will say he is listening and he has listened to residents, but he has ignored residents and has ignored the views of Opposition Deputies, who are only making the points they are making because they genuinely feel he is doing the wrong thing.

Fingal County Council is not sufficiently independent. Apart from it being an economic partner of the DAA, apart from it receiving serious rates income from the DAA and apart from the conflict of interest that results from this, a further result of this legislation would be the need for Chinese walls so people do not talk to one another in Fingal County Council. It is absurd and it is unacceptable for residents.

Apart from the issues about finance and so on, there are two references we have dealt with before that I will deal with again tonight because it is important we lay it out. These are two references from EU Regulation No. 598/2014 and they demonstrate that the proposal to have Fingal County Council as the competent authority does not meet the independence test. Recital No. 13 of the regulation, which we are bringing into Irish law, states:

The competent authority responsible for adopting noise-related operating restrictions should be independent of any organisation involved in the airport’s operation, air transport or air navigation service provision, or representing the interests thereof and of the residents living in the vicinity of the airport. This should not be understood as requiring Member States to modify their administrative structures...

Article 3.2 provides that:

The competent authorities shall be independent of any organisation which could be affected by noise-related action. That independence may be achieved through a functional separation.

It could not be clearer. I talked at length on Second Stage about functional separation, which is a piece of EU jargon. The best-known example is the ESB, which is true functional separation. EirGrid is only concerned with the grid, Electric Ireland with sales and the ESB with generation. None of these three functionally separate entities has mixed or overlapping functions. In the case of Fingal County Council, however, the CEO of the council is to be given certain functions, which he is to perform without direction from the council. At the same time, he is to remain as CEO of the council and that will continue to be his day job.

The legal advice we have received is that if this Bill is enacted as proposed, there is a real risk of it being challenged before the European Court of Justice. The alternative we are proposing is that there should be an alternative competent authority. The Minister has definitely got it wrong. Although Deputy Broughan suggested the EPA as a possibility, we are united in our belief that the CAR is the best way forward. Fianna Fáil should come on board. We can achieve independence if we operate together and can achieve what the residents are rightly demanding.

No one is saying there should not be regulation, including the DAA, which accepts regulation. As has been said, there is an urgency in this regard. This is precisely a situation where we can get things badly wrong. We are appalling at building institutions that are coherent. We have fragmentation and conflicts of interest all over the place. The Minister knows coherent regulation is critical and he knows that separation and independence are critical for good regulation.

It is not a question of doing something just to get something done or to have it in place because there is a timeline issue. It is important to get this right. There is no doubt there is a conflict, and we can see that conflict before anything is even adjudicated upon. I have commented on the issue of these Chinese walls in other regulation formats. There is this idea that people do not go to coffee together and have a chat, or that things do not come up in conversation. We might have one part of a local authority dealing, for example, with a planning application and, on the other side, dealing with an area where a regulation has to be applied to the same broad range of issues. To be honest, for most of us the jaw dropped when we heard there would not be a problem in regard to the local authority being the one to deal with regulation in this area.

The Minister knows the importance of proper regulation and I cannot believe it would not have jumped out that this was going to be a problem. We are united in our opposition. I hope there is a way of dealing with this and that the Minister will listen. This is not going to work and it is not good regulation. Votes will be called on this and I will support the amendments. The Minister might reflect on whether there is another way to do this and decide that the CAR is the optimum way to go. I do not believe the local authority is appropriate or even that it is in the interests of the local authority to be the regulator.

The key issues in regard to Fingal County Council not being the competent authority for noise pollution are that it has a conflict of interest in regard to its rates reliance, it does not have the skills and it is not democratic in that it is not the full local authority involved but its CEO. I want to go through some of those points again with the Minister in the hope that he and other Members of the Independent Alliance, who are sitting together tonight and who would have been the voice against corruption and the voice of reason, will see that people have been putting forward a very reasoned argument.

The first is the rates issue. As has been said, the idea that one can receive a significant amount of one's income from one source and be completely honest about that entity does not wash with anybody anymore. To give one example, when Fingal County Council gave permission to Aer Rianta to open up the northern runway, it received €21 million in that development transaction alone. Nobody is saying there is anything wrong with this; it is just a fact that it was reliant on it.

The Minister believes Fingal County Council is competent and has the skills. I will give him a few recent examples of where it was very light touch in protecting residents from noise from the airport. In December it presented a noise action plan to a full council meeting. I wish to refer to a few points about how it responded. The future impact of the northern runway which the council is meant to address in the plans was not included. On the number of dwellings that would be increased in terms of exposure to night-time noise - it was due to be increased by 380% - the council noted it. It did not state anything about it. It did not designate quiet areas, which was another function of the plan. It would not accept a motion from the Green Party on the acceptance of WHO guidelines. That was the debate we just had and the Minister did not accept it either. The council is meant to be independent, but it would not accept a motion in that regard from the Green Party. They are some of the examples from those who have been monitoring the approach of the council in its role of protecting citizens where it has not fulfilled its responsibilities. The EPA would be an appropriate competent authority as it now does noise mapping, but I am willing to go along with the consensus and speak with one voice with the other Deputies.

