Regional Airports

Questions (189)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

189. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the extent to which he foresees an enhanced role for the regional airports in the context of business and recreational travel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45640/15]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The National Aviation Policy which was published by my Department in August last acknowledges the role played by the regional airports of Donegal, Ireland West Airport Knock, Kerry and Waterford due to a level of international connectivity that they bring to a region for the tourism and business sectors. The Policy confirms that these four airports are being given the opportunity to grow to a viable, self-sustaining, position and in this regard, Exchequer supports under our new Regional Airports Programme 2015-2019 for safety and security related projects and activities at these airports will be continued where appropriate. It is up to the airports being supported to exploit all opportunities in the context of business and recreational travel to expand their level of connectivity to other regions. 

Road Network

Questions (190)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

190. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has examined the need for the development of the extension of the motorway network to the regions, with particular reference to the need to facilitate economic expansion on a regional basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45641/15]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) formerly the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

  The transport elements of the Capital Plan in the period to 2022 were announced in September and decisions on road projects included in the Capital Plan were framed by the conclusions reached in my Department's Strategic Investment Framework for Land Transport (SFILT). This report highlighted the importance of maintenance and renewal of transport infrastructure together with targeted investments to enhance the existing network through improving connections to seaports, to poorly served regions, to large-scale employment sites, and addressing critical safety issues. Importantly, the Plan includes projects targeted at removing critical bottlenecks subject to planning.  In framing the Capital Plan choices had to made given the overall funding envelope available.  

Maintenance and renewal of the road network continues to be the main priority and €4.4 billion of the planned €6 billion road capital budget will be spent on such essential work.  

I appreciate that this will not address all demands for road renewal and improvement but it does strike in my view a reasonable balance given the available capital envelope and very importantly over the period of the Plan capital funding for land transport, including roads, will be built up towards the levels needed to support adequate maintenance and development.

Tourism Employment Data

Questions (191)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

191. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the extent to which the number of persons employed in the tourism sector has fluctuated in each of the past eight years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45642/15]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Central Statistics Office’s official count of direct employment in ‘Accommodation and food service activities’, a category which includes hotels, restaurants, bars, canteens and catering, was 139,800 in 2014 (7.3% of total employment). This estimate of employment is based on the CSO Household Survey and the jobs identified are defined as ‘the respondent’s main job’ and include both full-time and part-time.  

Fáilte Ireland estimate total employment in the tourism sector at approximately 205,000. This estimate includes an additional category of tourism services and attractions which is not covered by the CSO. I have referred the Deputy's question to Fáilte Ireland for any further information on how this estimate has fluctuated in recent years.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Airport Passenger Data

Questions (192)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

192. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of passengers who travelled through Dublin, Shannon, Cork, Ireland West Airport Knock, Kerry, Donegal, and Waterford airports in each of the past five years in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45647/15]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The information requested by the Deputy is outlined in the following table.

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

Dublin

21,712,169

20,167,783

19,099,649

18,740,593

18,431,064

Cork

2,144,476

2,258,005

2,340,115

2,361,947

2,425,131

Shannon

1,639,315

1,400,032

1,395,402

1,656,504

1,755,885

Knock

703,265

665,393

685,781

654,553

589,183

Donegal

35,415

33,768

29,326

40,100

46,915

Kerry

295,251

306,042

286,442

310,905

383,866

Waterford

34,607

28,209

76,554

81,521

104,143

In recognition of the need to have access to statistical information on the aviation sector to assist in informing, developing and monitoring aviation policy, the National Aviation Policy for Ireland, which I published last August, includes an action (Action 8.1) that my Department will publish basic statistical information on our website by end 2015.  The statistics for Quarter 3, 2015 will be published on my Department's website, www.dttas.ie next week, and these figures will be updated quarterly thereafter.