Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (29)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

29. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Transport the role of the IAA in oversight of the health and safety of passengers and workers in airports in view of Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25887/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The “Protocol for the management of air passengers in light of Covid-19” was published by the Department of Transport, in consultation with the National Air Transport Facilitation Committee, which includes representatives of the aviation industry, regulators, border control and public health authorities. The Protocol, published on 21 July 2020, is guidance for the coordinated implementation of EASA/ECDC – “COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol – operational Guidelines for the Management of airline passengers in relation to COVID-19 pandemic” (AHSP) (30, June Issue 2). The protocol has due regard to the EASA/ECDC COVID-19 Aviation Health Protocol Guidelines and national guidance in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has taken a pro-active role in promoting and ensuring the airports and airlines operate the guidelines contained in the AHSP. In addition to the AHSP, the IAA has written to each Irish airline and airport encouraging them to participate in the EASA industry Charter for COVID-19. The Charter establishes a feedback loop from industry directly to EASA on the performance of the measures implemented, to fine-tune and improve the guidance in the light of operational experience and of the expected increase in traffic volumes. A number of Irish airlines and airports have already joined or are in the process of joining.

EASA are performing an overall monitoring role in Europe and are using the information collected from multiple sources, including the charter participants, to identify areas where the protocols outlined may be ineffective or can be further improved. As such, the AHSP is a living document and the IAA expects ECDC/EASA to publish a further revision in the coming weeks.

Question No. 30 answered with Question No. 8.