I invite the Minister to comment on the fact that Fingal County Council has not yet adhered to basic noise guidelines. It just does not wash that the council is competent to be completely in charge of that issue. On who would be competent, the EPA is one possibility. On Committee Stage, skulduggery in dealing with the issue was raised. The Department gave the impression that the EPA had no interest in the issue and did not want to be considered as the competent authority, but in replies to freedom of information requests we found the position to be otherwise. How does it sit with the Independent Alliance to be given very strange information in that regard? I am happy to concede that the Commission for Aviation Regulation would have more knowledge of aviation and be able to fulfil the role.

I wish to finish by commenting on the position of Fianna Fáil which, as others have said, will not go unremarked on. The party speaks as if it is with everybody and the residents, but in the crucial votes, one of which was on the WHO guidelines and now on this amendment, it must decide on which side it is. The party did not support the amendment on Committee Stage and I do not know if it has changed its opinion, but it was extremely sly in the previous vote when it did not indicate any opposition to the amendment but then mobilised some Deputies who then abstained in the vote. It is most disappointing if residents are going to face a grand coalition of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael on this issue. It seems that Fianna Fáil will huff and puff, but it will not blow the house down when needed. The amendment is critical and the Minister must listen to the points that have been made about Fingal County Council's role to date and inability to be independent. I was on the council for 11 years and what I say is not a reflection on anyone working in it in any way, shape or form, but it is impossible for it to be independent as it is too connected, in addition to the fact that its rate base and development levies are intrinsically linked with the airport.

Will I wait to hear the Minister's reply before I make my contribution?

The Deputy can make his first contribution at anytime, but he can only make two interventions. When the Minister speaks for the second time, the only person who can speak after him is the mover of the motion.

I realise I can contribute twice, but will I be able to speak for seven minutes after the Minister?

The debate has been very useful. I acknowledge that there is a great deal of sincerity and merit in what many speakers have said, but I think they miss the point that it is very difficult to make changes to the Bill and that it is very difficult to accept many of the amendments because we are implementing an EU directive which we cannot change. We are now dealing with the most contentious issue, the one in which we do have a choice and we have made a choice. It has been our decision to appoint Fingal County Council as the noise regulator. I know from the debate that it is not popular in some quarters and understand the historical background to the perception, but that does not mean that the decision we have made is not the right call. As I made clear on Committee Stage, the regulatory process will be robust, rigorous and immune from inappropriate outside influence. The choice of Fingal County Council has been rigorously tested, including on points of law, and has withstood those tests. That is why I am holding firm on the decision which was made by the Government last year. Fingal County Council is the right choice and the Bill provides for a robust system of checks and balances which will ensure an open and transparent process that will fully appealable to an independent body in the form of An Bord Pleanála. Something that has been noticeably missing from the debate is an acknowledgement that there is a right of appeal to An Bord Pleanála which has full step-in regulatory powers.

The Bill is of significant national importance. The only viable option is availig of the full structure, experience and accountability of Fingal County Council. I am confident that the council will be a robust regulator and that, once in place, it will carry out the functions of the competent authority in an open and transparent manner. The Bill supports Ireland's connectivity and economic progress and provides a strong and independent regime to regulate noise levels at Dublin Airport to ensure residents' rights will be protected. I believe in the effectiveness of local government by local authorities. I believe giving Fingal County Council additional legal powers to regulate noise levels at Dublin Airport makes perfect sense. It is joined-up public administration and empowering local government. Allowing a local authority to make local decisions is in the best interests of providing a readily accessible, fully transparent and locally accountable process for managing and monitoring noise levels at Dublin Airport. For these reasons, I will not be accepting the amendments.

The points the Deputies are making have some merit. Conflict of interest is one issue they have all raised. I accept that Fingal County Council receives 8% of the revenue. The Deputies are correct, but that means that 92% of revenue comes from elsewhere. For people such as Deputy Broughan, to use such rhetoric in this House as the regulator must not be totally captured by companies it regulates-----

That is not what I said.

The Deputy did say it.

This is the Chamber for rhetoric.

That is not total capture. I accept that the council receives 8% of its revenue from one source, but it must be acknowledged that it obtains 92% of its revenue from elsewhere.

It is still a major source.

Let us not hype it up to an extent which is pretty well unacceptable. I accept the merits of what has been said about the Irish Aviation Authority, IAA, and the Commission for Aviation Regulation, CAR. Everybody knows that the IAA was the first choice, but what happened was that the Attorney General was of the view that there was too big of a conflict of interest. We accepted this.

We went elsewhere, where there was not a conflict of interest. As I said in my statement, that was legally tested. The Office of the Attorney General has deemed this to be an acceptable choice. The Irish Aviation Authority, IAA, was not deemed to be an acceptable choice because of the conflict of interest difficulties.

No one is arguing for the IAA.

It should be the Commission for Aviation Regulation, CAR.

I ask Deputies to accept that this is the best choice. It is the best fit. When we look at some of the arguments about the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, and the merits of having environmental or noise expertise, Fingal County Council wins hands down on those criteria.

I welcome the opportunity to contribute to this debate and I remind Deputy Brendan Ryan that this EU regulation was introduced in June 2014 when his party was in government. That Government had 18 months in which to implement this measure. It could have implemented it and appointed any authority it wished if it had acted in those 18 months. Since becoming Fianna Fáil spokesperson in 2016, I have continuously raised this issue. We were told for 18 solid months that the IAA would be appointed the competent authority. It was only at the end of 2017 that the Minister said it was no longer legally feasible to do so and he would appoint a different competent authority, namely, Fingal County Council.

