I propose to take Questions Nos. 67 and 93 together.
I am not aware that there is universal opposition to the proposal. The Deputy must know something I do not know. We have not yet carried out the consultation, but I do not expect that there will be universal opposition to it. I expect that during the consultation differing views will be expressed, with some in favour of the proposal and others against it.
As the Deputy will be aware, Oxford Economics in conjunction with Cambridge Economic Policy Associates were contracted last year, in line with a commitment outlined in the national aviation policy, to conduct a high-level strategic capacity review of Ireland’s State airports. This review was delivered to me at the end of August and provides a very helpful assessment that is specific about short-term actions and identifies further work that needs to be undertaken to assist in decision-making for the longer term. The review looks to the future needs of the three State airports to 2050, identifying priorities for new or adjusted infrastructure development to pre-empt any capacity constraints at the airports in Cork and Shannon as well as at Dublin Airport. To ensure that there is an open approach to the policy options for Dublin Airport, my officials and I have commenced a process of consultation on the review in which all stakeholders will have an opportunity to set out their views. When I have all the views and information available to me, I will carefully consider the issues and make recommendations to Government in early 2019.
DAA holds statutory responsibility to operate and develop Dublin and Cork airports and its focus, rightly, is on delivering the north runway by 2021, along with a package of other projects that are needed to address existing capacity constraints at the airport. Ireland needs these projects to be completed to ensure maximum international connectivity for our economy. It is a matter of record that in 2016 my officials and I met individuals who have publicly expressed an interest in developing a terminal at Dublin Airport. I will be very clear to the House, as I was to the individuals concerned, that if a decision in favour of an independently owned or operated terminal at Dublin Airport were to be made at any point in the future, there would have to be an open tendering process for the award of the concession.