The Minister says he is simply implementing the EU directive, which means he is restricted in what he can do. The one thing he can do is make a decision on which body should be the competent authority. I have serious reservations about appointing Fingal County Council as the competent authority and have said the proposal to do so is out of sync with what other European countries are doing. The Minister has failed to share any of the Attorney General's advice or any of the legal advice he has received. I have worked in committee for several months with him and his officials to try to improve the Bill and ensure it would provide independence. That is why we put forward the amendment providing for a director of the competent authority on a par with the CEO. The Minister said that is not workable and if we pushed the proposal, the Bill would fall. I ask him to contradict me if I am wrong, but I believe the reason he cannot do that is that civil servants are looking after themselves. They do not want to change the status quo in local government. That is the only reason they are not willing to accept our amendment.

Let us be honest. There is an urgent need for this legislation. The directive was put in place in 2014 and it is now 2019. We need an authority in place to give certainty, not only to the residents but also to the Dublin Airport Authority, DAA.

Some of the previous speakers argued that Fingal County Council would be compromised because the DAA pays rates to the council. If that was the case, every local authority would be compromised in every decision it ever made. Local authorities would grant planning permissions willy-nilly to benefit from development levies and commercial rates. We are not saying that, however. Deputy Coppinger used the example of Aer Rianta and then said there was nothing wrong with that decision. One would wonder why she would use an example and then say there was nothing wrong with that decision.

The reason is it that it shows again-----

I want to know what concrete actions the Minister is taking in his proposal to ensure independence. The regulation states:

Member States should ensure that such information is reliable, that it is obtained in a transparent manner and that it is accessible to competent authorities and stakeholders. Competent authorities should put in place the necessary monitoring tools.

What measures will be introduced to ensure openness and transparency for all stakeholders? When we compare Fingal County Council with the EPA and CAR, the two alternatives suggested, the former is subject to an appeals process under An Bord Pleanála and to judicial review. If stakeholders are not happy with a decision, they can appeal to An Bord Pleanála. Fingal County Council has a much broader mandate than either CAR or the EPA. It currently has powers under the Environmental Noise Regulations 2006. Those powers are not being utilised fully, and I want to know what will done to ensure they are fully utilised. What will be done to ensure Fingal County Council is adequately resourced and has the necessary competent staff to ensure the residents' concerns are taken on board and dealt with in an open and transparent manner?

When colleagues refer to CAR as if it a great body that will be able to do this, they fail to acknowledge that it only has 20 staff. Similar to Fingal County Council, it would have to recruit to beef up its competencies and capabilities to do this work.

We have acknowledged that.

At the moment, CAR simply regulates what happens if somebody misses a flight or staff at an airline go on strike. If a customer is looking for reimbursement, CAR will look after that. It also sets the rates for the airport. I do not believe it has the necessary capabilities either. If CAR was appointed, it would have to be beefed up. What would be the relevant appeals body if the DAA or residents were not happy with a decision? It would probably be An Bord Pleanála.

The same position would apply.

If we were to go back to the drawing board, as some people are suggesting, we would prolong this for another 12 months. It has taken 12 months to reach this point and prolonging the process for another 12 months would result in any decision taken being adjudicated by An Bord Pleanála. To be fair, that body has been more than favourable to the area's residents in the past. Dublin Airport is key national infrastructure, which supports 117,000 jobs directly and indirectly. Nobody is talking about those jobs, the people who rely on the airport for their livelihoods, the country's reliance on the airport for connectivity or its role as an economic driver.

I have asked the Minister some very direct questions on how he will ensure openness, transparency and robustness. I have asked how he will ensure the staff have the competencies and capabilities necessary to deal with this in an open and transparent manner. I acknowledge that the stakeholders do not have confidence in this procedure at the moment, but hopefully we can build their confidence. I have also spoken to residents, some of whom told me they do not care which body is made the competent authority because they have grievances arising from their dealings with the DAA and the buyout. They would like to see an acceleration of that process to enable them to relocate and get away from the noise the airport inflicts on them.

I might be a Teachta Dála from what used to be Thiobraid Árann and is now Tipperary, but people from my community use Dublin Airport sometimes. We sometimes use Shannon and Cork airports to fly in and out of the country. I must say I have always been treated very fairly by all the staff, including those at the boarding gates. However, there are serious issues. Dublin Airport is thriving and we could readily take some of its business. The airport in the Minister of State's constituency of Waterford is small, but certainly some of that business could go to the regions, for example, Shannon Airport and Cork Airport. That possibility is not being considered here. It is all about expansion and trying to foist a big development - I am all for development - on a place that is already busy.

This is a typical example of an tAire, Deputy Ross, who, when he was in opposition for 30 years, could do everything. He had silver gloves and gold-plated fingers. He knew it all. He could sort out everything. He proclaimed about everything. Of course, he had the co-operation of the press. He had his own column. He could send people to the moon, keep them there if he wanted to, and bring them back again. He knew everything. However, since he went into the Department, and I wished him well when he was appointed because the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport was a wonderful portfolio to get, he has become an abject failure. He has made an unmitigated mess of everything he has touched. I say that for two reasons. The first is his lack of knowledge and disinterest and the second is that the power went to his head. It was like a drug. He listened to nobody. He would not take advice from anybody. He knew it all. He has his colleagues in the Independent Alliance. They are decent people but they will suffer at the polls because of the Minister's disastrous reign over the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and it is a disaster.

To come back to this legislation, I listened to Deputy Troy, who might as well be in coalition with Fine Gael because there is a confidence and supply agreement but it is all supply and no confidence. We now have the saga of the children's hospital and Fianna Fáil still will not vote no confidence in the Minister for Health because it is frightened of an election. It is frightened of the people. It is now facing the headlights. It will tell us it opposed the Minister's road traffic legislation all the way but in fact it put down one amendment about cyclists. The people of Ballyporeen, Hollyford and all parts of Tipperary and Waterford, the Déise, where the Minister of State, Deputy Halligan, comes from, have been affected. I have nothing against cyclists but one cannot keep 1.5 m-----

We are dealing with the Aircraft Noise (Dublin Airport) Regulation Bill.

I am dealing with the Bill. Some of us have to cycle to the airport or get there by taxi. We have to cycle to get a taxi. This Minister will not allow L plate drivers to drive. He has got an open cheque from Fianna Fáil. It might huff and puff, and to hear Deputy Troy one would think he was in opposition, but it is fake news. Come in Donald Trump. Fianna Fáil is the fake party, a party I was involved in all my life, and my father was a former member, but it is as fake now as one would find anywhere. Talk about fake and fraud. My God almighty. I am sorry for taking the Lord's name in vain.

The Deputy has to be careful with the language he uses.

Gabh mo leithscéal.

Gabh mo leithscéal is not enough. The Deputy is here a long time and he has to be careful with the language he uses.

Beidh mé cúramach. Gabh mo leithscéal, as I said. It is fake news, whatever way one wants to dress it up, and I should not invoke the Lord.

We talk about CAR. It has the expertise, we hope. I heard Deputy Troy say that An Bord Pleanála was fair. What was it expected to be if not fair? It is meant to be independent and honest in adjudicating on planning matters. I am surprised to hear him say it was fair. Does he want us to send it a medal to thank it? The people out in that area, the same as anywhere else in the country, are entitled to have their organisations. They are entitled to a night's sleep if they want a night's sleep, and there are conditions about the times of flights. That might inconvenience us if we are flying back from, say, the country where the Minister and the Minister of State, Deputy Halligan, were going to go one time to meet Kim Jong-un or wherever. At the time I said I hoped they would stay there. People may not be able to fly in at the time they want, but whatever.

The Minister will not consult and he will not listen, and there is none so blind as those who do not want to see. This is on his doorstep. He lives only 12 miles out the road. He should be able to get in here, get involved with all the stakeholders and try to progress and develop the airport but not bulldoze people also. He has advice from two Attorneys General, a former and the current one, and he will not publish that advice. He railed against that for decades. He asked if we could not get a second opinion and challenge the Attorney General's advice. He now has advice from two eminent Attorneys General and he is hiding behind it. There was no hiding place for anyone when the Minister had the pen. I was in his office on different days and he was writing. He cancelled everything to write that column. It had to be written. My God, he was powerful with that pen. There is nothing as poisonous as a pen. Words will not matter but the pen was mightier than the sword, and boy did the Minister use it, but it has all come back to haunt him.

This Minister, Deputy Ross, is the most inept Minister ever, although the Minister, Deputy Harris, is vying with him for a place. I do not know which of them will win the prize. His portfolio in terms of transport and tourism affected the entire country. The bus strike was on and he did not know anything about it. The Luas was too big to cross O'Connell Bridge but he did not know anything about it. He was imithe - as láthair. He was not at the wheel.

I support Deputy Clare Daly on many of her amendments. She is from the constituency. She knows far more about that area than I would ever learn, but I know also that the Minister is not interested. He got the finest Department but he is not interested in it. He is interested in saving his soul, opening Stepaside Garda station and throwing crumbs to the people out there, but they have copped on to him too. They are smart people. When The Irish Times starts ridiculing the Minister, he is in trouble out there. He was always envious of my coverage in The Irish Times. We sell only 40 copies in Tipperary but they sell plenty of them in south Dublin where the Minister is from and the people have copped on to him. He is a failure and a fraud.

It is just as well the Deputy's time is up.

This legislation is more bullying tactics.

That is not relevant.

What was the comment?

The word "fraud".

I told him that earlier. He cannot use it.

He should withdraw that. He is passing derogatory remarks about other people. It is outrageous.

I am asking Deputy McGrath to withdraw it.

No. I am not withdrawing it. I am telling the truth.

You might be wise to get advice.

I have plenty of advice. Do not worry.

No. You do not. You should take advice because you accused me last week of covering up for a Minister and you would not withdraw it. You cannot make outlandish statements in here.

You cannot make statements like that in here.

You said another word. It is not outrageous. It is a fact.

No. You said that I covered up for a Minister.

You would not let me speak. You were stopping me.

That is not a good enough reason.

Sin an seachtain seo caite. We are here now.

It is not just last week. I have a long memory.

On a point of order, is that a threat?

It is not a threat.

You have recourse to threaten me, report me or whatever.

I remember what happened last week.

I have a memory, but you-----

-----and you were wrong-----

-----said that because it is last week it is not relevant.

You stopped me and covered the Minister. I said that. You have recourse to challenge me-----

You are being childish.

-----and report me to the Committee on Procedure.

Act as a parliamentarian. We have round two and the first to indicate was Deputy Dessie Ellis. The Deputy has two minutes.

I come back to what the Minister said about the independence of Fingal County Council because he mentioned that it gets 8% of revenue. There is a lot going on at Dublin Airport. There is the new runway and more revenue will be coming in for Fingal County Council, so there is a vested interest for Fingal in terms of taking on board this job. People want to see independence. They want to see that there is someone neutral in place looking after their interests and not one that is benefiting from whatever new facilities or otherwise come into the airport. That is important, and the Minister should not dismiss it just on that basis.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation, CAR, has been mentioned. A number of people have said that is an appropriate group to do this. Fingal County Council would need extra staff, so if CAR needed extra staff, there is no reason it cannot get them to do such an important job.

I have been dealing with Fingal County Council over the years in terms of noise pollution from the M50 and Turnapin Lane where they put up barriers and so on. We are talking about a major task and the residents have a good case in saying that an independent group should do this.

I ask about amendment No. 100, which was in the range of amendments. What is the Minister's view on that amendment? His amendment No. 38 states that on the seventh anniversary of the date of commencement of this section and every five years after that there will be a review of the performance by the competent authority. Fianna Fáil, his partners in government, said that the first review should take place on the fifth anniversary. I have proposed that we should go for the third anniversary because three years would be a reasonable time in which to review the situation, given the tradition in this House of reviewing legislation. I mentioned some legislation on which we had a review. What is the Minister doing in that regard?

I notice that the Minister has failed to address the central argument that we have all made about the Commission for Aviation Regulation. He is ignoring the key issue and possibilities. He talks about a figure of 92% of income and so on, but clearly if a regulatory body was regulating a single company with a large chunk of its income coming from that particular area, it would place it in an invidious position. I am just saying that much for Fingal County Council.

The Minister also referred to An Bord Pleanála. A big section of the Bill deals with appeals, as the Minister rightly says. It is hard to envisage how it will work. If the CEO is the competent authority, he is also the planning officer; therefore, to whom does he talk? Does he talk to himself? Does he ask himself questions about whether a new large development at the airport should receive planning permission? Does he wait until he is finished dealing with the noise issue before he takes up that aspect? The Minister has not really gone into that matter or developed it.

I know that the tradition in the United Kingdom for a long time has been that it is the Civil Aviation Authority which regulates all airports. I know that people living around Heathrow Airport have had the debate about the third runway and been asking for a different kind of independent local authority, but there is no situation where the United Kingdom would have taken the local authority, whether it was the Kent or the greater London council, and given it that heavy responsibility. It went for a body which was one step back and that is what the Minister should do before he makes a bad mistake tonight.

I have to say the Minister's response to the House is an utter insult and that his handling of the matter has been absolutely atrocious. He got up and answered the debate by saying it was an EU directive and that we could not change it. Does he even listen to himself or know what he is saying? When the dogs on the streets know that every single EU member state has had the right to choose its own competent authority, the Minister is going to choose a different one. How, in God's name, is that not our function today? The only justification he gave was that he of the view that it was the right choice. He said the previous Attorney General had a conflict of interest in the case of the IAA, for which nobody here is arguing, and now Fingal County Council does not have that conflict of interest. In saying that the Minister does not address the points made by other Deputies and me. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, the conflict of interest which we highlighted stands because the Minister has not said one single thing to contradict it. The conflict of interest does not arise with the Commission for Aviation Regulation, CAR. Will the Minister, please, address some of the points made about why it was not chosen? We made some very good arguments as to why it should be the body chosen. The Minister has chosen a strategy of having one regulator. God forbid that it should regulate this area.

On Deputy Troy's contribution, I did not talk about jobs or connectivity because it was irrelevant for the purposes of this discussion. I did not talk about the appeals process or what would happen because it was irrelevant. The appeals process will be what it is for Fingal County Council. It will be to An Bord Pleanála if we choose the CAR because that is what is in front of us in the legislation. The word "ugency" was mentioned, but that boat sailed long ago and if this or the previous Government was keen on urgency, it would have addressed the issue before now.

This is not the only member state that has not yet enacted the regulation. A slight delay would not do any harm, but I have not heard anything that would lead me to believe such a delay is necessary or inevitable if the CAR is chosen because whatever organisation is chosen, it needs the expertise. Therefore, that too is a red herring. We need to go with the CAR. If we are talking about having a one stop regulatory body, that is the body that should deal with the issue of noise.

This is the third time I have played handball with the Minister. I have made points, but the Minister just bats them back and says I am wrong and that he is right. I have no interest in playing handball here all night in making the same points and getting the same responses. The Minister uses language in which he tells Members that they are missing the point. That means that he gets it and that the rest of us are missing the point. It is very difficult to change anything.

In terms of being robust, rigorous and immune, the Minister has said Fingal County Council has withstood all of the tests. How has it withstood all of them? The regulatory body has not yet been set up. The tests are yet to be made and Fingal County Council might well fail them. The argument being made in favour of it is that we have An Bord Pleanála. The argument is that this new legislation is being set up with many people not having trust in Fingal County Council to do the job, but the Minister is saying one can go to An Bord Pleanála. That will be the point of last resort on all of these issues because people will not trust the council to be the competent authority. They will continue to go to An Bord Pleanála if this continues and it is very busy, as things stands. It cannot keep pace with the work it has to do. Therefore, this is the wrong decision at so many levels.

The Minister has said there is some merit in our arguments, but he has asked us to accept that this is the best choice. In other words, he is right. This is the best fit and he is right, as he says. He asks us to accept that he is right and that all of us are wrong. However, we are not all wrong. There are some intelligent people here making intelligent arguments. I have no doubt that if the Minister was in opposition at this time - I was with him in the Seanad from 2007 - he would be arguing the same point we are arguing.

On Deputy Troy's contribution, I expected Fianna Fáil Members to come and sit on their hands on this issue because that is what I anticipated they would do, but I did not expect the Fianna Fáil spokesperson to come and argue the case for the Minister and against our amendments. That is shocking.

The European Union's competence is not to determine who the regulator should be in this country. In fact, the concept of subsidiarity determines that we have a right to make these decisions for ourselves. That is just a statement of fact. It is not going to tell us that we have to select Fingal County Council to be the regulator. We have entire autonomy in doing so. That is the nonsensical stuff that was fed, for example, to people in the United Kingdom for decades and part of the reason we are in a situation where there is such misinformation on Brexit. We have the entire responsibility and autonomy in selecting who the regulator will be. Let us be clear about that.

That is correct and there has never been any doubt about it.

It is not that people always agree with a regulator, but the one thing they need to have is trust that it is independent. What is done to achieve this is avoiding conflicts. A regulator is not picked that will be put in harm's way in terms of conflicts, but that is what will happen here. Fingal County Council is one of the better local authorities in many respects, but the Minister will create a situation where, on the one hand, it will make a decision in dealing with one set of issues and, on the other, he will pretty much ask it to regulate itself in dealing with some of the matters on which it will have to adjudicate. How can that possibly help to build trust? If people do not have trust, we will run into difficulty. Of all people the Minister understands this because he has talked for long enough about independence and regulation, not necessarily in the sense of this issue, but he understands the points and is defending the indefensible.

One thing that is missing from the debate on the different amendments and noise levels in Dublin is the fact that Dublin is under pressure. We see it in the fiasco with the national children's hospital, but we also see it at the airport where the volume of traffic is growing, which is good. Nobody disputes this, but there is a bridge that cannot be crossed. I know that the Minister is aware of plans and that the Department had been asked for a letter of support.

If one looks at other airports in different parts of the world, some of them might be 30 to 60 miles away from a city. I am aware that a proposal was put to the Minister regarding the midlands, and the Minister has said that he will make an application to Europe. I have in mind Knock airport and TEN-T. The Minister said he will apply in the next couple of months but it is nearly three years since the programme for Government stated that the Government would make an application to Europe in the first three months. I am not saying this is due to the Minister, but there is no willingness in the Department. It is the metro or something else rather than putting in the application.

As others have mentioned, areas of this country will be seriously affected by Brexit. Airports are strategically important, but we are putting more noise and problems in one area. The Government has plans to supposedly reduce carbon and get more people onto trains. There are railway lines in the midlands and in this new great world the Minister talks about they will be electrified, probably at a cost of €3 billion. A connection could be made to that. Many of us go to other parts of the world where airlines such as Ryanair fly to airports 30 to 50 miles outside an area and there is a quick system of getting into the area, rather than putting everything in that area and congesting it. The Minister will bring regional development in that way. It is a way forward for other regions as well, such as Cork and Shannon. Knock has been left on its own. It is not seeking a miracle, just a status in respect of applying for TEN-T and airports in peripheral areas. There is no point in somebody driving in a car from Mayo to Dublin if there is an airport nearby. It is putting pressure for more aeroplanes to come into Dublin.

It will be three years in May since the commitment was given that this would be done within three months for that area with regard to TEN-T. Rosslare port and other ports were mentioned as well. This is for the different parts of Ireland, especially with Brexit coming, and to cater for places such as Donegal. We have talked about the port in Killybegs being deepened. The Minister must make sure he gives a chance to different areas. If he keeps trying to put runways and more aeroplanes in one area there will be more problems. There is no doubt about that. People who bought a house that was far enough away from the city at one time are now finding it more difficult to live in that area. Solutions have to be found. Air travel is increasing in this country, which is great. One can see the number of passengers flying into and out of the country. However, if we keep trying to pour the concrete in one spot we will leave out other areas. Many people who travel to other countries have no problem with sitting in a bus or a train that will shuttle them quite quickly to the capital city of that country, if that is where they wish to go, or there might be options to go to other places.

The Department must consider where it is going in all of this if private operators want to get a letter of support. The investment comes where there are institutes of technology and different agencies and colleges. One can ensure that there is regional development and a focus on other areas rather compounding the problems for the people around Dublin.

Does the Minister wish to speak now?

Do I have two more opportunities?

No, just one. The only person who has three opportunities is the Member who moved the amendment, Deputy Clare Daly. There are no other Members offering so I call on the Minister.

It is appropriate to make it absolutely clear that there was no suggestion that anybody outside of the Government made a decision on the choice of the competent authority. That is our responsibility, and we are standing over Fingal County Council. On other amendments I said we could not interfere with the EU directive. It is not part of the directive to direct us who to choose. We chose Fingal County Council and we stand behind it. For Deputies Clare Daly and Catherine Murphy to say that I was suggesting that it was dictated by Europe is wrong. It was not. We chose Fingal County Council and we are happy with that.

The conflict of interest issue has probably been played out at this stage.

This has been a good, high level debate. After such a debate with people making sincere comments, it is difficult to listen to people intervening in ways that are totally irrelevant and speaking about things that have nothing to do with this debate. It debases the value of what is happening. Deputy Mattie McGrath is not here, unfortunately. He might be a great judge of public opinion but it was notable that in the campaign to repeal the eighth amendment he led from an extraordinary situation where he could not even deliver his own village. Newcastle voted for repeal.

That is not relevant to this.

It is relevant because-----

It is not relevant.

-----people were allowed to say extraordinary things.

The Minister has waited a long time. He does not have to follow that lead.

How far did everybody in this House go towards engaging-----

Deputy Clare Daly has two minutes.

No, I want to talk about engaging-----

No, you had two minutes and you did not take advantage of it. You strayed off. You have criticised me at other times if I allowed Members to stray. You are not in a privileged position.

I am not suggesting that.

Every Member is the same here. Deputy Clare Daly has two minutes.

The sad reality-----

Hold on, Deputy Daly. Deputy Troy has two minutes. I will call Deputy Clare Daly last.

It is unfortunate that the Minister followed suit with Deputy Mattie McGrath because I asked him some direct questions about Fingal County Council and ensuring the independence, transparency and robustness of this Bill. I expected answers.

I will answer them on the next amendments.

I would appreciate that. I proposed an amendment that was not supported by the Opposition parties. I respect their right to make their decisions on what they perceive to be right, just as I am entitled to make my decision on behalf of the party. I have not hidden that at any stage. I am also entitled to argue why I made that decision. My biggest problem with Fingal County Council from the outset was whether it had the competencies and staff required to deal with this. At present it does not, nor does CAR. We can get them into Fingal County Council but I wanted to know from the Minister when that can happen. This regulation states clearly that it must be dealt with in an open and transparent manner that is accessible to all stakeholders, ensuring that the concerns of the residents will be addressed. That is what I want to ensure.

I put forward my amendment because I am conscious that the Minister is pursuing this. I wish he was not, and if I was in the Government I would do something different. When Deputy Brendan Ryan's party had 18 months in government to do something about this it could have done something different. The amendment I submitted was to ensure that a periodic review would be undertaken by an independent competent authority.

I ask the Minister to accept my amendment rather than his proposal of a review after seven years.

I cited examples of Fingal County Council seeming not to have done what it ought in regard to aircraft noise. In spite of that, the Minister is happy to proceed. The Minister and Fianna Fáil are of the view that if Fingal County Council is the regulator, there is, at least, the possibility of appeal to An Bord Pleanála. Can anybody explain how residents who think that too many aeroplanes are flying over their house and making too much noise will get any satisfaction from An Bord Pleanála? It is a suitable forum for objecting to a new development at the airport. There should be, however, an independent regulator to hold the Dublin Airport Authority to task when required. It is not viable for residents to have to go to An Bord Pleanála to deal with aircraft noise.

On Second Stage, it seemed that Fianna Fáil would support the residents who are objecting to Fingal County Council being the independent regulator, but its position seemed to change subsequently. It may have changed based on events on Committee Stage. This is the most important decision in regard to the Bill. It must decide what it wants to do.

The response of the Minister on this issue was shocking. It was he who, in response to this debate, raised the issue of the EU directive and stated that it could not be changed. He went down a cul-de-sac in his reply because he felt that he had been attacked. He shirked his ministerial responsibility to deal with the issues at the heart of this debate which mean so much to people living in the affected area. He stated that conflict of interest issues have been dealt with, but they have not. Those issues have been comprehensively put forward by Members across all Opposition groups on this side of the House but the Minister has not rebutted any of their reasoned objections. I am shocked by his behaviour.

We have a chance to do something good tonight. The Government made a strategic decision in 2017 to set up a single aviation regulator which would be responsible for economic, safety and security regulation. That process is under way. The strategic group charged with delivering it is due to report before the summer. I refer to the new CAR which has not been evaluated. No conflict of interest in regard to CAR has been perceived or articulated at any stage of the process. The only objection to its being appointed regulator is that it does not have sufficient staff to carry out that duty. As Deputy Troy pointed out, neither does Fingal County Council. If Fingal County Council can recruit the required staff and garner sufficient expertise, CAR could do likewise. Legislation would be required to allow it to assume a revamped role, but we are discussing regulation to give effect to this regulatory function. CAR is the best fit as regulator and its appointment as such would be in keeping with decisions made by several of our EU partners. It would also avoid the point made by Deputy Brendan Ryan that by proceeding with Fingal County Council as regulator, the Government is leaving itself open to legal challenges.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 30; Níl, 45; Staon, 9.

  • Brady, John.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon

  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Troy, Robert.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Clare Daly and Brendan Ryan; Níl, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin.
Amendment declared lost.
Amendments Nos. 3 to 5, inclusive, not moved.

I move amendment No. 6:

In page 6, line 19, after “Council” to insert the following:

“and recognizing that the Commission has stated that based on the work the WHO has undertaken regarding the assessment of the health impact of noise that the Commission will be revising Annex III of Directive 2002/49/EC to take account of this health impact”.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 39; Níl, 45; Staon, 0.

  • Brady, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Lahart, John.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Clare Daly and Robert Troy; Níl, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin.
Amendment declared lost.

Amendment No. 7 has already been discussed with amendment No. 2. Where stands amendment No. 7?

I move amendment No. 7:

In page 6, between lines 19 and 20, to insert the following:

“ “EPA” means the Environmental Protection Agency;”.

Amendment put and declared lost.

Amendment No. 8 has already been discussed with amendment No. 2.

I move amendment No. 8:

In page 6, to delete line 20.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 9:

In page 6, between lines 21 and 22, to insert the following:

“ “local financial year” means local financial year within the meaning of section 96 of the Act of 2001;”.

Amendment put and declared carried.
Amendments Nos. 10 and 11 not moved.

I move amendment No. 12:

In page 7, line 8, to delete “FCC” and substitute “The Commission for Aviation Regulation”.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 29; Níl, 44; Staon, 9.

  • Brady, John.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon

  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Troy, Robert.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Denise Mitchell; Níl, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin.
Amendment declared lost.
Amendment No. 13 not moved.

I move amendment No. 14:

In page 7, to delete lines 10 to 38, and in page 8, to delete lines 1 to 12.

Amendment put and declared lost.
Amendments Nos. 15 to 19, inclusive, not moved.

I move amendment No. 20:

In page 7, lines 14 and 15, to delete “Section 148 of the Act of 2001 shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to the chief executive, this Act and the Act of 2000 as that section applies” and substitute the following:

“Sections 148 and 154 of the Act of 2001 shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to the chief executive, this Act and the Act of 2000 as those sections apply”.

Amendment put.

Deputies

Vótáil.

Will the Deputies claiming a division please rise?

Deputies Thomas P. Broughan, Michael Collins, Catherine Connolly, Ruth Coppinger, Clare Daly, Michael Fitzmaurice, Mattie McGrath, Thomas Pringle and Mick Wallace rose.

As fewer than ten Members have risen I declare the amendment carried. In accordance with Standing Order 72 the names of the Deputies dissenting will be recorded in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Dáil.

Amendment declared carried.
Amendments Nos. 21 to 37, inclusive, not moved.

I move amendment No. 38:

In page 8, between lines 7 and 8, to insert the following:

“(9) (a) The Minister shall, not less than once before—

(i) the 7th anniversary of the date of commencement of this section, and

(ii) the expiration of each successive period of 5 years following that 7th anniversary,

by notice in writing appoint a person to carry out a review of the performance by the competent authority of its functions as the competent authority.

(b) A person appointed under paragraph (a) shall, as soon as is practicable after he or she has carried out the review referred to in that paragraph, prepare and submit to the Minister a report in writing on the results of the review.

(c) The competent authority shall, as soon as is practicable after the expiration of a local financial year of the competent authority (including, if applicable, the expiration of part of such year in the case of the first report prepared and published pursuant to this paragraph) but, in any case, not later than 3 months after such expiration, prepare, and publish on its website, a report—

(i) in relation to the performance of its functions during such year, and

(ii) setting out the competent authority’s work programme for the performance of its functions in the competent authority’s current local financial year.”.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 43; Níl, 32; Staon, 0.

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Níl

  • Brady, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Robert Troy and Mattie McGrath.
Amendment declared carried.

I move amendment No. 39:

In page 8, between lines 7 and 8, to insert the following:

“(9) (a) The Minister shall, not less than once before—

(i) the 5th anniversary of the date of commencement of this section, and

(ii) the expiration of each successive period of 5 years following that 5th anniversary,

by notice in writing appoint a person to carry out a review of the performance by the competent authority of its functions as the competent authority.

(b) A person appointed under paragraph (a) shall, as soon as is practicable after it has carried out the examination referred to in that paragraph, prepare and submit to the Minister a report in writing on the results of the examination.

(c) The competent authority shall each year publish a report in relation to the performance of its functions in the previous year and its proposed work programme for the following year.”.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 32; Níl, 44; Staon, 0.

  • Brady, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Robert Troy and Michael Moynihan; Níl, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 40:

In page 9, line 10, to delete "(within the meaning of section 96 of the Act of 2001)".

Amendment put and declared carried.

I move amendment No. 41:

In page 9, to delete lines 18 to 20.

Amendment put and declared lost.

Amendments Nos. 42 and 43 are related and may be discussed together by agreement.

I move amendment No. 42:

In page 9, lines 27 and 28, to delete "sections 9(9) and 10(16)" and substitute "section 9(9),".

Debate adjourned.
The Dáil adjourned at 11.15 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on Thursday, 14 February 2019.